- Applica Clear2o
How Hunches Become Ideas, and Ideas Become Innovation
- Paul Lincoln and Keith Bernard were good at spotting opportunities. They ran a division of Applica Consumer Products with a charter to identify new categories for the business. Keith and Paul looked at many home product categories and one stood out—filtered water. The consumption of filtered water was way up and forecasted to go higher. Keith and Paul had a hunch that gaps existed in the filtration products available to consumers. They wanted to generate new ideas in the category and hired BOLTgroup to lead the charge.
- Finding the Gaps and Crafting a Strategy
Our team quickly analyzed the category—benchmarking the current products available. We interviewed consumers and consulted the nation’s leading home water expert on trends, lifestyles, and consumer emotions related to water. We conducted in-home ethnographic research to observe, videotape, and analyze the ways people filter, store, dispense, and enjoy water in their homes. Keith and Paul’s hunch was right. Our design research had uncovered significant gaps in the category, and that meant unmet needs for the consumer. With a strategy defined by our Gap Analysis and trends research our design team created a wide variety of product concepts to fill each gap in the marketplace.
- Filling the Gaps with Targeted Innovation
After testing concepts with consumers the Clear2o pitcher was selected for product development. This ingenious product fills the gap between the “speed and convenience” of faucet mount filters and the “portability” of pitchers. The product innovation is derived from two insights, two key complaints we learned from consumers. First, pitchers take too long to fill—10 minutes for some models. Secondly, they don’t hold enough water because the reservoir at the top holds only air. The Clear2o solves both problems. It fills in just 35 seconds and has no reservoir so it holds 50% more water in the same size pitcher. What’s more it filters out more contaminates than other models by forcing water through the carbon block filter. And our design engineering of the industry’s first flow-based filter meter gives the consumer a clear signal when a filter change is needed.
Consumer Reports and Good Housekeeping call it a Best Buy. Consumers call it cool. We call it product innovation.