From mass consumption codes to the small electrical appliance and cosmetics

Ambience home design for Reckitt Benckiser. Our homes are swamped by offers of new products; the borderline between naturalizing their consumption and turning them into a single-use gadget is weak and very thin. The success attained by the fact that this type of products may not turn into a fast and fleeting consumption gadget depends on its holistic conceptualization: Treating the business model, the product conception, its usability, definition of consumables and global service to be provided in the same space of time and project. It is necessary to ensure the highest level of coherence in all actors, contexts of use, needs and solutions involved in the process: Manufacturer, product and replacement distribution, end user opinion leader, end user, etc.

The sector of ambience design has experienced considerable growth lately; it was initially centred around the bathroom and specifically the toilet interior; then it was extended to the toilet exterior, the general ambience design of the bathroom and later, to all rooms of the house, thus creating authentic and distinguished categories of product. One of the levers of growth of this sector is the poor ambient quality: Spread of bad smell, pollen and particle contamination, dampness, etc. This lever makes use of the functional aspect of the product. Another lever of growth consists of producing value through the perfume it spreads. Ambience design starting from good smell means detaching from functional means and entering into emotional grounds of higher perceived value. From this point, product morphology has been making progress and sophisticating itself as mass distribution and emotional codes have been introduced. The first products were virtually raw material encapsulated in a technical packaging; evolution has brought them closer to perfumery codes: Clear colours, transparent plastic packaging (introduction of PET and glass), etc. From the business model focus, the evolution of the category has changed from solid single-use products to the full exploitation of the concept of platform and reload, spray cans in bulk, return to a single use, etc. Today the category has settled in two big worlds: Bathroom and home. The bathroom is focusing on new supports and dispensers while the home has reinforced the concept of perfume, increasing the provisions of ambient odour regulation and customization.

The home ambience design project we did for our client, Reckitt Benckiser, was the first in the category that placed emphasis on treating the product as a small electrical appliance (S.E.A.) instead of a consumption item, taking into account odour regulation functions and the use of glass as a replacement support. Although we have treated it within S.E.A codes, its market and price and cost level are of mass consumption to be sold virtually all over the world. The production of millions of items caused industrial cost, production logistics and use strength factors to be fundamental for an excellent commercial performance. Likewise, being the first product in the market with the consumer’s regulation possibility and great easiness to find a replacement of the consumable considerably increased the consumer’s experience of use, cultivating the loyalty of consumers in a volatile sector with sales of tens of millions of items.

 
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Mª Luisa Vives – Jaime Gross

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