23 March 2020 1095 words, 5 min. read

[Podcast] Murfy surfs the domestic appliance repair market

By Pierre-Nicolas Schwab PhD in marketing, director of IntoTheMinds
206 million major household appliances are present in French households. When a breakdown occurs, the reflex is to change them. Changing this reflex is the mission Guy Pezaku set himself when he launched Murfy, a company that promotes and simplifies […]

206 million major household appliances are present in French households. When a breakdown occurs, the reflex is to change them. Changing this reflex is the mission Guy Pezaku set himself when he launched Murfy, a company that promotes and simplifies repairs. In addition to excellent technical skills, Murfy has also developed a series of marketing tips to ensure its success. In today’s podcast, Guy Pezaku goes into detail about his entrepreneurial adventure and in particular, the market research techniques used to validate his business idea and enable the company to grow.


Statistics on the household appliance market in France

  • 8.8 billion Euros: the volume of sales achieved in 2019 (source: Gifam)
  • +3.7%: growth in value of the sector (source: Gifam)
  • 3.4 billion Euros: the sales volume for the small household appliances segment in 2019 (source: Gifam)
  • 206 million: the number of major household appliances in French households
  • 5.3 billion euros: the valuation of the large household appliances market in France
  • 2.7 million: the number of refrigerators sold each year in France (this figure has been stable for 10 years, source Statista)

The marketing idea to remember absolutely

Murphy’s offering is modular and creates a sense of confidence that is sorely lacking in this market. This modular offer is progressive: tutorials for repairing yourself, sending a technician for a flat fee of 75€, 75€ discount on a reconditioned unit if the unit cannot be repaired.

Chapter 1: your entrepreneurial experience in 3² points

Murfy’s 3 key figures

Murfy has been in existence for 18 months, has enabled the repair of 16,000 household appliances and has 60 employees.

3 tips for future start-ups

Tip 1: Hang on
Tip 2: Listen to others and avoid convincing yourself that your idea is perfect.
Tip 3: Surround yourself well because the secret is never to go alone.

3 essential skills to launch your start-up

Vision, Management, Attentiveness

Chapter 2: the genesis of the entrepreneurial idea

As is often the case with start-ups, the entrepreneurial idea is born of a need detected by the entrepreneur himself, by an anomaly detected in the market or more commonly by a “customer pain”.

Here is how Guy Pezaku sums up the genesis of the idea behind Murfy:

[The customer is used to] buying a product that was made in Asia, brought [to Europe] by container carrier, stored in a warehouse where 2 people come to pick it up, deliver it to your home, install it, take the old one and give it to a recycler. Unfortunately, these products are not very recyclable. And despite all this, it is more interesting than calling a technician who lives 20 minutes away from your home [because] no repair solution is simple, effective and more efficient than the distribution of new products made in Asia.

It is therefore understandable that market inefficiency is at the origin of Murfy.

Chapter 3: The validation of the business idea

The validation of the business idea was done brilliantly. The market research was carried out in the field using a technique that comes from ethnography: participatory observation. Indeed, as Guy Pezaku explains:

When we started, we had 2 challenges: find customers and find repairers. So, we made the repairers ourselves. Of the 5 associates, 2 were trained to repair household appliances, and we went to the customers’ homes to do repairs. So, we had a kind of double life where in the morning between 7 am and 4 pm we did repairs and then from 4 pm [we were] in the office to develop the business.

When it comes to market research, the simplest techniques are sometimes the best, especially when it comes to understanding the dynamics of a market. So, one piece of advice we often give is to try to sell (literally) your business idea to real customers. This trial by fire is an excellent approach for your market research because it allows you to gain both field experience and empirically verify the existence of demand.

Chapter 4: Getting Started

The first customers were found via the website. Online advertising helped to supply the company with customers. The purchase of keywords, therefore, contributed to the market research. Indeed, as Guy Pezaku explains, “our challenge at the beginning was to test our business model and try to understand why people wanted to hire us”.

The idea here is that online advertising, far from being an end in itself, can be used for market research purposes to attract “real” customers and study their motivations. It is a very pragmatic, affordable way to confront yourself with the market, provided of course that you can deliver the promised service and have a functional website able to reassure customers about the credibility of your company.

We were in a situation where it’s better to go ahead, test, and confront each other to see if it works, rather than trying to study, understand, model, and stay in a very imaginative world. So, we went to practical contact, we had our website, we started to generate flow, if there were repairs to be done, we would go there, so that’s how we knew very quickly that it worked.

Chapter 5: Take-off

The first step was to find funding. In July 2019, a €1.4 million fundraising was carried out with an investment fund specializing in environmental and societal impact. This enabled the services to be extended beyond the Paris region and to be offered in the surrounding area.

According to Guy, this expansion phase, in order to succeed, must rely on competent and trusted people to whom one can delegate, but also on a prior identification of territories that can generate growth (an issue commonly addressed during market research).

Chapter 6: The future

Murfy’s goal is to increase its capacity from 2 to 10 technicians in all regions, and to reach 150 and then 200 people in the next 18 months. The next stage will be international development and growth relays for new household product ranges (boilers, electric shutters).

When we decided to create Murfy, we decided to create a huge company, not a small business.

Guy Pezaku

A podcast to help you develop your start-up

In 2020 we are changing the format of our podcasts. The objective is to help you develop your start-up by providing you with relevant information on specific topics.

Our podcasts are now divided into chapters of +/- 3 minutes. Each section is dedicated to a specific topic or development phase. You can, therefore, listen to the entire podcast or choose to listen to only part of it by directly selecting the one that interests you the most.



Posted in Entrepreneurship.

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