Lluís Dalmau, the general manager of the IRIS GROUP, is a chemical engineer and MBA graduate. He has extensive experience spearheading processes such as strategy definition, internationalisation and the professionalisation of the business. He has also managed teams during change management processes and worked in multinational and family-owned businesses in the industrial and consumption sectors. For the past five years, he has been engaged in the household goods industry.
The IRIS Barcelona trademark is positioned as an international brand. What were your motives for this and what do you think the advantages are?
In order to be able to internationalise our business two years ago, we created a new brand: IRIS BARCELONA, a brand covering an extensive range of products for carrying food anywhere. The reason we chose to associate our first IRIS brand with Barcelona is none other than a desire to link our products with the values associated with the city in which we were born and with which we identify.
We identified an opportunity for growth in the international arena with a fledgling range of products and in a segment for which we had the possibility to develop a new market as the market leaders.
Today, IRIS Barcelona is the market leader and is recognised, in particular, for its essence and identity in international markets.
What markets are currently the most important, and what are the markets of the future?
The European market accounts for a very significant share of our turnover and it is where we commenced operations, primarily due to its proximity.
Thinking ahead to the future, we are currently positioning ourselves in other markets, such as the American continent, Southeast Asia and the Middle East, where we now have a presence and have high growth expectations, given that our product fits with and is held in high esteem by consumers in these regions.
What challenges has the company set itself for the short to medium term?
In terms of our products’ positioning, we are aiming to consolidate traditional markets for all our brands and further develop IRIS Barcelona as the market leader in its category worldwide. To achieve this, we are going to continue launching, at the same pace, innovative products that are tailored to market demands so that the consumer perceives added-value in all of the IRIS Group’s products.
How important is the brand in the internationalisation process?
For the IRIS Group, the brand is key to the internationalisation of the company, given that it is through the brand that consumers recognise our values and it is the vehicle through which we communicate with the market.
Indeed, in all the markets in which we are present, it is precisely through the brand that we have managed to gain recognition and win customers’ trust.
You have managed to merge the world of fashion with the “takeaway” philosophy. How did you achieve this and what do you do to strengthen your brand image?
We have tried to make the takeaway concept something more than functional; we have tried to get consumers to identify with a contemporary style that is modern and fresh and make them feel good when using the IRIS Group’s products.
As new trends and the culture of personal care and healthy eating grows in popularity, more and more users want to be able to carry their food in a way that is suited to their lifestyle and in keeping with the latest fashion. This is why we have developed a wide range of food carriers and accoutrements that are fashion accessories in their own right.
To strengthen our brand image, apart from being present in trade magazines, we are also present in fashion magazines, where we continuously collaborate with well known, trend-setting bloggers. For IRIS, social media have become a very important channel for communicating with the consumer, and we are particularly active in Facebook and Instagram.
How important is an online presence for the brand?
For all brands, the Internet has now become yet another channel for selling and distributing products.
For the IRIS Group, it is a strategic channel that allows us to enter international markets and publicise our brands more quickly and effectively.