The economy is in full transformation, and it is safe to say that there is a huge battle on all fronts to win back the dwindling customer base. And in a battle among competing companies, marketing and sales are essential weapons in the arsenal. In such cases, the area of “sales support”, which lies between the two, is a key area of focus, with one of its pillars being customer promotion at the point of sale. One of the most modern and recent players in this market is ENDORIENCE, where the owner’s approach is different from the traditional one. We spoke with Gergő Nidermayer, the head of ENDORIENCE and EKI Creative.
ENDORIENCE is a new player in the market. What exactly does the company do?
To understand ENDORIENCE, I’d like to go back in time a little, as our parent company, EKI Creative, has been a stable player on the international market for almost 20 years. Traditionally, we have been involved in designing point-of-sale facilities, providing turnkey solutions for our partners. Although it has always been an important part of our work, in recent years, there has been an increasing demand for our design skills alongside our execution. More and more partners have been coming to us with a halfway-formed idea or without a concrete vision, and we have put in considerable time and professional effort to get to the implementation stage. In other words, creative and design planning, understanding the partner’s strategy, and translating it into the language of design and execution, increasingly landed with us. This trend has led to the creation of ENDORIENCE, the first company in this sector to offer specific consultancy services.
Where does the name come from?
We clearly wanted to refer to the sense of pleasure that people feel when they enter the space we design and create, and unlike many of the other players in our market, we don’t make furniture or billboards, but rather provide an experience for our partners’ customers.
In this market, you are a very young manager at 33. How did you get to the top?
I have been with the company for almost ten years, starting my career in customer relations. I have been very successful, and I have had more and more responsibility and management. I also have the will and ambition of my generation, so two years ago, I indicated to the owner that I would buy the company. We have a very good relationship; he didn’t want to move forward in a serious way, and I wanted to change dimensions. So, in the middle of the pandemic, I became an owner. There was no major change at the management level within the company, as I had been in charge of a large part of the organisation for some time.
It was not very good timing, I guess, because COVID-19 made your market impossible.
We roughly doubled revenues in the year after the takeover, 2021, and I am still waiting for the exact figures. So, the timing of the acquisition seems perfect.
The closures and economic blockages caused by COVID-19 have directly affected the areas where business partners and buyers-sellers have personal contact. I imagine this has caused serious challenges in your company, too.
We have had challenges in 2020 and 2021, but they were not caused by the drop in turnover. Our biggest challenge during this period was to manage the significantly increased number of enquiries with quality and to deliver the increased number of projects to the standard expected of us.
Who commissions work on point of sale, business meeting environments, and design?
We follow the broader economic trends. During a deeper crisis, market needs are divided into two groups: mass and premium. The mass is struggling, the premium is thriving, in some cases soaring. These periods are a good mirror for companies to see how the market categorises them. As our partners are long-term planners, they knew exactly that they had to improve the quality of their services, their point of sale and their personal impression units, so they placed a large number of orders with us.
What kind of location is ENDORIENCE thinking about?
I must say that at the moment we are mainly known in Europe, also in the DACH region. However, this year we are launching a major expansion, with the aim of making more and more countries aware of what strategic consulting and the really complex implementation that goes with it means in this profession.
When introducing yourself, you described your title as “practical innovator”. What is meant by that?
ENDORIENCE is important to me, but it is not my only business. Basically, I do not see myself as a company director or owner, but as a businessman who is interested in innovation, in taking what is already there to a new dimension. Of course, many people can boast about that, but for me, it is of paramount importance that, unlike many start-ups, the things we create, the new ideas we come up with, make sense. They should be feasible and bring concrete benefits or public good to people. In other words, innovation in itself is all well and good, but it has to be understood in practical terms.
In 2022, just emerging from the COVID-19 crisis, what do you think is the most important message for a manager?
A lot of people are talking about huge changes, and they are right at an economic level. But at an individual level, I think we should not change completely. I have always believed in quality work and in surrounding myself with good professionals in the company. I think these rules are still working, so perhaps the most important thing is that, however much the world revolves around us, we should not forget who we are and stay true to ourselves!
2022 will be a tough year for business. What are you preparing for this year?
It may seem strange, but I am energised and excited by such a changing environment and such fierce competition in the market. I’m a competitive person, and this is a good time to live it up. I’m looking forward to the start of the year, and I’m sure there will be many challenges ahead, but it’s going to be an exciting year.
Thanks for the interview, and I wish you all the best!