Home Business Insights & Advice Keter CEO Alejandro Pena grows the outdoor furniture firm by prioritising customers and community

Keter CEO Alejandro Pena grows the outdoor furniture firm by prioritising customers and community

by LLB Reporter
23rd Mar 23 10:46 am

Coffee behemoth Starbucks sells cappuccinos, cake pops, and croissants — but most importantly, it sells an experience. Low lighting, comfy chairs, and the rich aroma of coffee infuse Starbucks’ interiors with a cozy vibe. Then there’s the pinch of personalization when a barista writes a customer’s name on a coffee cup.

Starbucks succeeded by focusing on the customer experience and the communities in which customers live. Keter, a durable consumer lifestyle solution for the home and outdoor spaces, also gets closer to its customers and communities through the experience of its products. Consumers who purchase Keter products discover functionality and beauty in their backyards.

Alejandro Pena, Keter’s chief executive officer, is enthusiastic about creating products that accommodate a myriad of customer experiences. For example, Keter’s Unity Outdoor Cart is a kitchen island on wheels perfect for hosting during a football game. Are you throwing a pool party? The Pacific Cool Bar chicly conceals a cooler with a 7.5-gallon receptacle for ice. And Keter’s classic Adirondack chairs marry comfort and style.

Keter also tells a story of environmental stewardship, which resonates with customers for whom sustainability is becoming increasingly important. The firm sells sustainable, resin-based indoor and outdoor consumer items in more than 100 countries. The company’s beds, storage sheds, all-weather furniture, and deck boxes are formed from a recyclable resin that appears more expensive than it costs. The material also lasts far longer than natural ones.

“Keter is shaping what’s next for a better day,” Pena says. “We are innovators; we invent what’s new and next, and we do it with a sustainable mindset and consciousness.”

Keter CEO Alejandro Pena and CFO Pasquale Iannone discuss consumer-driven innovation and ROI

Since becoming Keter’s CEO in 2018, Alejandro Pena leads a global team of 5,000 employees who carve inroads into sustainability, from the materials used to manufacturing operations.

The company also operates Keter Green Spaces, a sustainability initiative. Its goal is to create greener communities through connection, education, and conveying a pro-environment message.

“We’re going to continue to do the right thing as we go forward,” Pena says. “We’re a leading player in our industry and a responsible community member. We are a business driven by innovation, but we also live by the values of being good to the environment and our communities.

With a corporate strategy focused on consumer-driven innovation, Keter develops products that benefit customers. Pena garnered experience in this realm via his previous assignment at Rubbermaid, the 100-year-old home and food-storage product manufacturer.

“I learned about product management, innovation, consumer centricity, and the importance of brands at Rubbermaid,” Pena explains.

Like Rubbermaid, Keter is a design-led company. It personalises its quality, design, and customer care so that the public better understands the brand’s unique identity. It also promotes positive messages and interactions throughout the customer journey.

Thanks to the evolution of customer data and customer data science, Keter has been able to leverage a competitive advantage by identifying what matters most to customers. Collecting multidimensional customer data is critical in today’s market, as is quantifying the return on investment of giving customers what they want.

With CEO Alejandro Pena at the helm, Keter continues to transform

Implementing a customer-first and community-led growth strategy is a highly effective business strategy for any company. According to CEO Alejandro Pena, it’s one of several essential pillars in Keter’s continued transformation.

“We see Keter becoming more of a consumer-centric company where our brands will play an even bigger role in our business model,” he says.

In recognition of the global digital economy, Pena and Pasquale Iannone, Keter’s chief financial officer, lead the company’s omnichannel marketing plan. This strategy integrates consistent messaging, visuals, and positioning across all channels, platforms, and devices. By choosing this method, Keter can create a seamless customer experience, since the brand is presented the same way from platform to platform. The technique also allows consumers more opportunities to purchase Keter’s products.

“We will serve our customers wherever they are, whenever they want, in every possible way they want,” Pena says. “This might be in a physical store, digital store, delivered, picked up — whichever way customers want to engage, we will be there.”

CEO Alejandro Pena explains how Keter grew from family business to international juggernaut

Keter products are sold in over 100 countries worldwide with employees and manufacturing plants in Israel, North America, and throughout Europe. The company will soon celebrate 75 years in business.

“Keter originally was a family-owned, family-operated business founded in Israel,” Keter CEO Alejandro Pena says. “Since 2017, we’ve been working on transforming the company into a global consumer products company. The intent is to build a consumer-centric, branded, innovative business out of the foundational business.”

Keter is well established in the United Kingdom, one of the first markets it entered when it began its expansion outside of Israel. It also maintains a strong presence in Eastern Europe, where it has factories and its brand is recognised. Keter’s biggest market is the United States.

“We speak many languages,” Pena says. “We’re diverse, and we are a multinational, multicultural company. We’re citizens of the world.”

He adds, “Keter will continue to be the most innovative company in the industry.”

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