IP design in the digital transformation with the Vorwerk Thermomix: from kitchen mixer to eco-system
The revolution in the kitchen took place in 2014: Vorwerk brought a completely modernized Thermomix to the market with a chip that displays digital recipes including the necessary preparation steps, which the device takes over directly, on a touch display. “Guided cooking” meant that the user only had to follow the instructions and provide the ingredients shown. A year later came the step into the IoT age for kitchen appliances. Now the Thermomix could go online and perform additional services – for quite many users these internet-based internet services are the real benefit and the machine on site only helps with the preparation of the dishes.
Vorwerk customers can access a comprehensive and quality-assured recipe database and download the recipes directly to the device and execute them there; the comparison to the iTunes-iPod idea is not accidental. Above all, the exchange with other Thermomix users is possible via the platform, for example to exchange new functions, cooking techniques and other experiences. Users can also have dishes suggested via an app and immediately receive a list of ingredients that can be sent directly to their home via locally available delivery services. The company can use the data of Vorwerk customers who have registered on a global cloud-based e-commerce platform to create customer profiles and use them to continuously improve its products and services.
Vorwerk has achieved something that many other eco-system players still dream of – real end customer contact and real, daily interaction that leads to extremely high brand loyalty. It is therefore not surprising that Vorwerk continues to invest heavily in the infrastructure of digital business models. Even if the digital Thermomix, which is now called TM6, remains the main source of sales with over 5 million copies sold. The product cycles are getting shorter and shorter. In the past, a new Vorwerk product came onto the market every five years, but in the last few months alone there have been five new products. Vorwerk wants to remain the innovation leader and justify the price premium in comparison to similar offers. Vorwerk boss Reiner Strecker himself says in the Handelsblatt “digitalization is turning Vorwerk upside down”.
The digital transformation at Vorwerk is accompanied by IP design and by every department from the IP department to the digital experts, R&D and marketing staff and product management. The practical report on IP design at Vorwerk shows the current status of the application of methods and the experiences from recent years.
Here you can download the case studies on IP design at Thermomix: