Aqualisa Quartz Case

Essay by anaga212 April 2007

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Aqualisa - Case Analysis

I. Background

In May 2001, Aqualisa launched the Quartz shower, a significant innovation in shower design and performance. According to Harry Rawlinson, managing director of Aqualisa, the Quartz shower was "leaps and bound" above other U.K. showers in terms of water pressure, ease of installation, use, and design. Unlike standard shower installations that took two days and required major bathroom excavation, the Quartz line could be installed in half a day with little to no damage to the bathroom interior décor. In addition, the Quartz was ideal for families and the elderly because it operated using a one touch control that flashed red until the desired temperature was reached. Hence, with Quartz technology, temperature control was automatic.

As a result of extensive market research that took 3 years and cost the company €5.8 million in product development, a radically different kind of shower was produced to exceed the needs of the consumer.

The consumer wanted a shower that looked great, delivered good pressure at stable temperatures, was easy to use, and didn't break down. Plumbers wanted a shower that was easy to install that would not break down or require routine service. Aqualisa was able to deliver a solution that met consumer needs as a result of a breakthrough idea to locate the mechanism that mixes the water remotely. Overall benefits of the Quartz shower were indeed significant.

Plumbers raved that the Quartz was "just what they wanted!" because it was a "push-fit-connect-you're done product", consumers said the Quartz had a "wow" factor and great aesthetics, and the 2001 Bathroom Expo awarded it the top prize. Despite the rave reviews and face-to-face efforts of the Aqualisa staff, few actual sales resulted upon the launch. Rawlinson was faced having to decide whether or not to change the...