Meet Christophe Duvette, our marketing manager for France. He tells us about what their country’s marketing plans are really all about and how his team is working hard to make our RIPOLIN® brand increasingly sustainable. With such a historically well-known brand on his shoulders, it is a significant duty of care.
“A Pure Marketing Guy”
Having started at Sigma Kalon in 2000, Christophe joined us as part of the acquisition in 2008 and is now our marketing manager for France.
Managing seven brand managers, Christophe helps to define the strategy of the our trade business for independent vendor stores and the DIY market in France, and the two main brands: Ripolin and GUITTET®.
“I am pure marketing guy, so I am completely in charge of developing new marketing concepts, determining the direction of growth of the business in France and ensuring the sales department achieves its goals.”
“We Cannot Achieve Our Targets Alone”
Something Christophe values greatly in his daily work is people engagement.
My world is marketing. I am at the center. But we cannot achieve our targets alone. You have to link people together to make things happen.
He explains that his job is not just analyzing the awareness around our brands but providing the best value proposition for the customer and benefit to our business. The initiatives his team implements are designed to actively play a part in bettering the future of our business.
“Our strategy is we want to become what we call in marketing ‘a love brand’. In that way, we want Ripolin to become our end users’ best friend for both interiors and exteriors.”
Integrating Sustainability Into Ripolin
Created in 1888 and used by artistic genius Pablo Picasso, Ripolin is a household brand in France and our leading brand for the retail business there. The French even use the term “ripoliner” to mean “to paint something with Ripolin”.
Christophe tells us that for end users of our product, the first criteria is quality – the functionality, performance, price – and that it is important for us to not only meet their current needs but also anticipate their future ones. Which is why the team had already started integrating sustainability into the Ripolin brand value ten years ago.
“Last year, we decided to ramp things up with sustainability and to offer a low-carbon solution. We realized that our end users wanted this, and we wanted to become the first brand to cover this topic on the French market.”
A Sustainability Promise to Society
Christophe and his team recently launched Program R for which they received the Association des Industriels du Nouvel Habitat’s (INOHA) highest corporate social responsibility (CSR) award for outstanding commitment to sustainability.
We are not just focused on only one aspect in the Ripolin brand, but it’s a global plan with actions on the formulations, the packaging, the supply chain to reduce carbon emissions. This is why we won the award.
Within Program R we invested in the French government label “Label bas-carbone” to compensate a part of our carbon emission by planting trees in the north of France.
Christophe’s team will now be helping to develop a new generation of products that reduce the carbon footprint of the brand, moving to packaging with lower carbon footprint.
“It’s all about perseverance in the long run”
Of course, Christophe doesn’t just love nature while he’s at work. He lives in a little village in the countryside and enjoys spending time with his family outdoors.
Christophe’s big passion is ultra-trail running. There are two types of training for this sport. First, there’s “technical running”, which is running for one and a half hours focused on one thing, like elevation or speed. And then there’s the “long run”, starting early in the morning and running for many hours. These give him space for self-reflection and achieving equilibrium with his work and personal life.
“My favorite race is when I spend more than 20 hours in the mountains. This includes one full night of running completely alone in the dark, just you and your light with which you can see about three meters in front of you. My next objective is to run more than 110 km over a 7400 m elevation.”
But just like the way he breaks down his marketing and business objectives into smaller deliverables, his approach to such extreme distances is no different.
You divide your larger goal into steps and focus on the next one and monitor each one as you pass it against a matrix. It’s all about perseverance in the long run.