A New Pleasure for Blender Purists.
In 2012, TurMix, a Swiss kitchen appliances company released its Platinum line, which has managed to catch the attention of many, from designers to B-list professional chefs, to stay at home moms. The company’s Platinum line received the Red Dot design award in 2013 for best product design, and four distinctions. In the past two years, TurMix’s Swiss design and innovation is what has set it apart from other existing kitchen appliances brands.
Consumers today have reached a level of sophistication where companies can no longer get away with doltish guerrilla marketing campaigns or logo redo’s to enhance their product visibility, or increase sales. They have become skilled readers and interpreters of advertising, even when not blatantly obvious. Detecting attempts at retail seduction has become a form of secondary entertainment. More and more, consumers seek companies that are a part of their daily experiences: they encourage them in the last stretch of their Saturday morning jog, or help their children with their homework. They want to buy from companies that line up with their socio-political values; and by discovering meaning and experience in what they purchase, are the most valuable ambassadors a company can have. Successful companies are able to connect with their consumers, no matter how niche or mainstream their products might be. Invariably, well-marketed products allow people to source part of their own identity from the product image.
Companies based in well-branded nations are at a particular advantage in promoting their products. Switzerland has ranked to be the strongest national brand in the world by the Furturebrands Index for the past two years and is known for its long legacy of developing products with a high commitment to quality, innovation and design.
It is not difficult to understand why consumers today, who have an interest in the companies and nations in which they invest, trust Swiss quality. From a social perspective, Swiss companies enjoy good access to clean resources and technologies due to relatively strict environmental regulations. Incentives are in place for companies to manage their waste or build carbon recessive buildings. Switzerland has strong labour laws and relatively low corruption. This contributes to strong corporate governance. So in more ways than one, Swiss companies have a long-standing reputation for satisfying their customers and contributing positively to society.
TurMix is one company that for the past 60 years has worked to design high quality products that communicate Swiss value. TurMix was founded in 1933 by Traugott Oertili, who was inspired by the idea of simplifying life in the kitchen. Its name is derived from two French verbs used in cooking: ‘turner and mixe’. The first significant milestone for the company was the mixer in the 1950s. This was followed by a host of new innovations, including the launch of the first espresso machine for private use and the design of the first Nepresso machine for Nestlé.The company has remained competitive because of its reputation for consistent innovation; and throughout its history, it has sought to connect with consumers to make cooking a fun and important part of a healthy and fulfilling lifestyle. In 2012, with a variety of different kitchenware lines out in stores, TurMix decided that it wanted to re-focus its branding strategy and regain its ‘Swissness’ by bringing back the spirit of Swiss innovation. In doing so, the manufacturer decided to partner up with two Swiss product development and design companies, Wild & Kupfer AG and AG CEKAtec, to create the TurMix Platinum line, which is composed of a blender, stick mixer, hand mixer, and juicer. The line is a tribute to the very first TurMix blender, which was developed in 1943.
Remember those clover shaped blending jars your mothers and grandmothers used? Well, they have been reintroduced in TurMix. The clover shaped jar design was compared with many other jar shapes for blending and technically out-performed all others.
Director of Marketing, Beat Vogel, explained why they decided to produce in Switzerland. “In design, our goal was to combine cutting edge design and functionality, while ensuring the highest quality,” he said. “It was clear from the start that we could not fulfil this wish without the help of Swiss designers and engineers.”
Daniel Wild, Member of the Executive Committee and Head of the Technical Department at Wild & Küpfer AG, outlined the arguments in favour of domestic production. “Swiss companies have a strong power of innovation, a favourable investment climate, a fully qualified workforce, and unsurpassed infrastructure. Renowned research institutes and strong networking between universities and the private sector are important success factors.” He added that, “a lot of Swiss qualities such as discipline, attendance, reliability and accuracy help us to be part of the global pack in high-tech and engineering.”
Stefan Jud, CEO of CEKAtec AG, presented impressive figures to emphasize the importance of the added value in the production line PLATINUM: 14,400 man-hours were used to develop 112 new units and 152 parts and nearly six tons of cores were used in the tests. “The innovation that holds the Platinum range is reflected in the number of applications for patents, namely five just for the mixer.”
Finally, Michael Thurnherr of 2nd West welcomed the close collaboration between all stakeholders in the design. “Good design is not the result of a fixed idea. It is therefore essential be involved early in the development process. This is how we have been able to develop not only aesthetic products, but also meet the expectations and needs expressed.”
TurMix’s Platinum line is a manifestation of the ‘Swissness’ by which consumers have built almost 400 years of trust. For the company, it was an ingenious way to re-enforce a simple message to its potential buyers that its products stand for quality, innovation and design. For many, buying Swiss is one way to maintain a sustainable, conscious lifestyle particularly valued by today’s global citizens. As individuals seek to express their social position, political preferences and psychological aspirations to others through lifestyles and consumption choices, they are also expressing their identities. Swiss companies in developing high quality products that are long lasting, are encouraging healthier patterns of consumption. For consumers that like to be educated about the products they buy, ‘going Swiss’ is naturally a more informed buying decision.
Article by Lindsay Michiels