Blender design was approached by Kohler to work on one of their longtime brands Englefield, a respected family of products with a deep history in New Zealand. Showers and shower walls serve as the cornerstone of the Englefield brand. Kohler’s patented shower wall technology has been proven to be a success time and time again, but after 15 years, it was time for a refresh.
The project kicked off with a discovery session which was run by the Blender team to dive deep into the product, pain points, and intended direction. As part of the design discovery stage, Blender Design guided the Kohler team and revisited their brand values to investigate their mission, the experience was a positive one which helped to focus back to the overall vision of the company. Through their exploration of the values of the Englefield brand, they uncovered the focus on family and space.
Kohler’s aim for their shower wall was then focused on developing a more elongated aesthetic which was less intrusive visually, the Blender team aimed to maximize the shelf space which was essential in the new design. There were a few interesting challenges the team solved mainly to do with utilising the most space on the shelves without taking up space in the shower. The Kohler shower walls are reversible and can be installed in a number of configurations depending on the layout. Blender needed to design an elegant solution which was truly functional in providing ample space for the user. Kohler’s insights and drive to improve their customers’ experience gives them an edge and a wealth of experience which was evident during this process.
The design process then shifted onto concept sketches and refinements which played an important role in terms of trialing different solutions. The team at Blender needed to literally experience each concept whilst in the shower boxes to get a true idea of the experience. The final concept was validated by working with consumer focus groups, as well as Kohler’s international sales staff and ensuring both customer pain points and desire of a refreshed solution was met. Kohler’s understanding of the process and appreciation for concept validation ensured that the project met all key requirements before committing to tooling lines.