As the pandemic bore down and countries started locking down, it became apparent quite quickly that we would be spending a lot of time at home. One of the first things I did was go online and buy a newer, better, and much bigger TV; I knew my family and I would be spending many more hours in our living room than we had in the past, so we justified a splurge on a larger TV. It turns out that I was not the only one. In the United States alone, sales of large TVs skyrocketed due to the pandemic. According to research firm The NPD Group, sales of TVs 65 inches (165 cm) and larger were up 53% (in units) over the first half of 2020. Especially big sellers were TVs bigger than 75 inches (190 cm), which were up 77% in April-June, compared to a year ago. If people were going to be stuck at home, they knew they would be doing it in style. This trend is what led to impressive profits for companies like TP Vision, an Amsterdam-based company that manufactures, develops, and sells Phillips televisions throughout Europe and the world.
Part of adapting to the pandemic was not simply adjusting supply, but reacting to a disruption of the entire supply chain. According to CEO Kostas Vouzas, “We had to adapt to online consumer behaviour and changes in our supply chain. This happened alongside the need to reach out and provide more support to our customers and partners, become more in tune with our employees and accelerate our digital transformation. And this is an ongoing process”. The key is not necessarily predicting what will happen next, but staying nimble enough to adapt to it quickly and efficiently. “For us, the most important thing is to understand these changing consumer habits and adapt to them as quickly as possible”, added the CEO.
Sometimes reacting to consumer habits means shaping them via innovation. For example, TP Vision helped develop Philips’ new Ambilight range, which creates an immersive experience for its users by radiating light from three or four sides. These innovations are what keep customers coming, which has translated to sustained double-digit growth for the company. In January 2022, the company reported its fifth consecutive year of growth, attributing the result to increased investment and the growing popularity of its brand. The company has also signed the UN Global Compact that commits the company to honour and further human rights in ten key areas. Additionally, the company has drafted its own “Future Proof Manifesto”, which would become one of its brand values. “Future Proof refers to both the ‘planet’ and ‘people’ aspects of sustainability and equally considers the impact on both”, explains Mr Vouzas. “Sustainability becomes an essential part of all our decision-making, whether that is evaluating our business model, the products we design or the manufacturing processes we adopt”.
Noble ideas and good business sense are not mutually exclusive. “We believe we can build a healthy business while contributing to a better planet for generations to come, something that will appeal to both our future customers and future employees”. This seems like truly sustainable sustainability.