Brita USA is one of the brands owned by Clorox, a multinational company with over 8300 employees and annual revenue of $5.5 billion. Infinity was introduced to Brita by another of Infinity’s clients, Hong Kong based Hayco, because Brita USA needed design assistance. This was the beginning of a long partnership between Infinity and Brita USA, with many new products for Brita’s range of water pitchers being designed by Infinity in their Hong Kong and Brisbane offices.
The Vintage pitcher was the most successful of the many pitchers designed by Infinity, becoming in 2009, the most successful pitcher product that Clorox had ever launched.
Brita’s design brief for the Vintage pitcher was for a large 10 cup capacity pitcher with a premium, stylish look that was good enough to leave on the table. The overall number of features needed to remain close to parity with other pitcher models in the Brita range (eg. Pacifica has 2 features – memo and flip lid, while Grand has 3 features – memo, flip lid and soft grip handle) and the concepts should consider an option for a double filter arrangement. The project had a tough deadline of 6 months from design development to tooling.
The first stage in the design process was to conduct product research to match the Vintage pitcher to its market. Of course the pitcher design also needed to reflect the Brita brand character, which is known as Inspiring, Intelligent, Contemporary and Approachable. Infinity performed extensive research into competitors in the plastic moulded pitcher market. More importantly, we researched the contemporary and classical glass pitcher market to find what consumers found attractive in this style of pitcher, because they are more likely to be displayed on the meal table or in a dining setting.
This process led to the development of large range of ideas and from these concepts a selection was refined for Brita to consider. Collaborating with Brita we found that the ideas were too contemporary and clean lined. They needed to have a more vintage and flowing form, more like the glass pitcher shapes found in our research and so we produced a second refinement of the design concepts to better suit the vintage styling.
The large 10 cup volume requirement also impacted on the design as the only way to achieve this size was with a large base. This shape required a new manufacturing approach with an ultrasonically welded base section to allow tooling and manufacture. Brita invested in this new process based on our advice.
After testing and rating handle shapes, assessing volume and weight distribution of large volume pitchers, and prototyping, the shape was refined and fully machined prototypes produced for consumer testing.
The final pitcher design and packaging which was also designed by Infinity were manufactured in Hong Kong on schedule with manufacturing assistance provided by Infinity when needed.
Launched onto the US market in 2010, the Vintage became the biggest selling pitcher in the USA for Clorox in the history of the company.
After the success of this project, Brita realised the value of good design as a result of the success of this project and decided to establish an in-house design department with full time professional designers.