Connecting and understanding key to meeting market needs
Many GRO commissions come from word-of-mouth client recommendations. Several years ago, we were contacted by a leading management consultant in Germany, who was looking for a design agency to provide design and brand consultancy to a company in Colombia.
Strong partner needed - and found
The company in question turned out to be Corona, a proud Latin American brand with 135 years of heritage and a wide portfolio of businesses across many sectors - from mineral extraction and ceramic production to retail and domestic faucet fixtures and fittings.
Traditionally, South American brands have looked towards the US for design leadership. However, Corona recognized a shift in design values and wanted to team up with a European design agency that could support its future growth strategy. Specifically, the company wanted to overhaul and improve its faucet portfolio with new product ranges, as well as learning more about the value of design.
GRO’s strong European design values - based on a deep understanding of user needs, technology potential, market dynamics, production and pricing - can be tailored and fine-tuned to work globally across any sector. And so it was we headed to Colombia to take up this exciting challenge.
Local market learningsDuring kick-off workshops in Bogotá we learnt first-hand about the Latin American market, specific local user needs, category segmentation and current production competences.
The ensuing analysis and debate informed the thinking of the entire project team - from the leadership steering team to engineering and marketing - and determined the direction for our creative approach. We set ambitious goals, values and targets for production improvements and engineering investment. Together, we defined meaningful boundaries for design to explore, ultimately extending the design commission from two to three category segments.
These strategic decisions opened a window to lift the Corona brand to become a label for quality, as well as delivering entry-level product ranges for a large customer demographic who desire the Corona brand yet put a premium on value for money.
Quality at the heart of identity
Good design is more than great identity. An identity is only as good as the complete product and user experience. Competing factors define overall product quality - material production, assembly, fit, haptic feel, with each element contributing to the overall sense of quality. In the case of faucets, faultless finishing delivered by high-quality repeatable polishing processes is fundamental.
Our goal was to build Corona’s reputation for quality and reliability, and to deliver meaningful product ranges appropriate for the brand and the Latin American market.
The Liquid range reflects the top end of the Corona brand identity, with a focus on quality and approachability. The refreshing design identity combines flowing surfaces with tensioned geometry. Our design focus on overall simplicity was achieved through iterative CAD proportioning and crafting, to make every product a joy to own and a pleasure to use.
In 2019, Liquid received peer recognition in the form of a Red Dot award for design excellence.