We talk to Simon Miller, Marketing Director for Hitachi Power Tools, about the company’s rebrand and its future development of professional power tools.
There have been some significant recent updates at Hitachi Power Tools, including a change of name (to HiKOKI, pronounced ‘hai-koh-key’). What’s the thinking behind this change to one of the UK’s most recognisable power tool brands?
The rebrand marks the next step in our commitment to expand and become a market leader across the globe, following the acquisition by KKR of our larger parent company, Hitachi Koki Co. It will change its name to Koki Holdings Co. Ltd and Hitachi Power Tools will become HiKOKI (pronounced Hai-koh-key) from 1st October.
Hitachi Power Tools are designed to be high end and we have some fantastic, innovative tools already on the market. Our owners, KKR, have an ambitious international growth strategy, but for this to be successful we need to create a brand that delivers our key message – power tools that are top quality.
Although we produce high-end tools for professionals, historically, the Hitachi brand has strong links with the consumer electronics market. This will change. Going forward, the HiKOKI brand will be known as a professional brand. The European market is very important to the company, so a European headquarters will be established in Dusseldorf, Germany to reflect this.
So what changes for UK customers and when will we start to see the new branding?
Over the coming year we’ll be launching innovative new power tools as we invest in, and transition to, the new HiKOKI brand. From October we’ll be carrying out a full rebrand on all existing tools and, following that, all tools launched will carry the new brand.
Breaking away from the Hitachi brand will remove the limitations on what we can produce and we can now expand into any sector.
Can we expect a heavy investment in new tools and a raising of the company profile over the next twelve months?
You certainly can. Don’t expect the new tools to just be green with a new badge on them!
Although, at first, the product range will be consistent with the existing Hitachi offering (and we have some incredible tools already) we also have some exciting plans for new high-end ranges of tools. We’re going to innovate and improve end user working capacity and combine this with Japanese engineering skill, precision and reliability.
As a company, we’ll ensure we maintain 100% compatibility with existing Hitachi battery platforms. Not only will the battery platform continue, it will significantly expand with higher end capability. As regards end user support, we keep parts indefinitely after a product is discontinued so existing owners don’t need to be concerned that there will be no support for their current tools.
We’re confident that we can take our business to the next level, building a company that exceeds our customers’ expectations, and the revamping of the brand name is the first step to making this possible.
But then comes the proof of the pudding in the quality of our tools, our customer support and the investment in our new brand name. It will be an exciting journey!