I’m Jan Goldau, one of the founders of Goldau & Noelle. My brother Dominik, my cousin René Nölle and I design and manufacture high-quality household furniture. We sell it directly from our online shop to end consumers in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.
Our portfolio currently consists of about 50 products, which are available in a range of different versions. The route we took into the furniture market was very unusual. All three of us have a background in engineering – mechanical and electrical – and we have all completed vocational training in manual trades.
We have observed that most players in the German furniture sector have an area of weakness. The multi-tier sales concept results in severe pricing pressure, which is making it increasingly difficult for German manufacturers to survive on the market.
This is leading to job losses in Germany but it is also making things less transparent for consumers. As a consequence, the products are no longer delivering the price-performance ratio that we think customers should be able to expect. We wanted to do it better. So from the outset we focussed on selling to consumers directly, through our own online shop.
This benefits us as a business because it means we can invest every cent into the products themselves. And we can remain true to our values: fairness and sustainability. Of course it is also great to be fully independent in terms of our prices and our portfolio.
Plus, the direct contact we have with our customers is worth its weight in gold. This unmediated connection enables us to find out what our customers like, want and need. This feedback can then be taken on board immediately and used to shape our product development and operational processes.
Our customers really appreciate being in direct contact with the people who are actually making their furniture. It builds consumer confidence! We are also hearing that many customers particularly value the fact that the products are made in Germany using sustainable materials.
If we take all of these aspects into account and add to the mix the truly exceptional quality of our manufacturing, it is evident that our customers end up with an extremely high-quality product with an unbeatable price-performance ratio.
Our online shop is still our only sales channel, so as you would expect, online marketing is crucial for us. The competition is extremely intense, so we are always looking for the best ways to reach our customers – seeing which channels work and which don’t. At the moment, social media and Google AdWords are working best for us.
We tried Amazon but we quickly realised that it wasn’t the right channel for our high-quality products. We do actually list our products on moebel.de. It is definitely a good option for us because it is not a conventional intermediary – it works on a cost per click model instead.