Bridging safety and innovation with Bridgehill

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Thomas Jahren, Chief Sales Officer at Bridgehill, reveals how Bridgehill’s specialised fire blankets are setting new standards in safety and environmental responsibility

Can you describe your journey to becoming the Chief Sales Officer at Bridgehill?

When I joined Bridgehill, the potential was apparent from the start.

Shortly after I started, an American influencer, renowned for promoting innovative ideas on LinkedIn, discovered and shared one of our videos.

His endorsement catapulted our visibility, resulting in the video being viewed around 40 million times in a matter of weeks.

This virality shifted our strategy from concentrating on Scandinavia to a global outreach, as we began receiving inquiries from around the world, including Chile, Japan, Taiwan, China, the entirety of Europe, and the US.

We developed a distribution network strategy, a plan we continue to refine and expand.

Initially, the team was small, but as the demand surged, it became clear that leveraging local expertise through partnerships with distributors who already had a strong client base and understood the local market dynamics was the most efficient path forward.

This approach allowed us to expand our presence significantly, particularly in Europe and the US, which are now our largest markets.

Having been with Bridgehill from the beginning, it was a natural progression for me to take on the role of Chief Sales Officer, overseeing the broader strategy while delegating day-to-day responsibilities to the regional sales leaders.

This evolution has allowed me to maintain an involvement in sales while ensuring the efficient operation of our global sales strategy.

What insights can you share about the current demand for EV fire safety solutions?

The demand for effective electric vehicle (EV) fire safety solutions is clearly growing.

Bridgehill has introduced an innovative solution through the deployment of a specialised fire blanket.

This solution is designed to buy crucial time in the event of a fire with the added bonus of being environmentally friendly as traditional suppression methods

Our blanket is designed to smother the fire by cutting off the oxygen supply.

In the case of conventional vehicles, it can extinguish fires immediately.

However, with EVs, which rely on lithium-ion batteries that do not require oxygen to burn, the blanket prevents other combustible materials within the vehicle from igniting.

This means only the battery continues to burn, and it does so in a controlled manner beneath the blanket.

The prevalence of EV fires is going to rise with the increased production of electric vehicles.

Our strategy to meet this growing demand begins with engaging firefighters, who play a pivotal role as influencers within their countries.

Gaining the trust and approval of firefighting professionals ensures a smoother transition into commercial markets, such as the automotive industry.

Having firefighters endorse our product is critical, as the realm of fire safety leaves no room for error—success on the first attempt is imperative.

We have had consistent success in our demonstrations with firefighters, establishing Bridgehill as a reliable partner not only for them but also for other industries facing increasing demand for fire safety solutions.

How does Bridgehill differentiate its EV fire blankets in a competitive market?

Firstly, our approach hinges on education.

While sales are crucial for us, as they are for our competitors, our deep understanding of the market sets us apart.

Our comprehensive knowledge enables us to identify the specific needs within the market and helps us build trust with our customers.

A key area where we distinguish ourselves is in the technology of the textiles used in our fire blankets.

We have explored various textiles and concluded that many are not up to the task due to their inability to handle extreme heat or their fragility under such conditions.

Our strategy is focused on educating the market about the differences in textile technologies, allowing customers to make informed decisions based on objective and accurate information.

It’s crucial in a market flooded with varied and sometimes misleading information.

By presenting clear, factual distinctions between the materials used, we empower end users in their decision-making process.

Training our distributors is another key part of our strategy.

They are the direct link to the end users, and it is through them that our insights and product benefits are communicated.

Whether it’s through marketing efforts, informational videos, or direct interactions, our aim is to equip our distributors with the knowledge and professionalism needed to accurately represent our products.

What challenges do you face in conveying the value of investing in a higher-quality solution?

When engaging with firefighters—who often operate within tight budgets—it’s essential to demonstrate the long-term cost-effectiveness of our products.

We offer two types of blankets: a standard version and a professional (pro) version.

The pro blanket, for instance, can be used up to 30 times or more, representing significant value over time.

The concept of ‘cost per use’ makes our blanket one of the most economical options on the market.

Our proactive approach to product demonstration, especially in the context of EV fires sets us apart.

We are confident when it comes showcasing our blankets handling extreme fire situations, backing up our claims and establishing a trust that gives us a competitive edge.

Our reputation precedes us, and fortunately, many in the industry are already familiar with the Bridgehill name and the excellence it represents.

The challenge, then, becomes not just about making a sale but ensuring that our clients understand the value and safety our products bring to their operations, reinforcing the idea that an investment in quality is an investment in safety and efficiency.

This article was originally published in the May 2024 issue of International Fire & Safety Journal. To read your FREE digital copy, click here.

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