Owning Your Niche on the Shelf

Despite being one of America’s legendary kitchen brands and having cool-cred in high price point product lines, KitchenAid was struggling to help its coffee makers stand out. Through a deep analysis of the brand’s customer base and heritage, THRIVE* stepped in to re-instill the product with more substance and style.

Discover the Source of the Problem

Facing fierce competition in the mid-to-value tier, KitchenAid’s coffee makers began to trade in lasting finishes for new-fangled features. This line of coffee makers didn’t telegraph the right brand emotions or live up to the high standards of fit, feel, and finish expected from anything that said “KitchenAid.” No longer authentic to its roots, KitchenAid had given up the quality that had been the hallmark of the brand, and consumers were starting to notice.

Find Out What the Customer Really Wants

The challenge was clear: How do you bring a premium feel to the mid-tier and strengthen the brand? We found that consumers wanted a coffee maker with a professional feel, but for around $120. A design that felt solid, robust, simple and had a hint of nostalgia would fit the strategic bill—and KitchenAid’s brand.

Design with Heritage in Mind

We honored KitchenAid’s “buy it once, have it forever” reputation with a retro-tinged design that features commercial-grade stainless steel elements, a cast base for stability and an unexpected quirk: an analog clock that stood out in the sea of blinking digital displays.

Return to Substance, Style & Simplicity

While the company’s previous offering was stacked with features, we made some simple decisions that made a huge difference. Like putting the fill dial at the top of the machine and other controls around the clock—just where groggy, early morning coffee drinkers will fumble for them. The result: an affordable, stylish appliance that could stand out on the shelf, simplify the morning coffee routine and bring an iconic company back to its historic, high-quality roots.

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