Customers like to be surprised – LOTTE Wedel CEO interview
Maciej Herman, CEO at Lotte Wedel Sp. z o.o.
What are LOTTE Wedel’s development plans?
We have very ambitious development plans. The first direction of development is export, i.e. our foreign sales. Wedel products are currently present in 60 countries around the world. Our ambition is to be a brand known not only in Poland, in Central and Eastern Europe, but also around the world. The second area of development is portfolio diversification, i.e. entering new product markets. An example is the ice cream we have been selling for 2 years. Another important area is innovation in chocolate. We create new flavors and new formats of well-known products. Customers like to be surprised. These are proposals for consumers both in Poland and abroad. We observe new trends, research the market and try to adapt our offer to them.
What is your favorite Wedel product?
Is there a place on the market for a law firm like McDonald’s? Available in every city, inexpensive, offering services regardless of industries and locations, it provides fast and professional service.
It depends on what the expectations of the entrepreneurs are. When it comes to Wedel, we most often cooperate with law firms specializing in specific areas on complicated topics, for example patent law or antitrust regulations (applies to acts of unfair competition). In Poland, legal regulations change very often – recently, thousands of pages of new regulations are created every year. No company can keep up with these changes on its own. Therefore, we need a law firm, lawyers, who will professionally and reliably guide us through these paths of complex legislation.
Most often, we are looking for reputable companies that specialize in specific legislative areas. It is important for us that the law firms we work with have high business understanding skills, take responsibility, be creative, and offer practical legal and business solutions. Therefore, in our case, the concept of the law firm “McDonald’s” does not look attractive. When it comes to small enterprises, it may be a much more interesting proposition.
Taking into account your good and bad experiences – what distinguishes a good lawyer?
Of course, substantive knowledge comes first. Our cooperation with external lawyers most often concerns difficult topics that require specialist knowledge. We value lawyers who take responsibility for their recommendations the most. Other important features are openness, creativity and flexibility.
How often does Wedel deal with matters related to intellectual property?
We have registered trademarks that are very important to us. Let me give you an example of a long-term process concerning the Ptasie Mleczko (R) mark. Ptasie Mleczko (R) was invented by Jan Wedel in the interwar period. Unfortunately, after the war, in the socialist times, no one really bothered about trademarks. In this regard, similar products, some with the same name, produced by other companies, appeared in neighboring countries of the Eastern bloc. At the time when communism collapsed, we began the fight to regain this trademark. It was a difficult process that took about 10 years. It was a difficult legal case, but it was a success for us.
In what marketing does Wedel invest? What channels of reach work best?
The most effective way to reach consumers all the time is television. However, young people watch it less and less. Television is therefore slowly becoming a channel for reaching mainly older people. Young people, on the other hand, most often use social media. Our task is to match the content to a specific medium so that the marketing message reaches the consumer. There are many companies that invest more in marketing than we do. We are a medium-sized marketer.
What legal issues are most common to Wedel?
Most cases concern trademarks and intellectual property law. Usually these are quite difficult projects.
Where do you read, watch new information? What do you use for yourself as an information tool?
I often use LinkedIn and information services, such as Onet, Portal Spożywczy, Wiadomości Handlowe, Poradnik Handlowca, etc. – there is interesting information about the industry in which I work.
What would you like to watch or read about legal or business and legal matters?
I would like to watch a movie or read an article about new regulations. It could also be a weekly newsletter. The way of presenting knowledge is important to me – preferably it should be relatively short, interesting content with specific information.