EVOLVING THE ICONIC BY LEVERAGING BRAND EQUITY
For Wolf, extending beyond their commercial roots required deep thinking about what makes people covet high-end appliances, culminating in an multi-award-winning visual brand language.
In 2014, Wolf had no stake in the countertop appliance market. By the end of 2015, they were a top seller. THRIVE & Wolf’s combined efforts made this possible.
You know Wolf appliances by their prominent red knobs. Serious home cooks and celebrity chefs know them because their ranges and cooktops are just the best of the best. But the company knew that to grow, they needed to expand their reach. THRIVE helped Wolf appeal to a new audience via a new point of entry to the brand: a countertop appliance line with an iconic visual brand language. But how do you scale a big, history-rich culinary experience down to bite-sized?
We knew Wolf couldn’t tap into a new consumer base without fully understanding its wants and needs, so we started by asking customers a basic question: “What makes an appliance brand high-end?” We found luxury buyers believe that they have a right to the finer things in life but were looking for more than a label—they wanted an experience since cooking for them was entertainment. They expected intuitive features, exquisite results and brag-worthy, high-style hardware. These insights helped push the brand to think about more than chef-focused features.
Leveraging the insights, we created five concept families that balanced performance, technology, warmth, simplicity and intuitiveness in different ways. After vetting these internally, we put two of the concepts to the test. Our discovery process revealed that people want pro-grade items, but need them “warmed up” for everyday use—which means preparing meals shouldn’t feel like a job in a restaurant kitchen. This insight narrowed us down to a single visual brand language, and provided great feedback for refinement.
“This home-use appliance matches the same high quality of the professional Wolf products I've known and love—plus it is gorgeous to look at!”Jack & Martha, Bloggers for A Family Feast
“The Wolf Gourmet is a looker. Stainless steel and die-cast construction make it look like the high-end appliance that it is. ”Nirit Yadin, Blogger for Appliance Chef
“This new addition to the blender market certainly has the presence that Wolf products are known for. ”Review By Good Housekeeping Institute
Thanks to our research, strategy and visual brand language development, Wolf’s final appliances included a thoughtful reduction of each product’s silhouette, exaggerated handles and knobs, and a stylish melding of digital and analog technology. They are a market success, embraced by trade partners from Sur La Table to Williams-Sonoma to Bloomingdales. The new Wolf Gourmet lineup has nurtured a new customer base that’s diving into pro-grade appliances for the first time.