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Data for subscriptions podcast - Episode #13

Experimenting with Subscription Models in a 100-Year-Old Business


Marie Sandå

Marie Sandå
Subscription & Connectivity Category Manager, Product-as-a-Service Team at Electrolux


Episode description

Experimenting with Subscription Models in a 100-Year-Old Business

In this episode of the Data for Subscriptions podcast, host Behdad Banian interviews Marie Sandå from Electrolux’s Product-as-a-Service Global Team. Marie introduces Electrolux’s new subscription service, AtEase, its objectives, offerings, the decision-making process, and the reasons behind why a longstanding appliance manufacturer is venturing into the subscription market. She also explains their deployment strategies, the value of subscriptions to customers, the benefits of building a direct relationship with end users, and the impact on their reseller / retail ecosystem. Marie also touches on the challenges faced during launch and managing their usage data, pricing strategies, and internal alignment.


How does this subscription initiative fit into the overall Electrolux model?

It fits in really, really well. In sustainability, it fits in, like, it sort of ticks every box in that, so absolutely. But also, it’s our way to get a closer relationship to our consumers to know how they use our products. And in the subscription model, we can really monitor that because we know when they break down… so we know exactly how often it needs to be repaired and how often it needs to be refurbished, so we can really track that.

From an objective standpoint, naturally, you’re already selling 60 million appliances worldwide – a core business that has been around for more than a hundred years. The obvious objective would be to grow your business, grow your revenue, but if you would articulate more specifically, what are the objectives you’re looking to hit?

The long-term objective is quite clear – to design products that last longer and can be repaired easily, so update, and finally recycled when they’re not used anymore. So it’s a sustainability thought in that, but at the same time, also looking into if we do this in a healthy business way. Sustainability is like an integral part of the group strategy now. So product-as-a-service is one of all these initiatives that we do.

How do you ensure that you get everybody involved and aligned and getting behind an initiative like this?

Everyone doesn’t have to be aligned like that, but you need to have management support to be able to do something like this. The trickiest part for us has been that our company’s set up for product linear sales, and now we come along and want to do something completely different. Every single little process we have been sort of tweaking on. We know exactly what to do in the linear business, and here we are still experimenting. Still really don’t know how this is gonna work out. So that has been the most complex part, and I think the most work we have done is set up our little ring-fenced unit to do this, and that work is behind the scenes.