Consumer-centric trend approach to create GROHE products that matter
An Appealing design – particularly beautiful and sophisticated – can be eye-catching. But behind the pleasing exterior of, for example, a product, is a broader process and development worth looking at.
What needs do consumers have? How do they live? What is important to them? What do they expect from their living spaces? With the goal of designing better homes for the future, the LIXIL Design Team working for the GROHE brand starts with those very questions to first gain a deep understanding of consumers. Every product development and design process at LIXIL starts with consumer-centric thinking and a deep understanding of consumers.
Deriving from these insights, the Düsseldorf-based team led by Patrick Speck, Leader LIXIL Global Design EMENA, evolves trends to guide the development of new products. With the three current macro trends ‘urbanization’, ‘health and well-being’, and ‘sustainability’, the designers aim to invent meaningful solutions that truly matter to people and strive to ensure that every GROHE product meets this goal.
Macro trends and product inventions
What lies behind the trend of ‘urbanization’? Patrick Speck, Leader, LIXIL Global Design, EMENA, explains:
“The URBANIZATION macro trend results in a record numbers of people living in
cities, making space and affordable housing become scarce. This densification in the
urban landscape requires a rethinking of proven concepts. People want to enjoy the
benefits of big cities without compromising comfort.
From this, the Micro Living trend has emerged: With intelligent, condensed living
concepts which are reduced to the essential, we can make efficient use of space and
still enhance our quality of life.”
The new GROHE Baulines is the perfect line for consumers who are searching for simplicity and minimalism. It is an all-inclusive package: Modern design, high-quality performance, eco-conscious thanks to an integrated water-saving feature, combined with an affordable price. On top, the Baulines bathroom faucets are perfectly matching the Bau Ceramic and Accessories in form and function. And even better, there are GROHE Baulines kitchen faucets and stainless-steel sinks to round up a coordinated design concept throughout the living spaces.
“Urbanization also leads to new living spaces: The borders of bathroom and bedroom as well as kitchen and living room are dissolving. The kitchen for instance became the heart of the home where the family and social life takes place.
The once functional room becomes a living space, which also increases the expectations of the products – consumers are looking for smart, intuitive helpers that simplify everyday routines. At the same time, consumers want to be actively involved in the design process and products should reflect their individual style as well as the design of the other rooms.”
With the comprehensive GROHE kitchen portfolio, the brand offers the right solution for every chef: Take for instance GROHE SmartControl faucet which offers precise control with an intuitive push-turn button at the top of the faucet. This also works easily with the elbow or wrist and is ideal for moments when both hands are full or not clean. Together with GROHE sinks and waste systems, the brand is enhancing the 60 centimeters around the faucet with matching solutions in form and function from one single source. In addition, GROHE is are also offering the consumer the freedom to create their individual kitchen and bathroom space with the longlasting GROHE Colors Collection.
HEALTH & WELLBEING
“The importance of HEALTH & WELLBEING is visible everywhere at the moment: The global pandemic is forcing the world to rethink, especially in regards to daily routines like hand washing. Today, more than ever, having to touch a conventional faucet – especially in a public bathroom – is something that we would prefer to avoid. New trends will emerge when it comes to the architecture of public and private spaces. We need to support architects and consumers to meet the increased hygiene demands with intelligent products.”
GROHE is offering an advanced portfolio for all bathroom touchpoints from washbasin, to toilet and shower. Touchless products are controlled by an infrared sensor: The water flow can be started and stopped by simply holding your hands under the spout. This minimizes the risk of spreading germs and cross-contamination. GROHE also offers an intelligent portfolio for the kitchen that meets the advanced hygiene demands. The user activates the water flow via forearm, elbow, wrist or foot offer perfect solutions – perfect solutions for the most sensitive living areas.
“In the past year, the idea of the bathroom as a spa or wellness area has really accelerated. For obvious reasons, we’re all spending more time in our homes and the bathroom has become a private retreat from the outside world – an oasis of wellbeing to find peace of mind. As consumers take better care of their health and wellbeing this is having some profound implications. This means that the bathroom is no longer a space purely dedicated to the everyday function of hygiene. Water can trigger feelings of happiness and weightlessness that we call ‘moments of bliss’."
This is why the brand reimagined the GROHE SPA line which stands for “Health through water”. SPA curates the most exclusive products from the portfolio to create holistic bathroom experiences stimulating all five senses and perfectly tailored to the needs of the consumer. Progressive designs combined with high-end technology and quality made in Germany, GROHE SPA offers passion for water in every detail. The new GROHE Allure captivates with a new precision control which results in a haptic feedback, the new GROHE Ceiling Shower Modules and Body sprays promise customized showering according to personal preferences.
“By 2050, more than one in five people are projected to be over the age of 60. Demographic change and an ageing society make us question how do we make future-ready technologies which improve lives and are accessible for everyone also when we are getting older?”
Allowing people to stay independent, especially in an intimate space like the bathroom is key for GROHE. That is why the global brand’s bestseller GROHE Eurosmart is available in different variants now: As a smart hybrid faucet combining the advantages of a manual and touchless product, as loop lever which simplifies gripping the lever due to the cut-out center – ideal for people with limited motor skills and care homes – and the long lever allowing doctors to operate the faucets with their elbow, minimizing the contact with surfaces.
“We see that consumers are more aware than ever of the consequences their actions are having on our planet. They demand brands and products which enable them to live better lives. Water is one of the most precious resources and is core to our business. Therefore we constantly need to ask ourselves: How can we do more with less?”
GROHE enables the consumer to live more eco-consciously, thanks to its resource-efficient technologies and products: With the watersaving technology GROHE EcoJoy which helps to reduce water consumption by up to 50% without compromising the performance or the energy-saving cold start technology GROHE SilkMove ES where the lever in the middle position offers cold water thus avoiding the unnecessary use of hot water.
GROHE’s eco-friendly highlight in the kitchen is GROHE Blue – just awarded with the German Sustainability Award Design. It offers sustainability at the touch of a button: The GROHE Blue water system provides chilled, filtered and, if desired, carbonated water straight from the kitchen tap – with a perfect taste. Thanks to this intelligent functionality, this resource-saving solution not only reduces the ecological footprint, but also fundamentally changes the way water is consumed and promotes a change in consumer behaviour towards sustainable consumption. A family of four uses 800 plastic bottles per year – thanks to GROHE Blue, these are no longer necessary.
In 2021 GROHE adds another important milestone to its sustainable portfolio: The global brand is launching four bestselling products as Cradle to Cradle Certified® Gold variants. In contrast to the linear Take-Make-Waste model, Cradle to Cradle stands for continuous material cycles: The product is manufactured in such a way that, at the end of its life, the components can be used to create new products. Since the building sector accounts for more than 50 percent of the worldwide material consumption, the rejection of the linear model towards a circular economy is essential to stop the exploitation of natural resources. To achieve a Cradle to Cradle certification, a product is evaluated in terms of the following five categories: material health, material reutilization, renewable energy, water stewardship, and social fairness. Three faucets (GROHE BauEdge S-Size, GROHE Eurosmart S-Size, GROHE Eurosmart Kitchen) as well as the GROHE Tempesta 100 shower rail set are now Cradle to Cradle Certified® Gold.