Melnor has been creating watering products for gardeners since the 1940’s. Over the years their product offerings have grown to include sprinklers, nozzles and more recently, electronic timers. Priority Designs was initially approached to refresh their line of AquaTimers and then Melnor ultimately decided that a refresh of their other core product lines was due.
Instead of designing the individual product lines piece-by-piece, Melnor engaged us to develop a Visual Brand Language that could be applied to virtually all of their products. This VBL would also be flexible enough to allow for variations of their products that would be exclusive to retailers like Wal-Mart or Home Depot, while still being recognizable as a Melnor product.
Our approach was to develop a brand language that was true to Melnor’s core beliefs. This began by interviewing their management and product development teams to discover what brand attributes were true and unique. We then proposed product lines based on the themes that came out of these interviews. Of these themes, the one that really resonated with Melnor was “Comfort and Ease of Use”. This became the theme that inspired the VBL and all product development going forward.
After the signature design elements were established in the VBL guide, it was a very efficient process to develop the remaining products in the timer, nozzle and sprinkler lines. Once the products were designed, our designers and engineers created CAD data; from that data we created many rapid prototypes. The first were made quickly from soft foam to evaluate the ergonomics of the nozzles. After several rounds of refinements, we fabricated final cosmetic models for display at trade shows and as sales samples for potential customers.
With a refreshed VBL guide in place, the development process is greatly accelerated and offers Melnor a bright future, new opportunities, brand equity, and enables their company to be more responsive to the market in years to come.
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