Whirlpool Case: Function vs. Innovation

Essay by ndawg012University, Bachelor'sB+, March 2008

download word file, 5 pages 5.0

Whirlpool Case: Function vs. Innovation. The home appliance industry pre 21st century was one that lacked innovation. Products all came in the same color (white) and basically had the same functions within each product and grade. While this trend worked, Whirlpool saw that if it wanted to increase market share and pump life into its products it would need to be innovative. They saw that the functional products provided the same basic features needed by the consumer with no room for individuality. Innovative products would allow a customer to feel that they are getting a more customized product. With multiple color choices and product features a customer now feels they are getting a product that truly fits them which is a huge factor in building customer loyalty. Another huge advantage is that innovative products evolve with the market. Instead of releasing the same ordinary products Whirlpool's innovation team can analyze how a current product is used in the market and where it can be improved and expanded upon to increase customer satisfaction.

This brings in the possibility of adding new products. By studying the needs of the market with current products innovation teams can see what new products can be created to satisfy the market. The bottom line is that innovation brings a healthier relationship between the company and the consumer. Consumers feel the company is in touch with their needs and this builds product preferences and loyalty within customers. Companies begin to feel in touch with a customer, which results in new and improved products.

Whirlpool's Process of Innovation. In the late 90's Whirlpool made a move to become an innovator within their market space. Their approach to becoming a more innovative company was truly a group effort. The company began by creating three team comprised of...