Miele vacuum cleaners: Paul McCormack

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Paul McCormack, division manager of Miele's floorcare products, wants to redefine the U.S. vacuum cleaner market. "For a long time people have thought of vacuum cleaners as disposable," says Mr. McCormack, 32. "That is completely unacceptable."

Miele, a 100-year-old family-owned German business, has been in the U.S. since 1984. In Europe, however, the Miele vacuum cleaner is a household name and is considered to be the Mercedes of its category. Mr. McCormack wants to create the same environment in the U.S.

Mr. McCormack, who did marketing for a Washington defense contractor before he joined Miele four years ago, aims to educate consumers about the product's quality, value and longevity. "We have always worked on brand building rather than competing with other brands," he says.

A big component of the vacuum cleaners' print advertising is in Martha Stewart Living. It also ran its first TV spot on HGTV. Miele works with Thacker & Frank, an agency in Cranbury, N.J.

According to Mr. McCormack, Miele USA sales exceed $100 million annually with 20% to 25% growth. As U.S. consumers start to recognize the Miele name, the company will refocus its marketing strategy on identifying and addressing customers' needs.

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