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About

About

Product design, engineering, and branding for a clever tool set that stores in the handle.
Published:
ReadyTools
Expressing Product Innovation Through Form
Billy Henry owned the patent for a brilliant idea: a socket wrench with a full set of sockets stored in the handle. But the product looked bland, felt bulky, and was in desperate need of a brand. Billy asked BOLTgroup to turn his clever idea into a family of tools with exciting form, intuitive design, and reliable performance.
Where’s Your Value Proposition?

Manufacturers can’t rely on retail packaging alone to extol the hidden benefits of a new product. The product itself must embody the innovation – form expresses function. For Ready Tools, BOLTgroup sought to shape the tool so it expressed the key value proposition - sockets conveniently stored in the handle. With this in mind, a controversial idea was born: open a window on the handle of the ratchet to allow a glimpse of the sockets stored inside.
A cutout in the handle provides glimpse of the sockets stored inside
A pullout tray holds a range of sockets in order of size
A Window into the Innovation Process

Product development can be risky, but it doesn’t have to be a roll of the dice. So we developed a plan to test some important questions:
1. Who were the consumers and what was the optimal pricing and branding strategy?
2. Would our idea of a window in the handle compromise the strength of this high-torque tool?
3. Would users be skeptical of the strength of a tool with a 'hole' in it?

Our on-line consumer survey defined target consumer segments and price thresholds. Ready Tools would likely be a second tool set for the consumer, bought as an alternate to the user’s main set and kept handy in a kitchen drawer or glove box, sent with the kids off to college, or as a Father’s Day gift. The design goal was a visually compelling consumer product - but also a serious looking, functional tool. Our process of iterative design and FEA testing achieved our windowed handle while making the tool even stronger than existing products. We incorporated user feedback on a series of prototypes to develop a rugged design that users were confident would be strong and durable. Since users could clearly see sockets stored inside the handle, they immediately understood the benefits of the product. To complete the process we created branding and retail packaging to position ReadyTools for the target consumers.
Rapid prototyping was used to evaluate size and feel in the hand
Ready for the Job

Typical socket and wrench sets include dozens of separate pieces and parts. Its hard to find the socket you need - and even harder to put the set back together. The value of ReadyTools is the simplicity and convenience of having all your tools right at hand. Smart, intuitive, easy on the hand and appealing to the eye; the definition of good product design.
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