Innovative New Products

GE Sealants and Adhesives -- Caulksingles

Situation

GE Sealants and Adhesives (GESA) was a supplier of silicone and acrylic caulks into a consumer category which had become fragmented, with little real consumer innovation.  Consumers complained that the product was hard to use and wasteful.  A revolutionary new concept could have the opportunity to grab valuable share of shelf and wallet.

Approach

Jeff championed an approach to work with noted industrial design firm IDEO to develop a series of breakthrough products.  Using solid ethnographic and human factors research, the consumers' interaction with "the Caulk Experience" was studied and a number of key opportunities identified.  The team developed a series of 3 "game changer" products which would deliver potential to reshape the consumer's interaction with the category.  The first of these products was pushed through rapid prototyping, test marketing and commercialization in record time.

Results

caulksinglesThe first product from this IDEO collaboration, GE Caulksingles, has been commercialized and is doing well at major hardware / homecenter retailers such as Lowe's , TrueValue,  Ace Hardware and Do-It-Best.  This innovative, patent pending single use caulk eliminates caulk guns, delivers a consistent clean bead, solves the reuse problem and is easily disposable with no mess after the job is done.  Jeff is a co-inventor on one patent pending and US Patent D606882 which has been granted for this product concept.

GE Lighting -- Halogen UltraXL

Situation

GE Lighting was an established supplier into the retail display lighting market but had been unsuccessful at leveraging its unique HIR technology into the consumer channel.  This patented technology offered real value in terms of greater energy efficiency and longer life, but it had been marketing under a very technical product branding and effectively priced out of normal volume purchase behavior.  Many of these spotlights and floodlights were used by consumers in fixtures in high ceilings or on high outside rooflines, creating strong potential for an extra long life halogen spotlight alternative.

Approach

Jeff brainstormed with several commercial leaders to determine viable ways to deliver a  breakthrough long life product.  Normal life lamp was specified at 2000 hours and the unsuccessful incumbent HIR offering was specified at 3000 hours, 50% more life for almost double the price.  It was common knowledge in the industry that if a lamp was operated at a slightly lower voltage than designed for, lamp life would double.  Jeff also knew that GE Lighting already has standard commercial halogen HIR lamps in their range which were designed for 3000 hour life at 130V, a common line voltage in Canada and the Western US.  Jeff proposed that if  GE simply repurposed and repackaged that lamp as a 120V consumer offering, they could honestly warranty that lamp as a 6000 hour, 4 year lamp.

Results

The Halogen UltraXL was launched in 2000 and quickly became the category leading SKU at the Home Depot and other home / hardware outlets.  This was a new consumer product that required absolutely no engineering effort nor manufacturing retooling, simply new packaging and marketing messaging.   With a premium price but a clearly articulated value proposition, this product was understandable by consumers and quickly attained record point of purchase movement velocity.  This offering also became the launch product for an entire XL family of long life lamps.  While the packaging has been redesigned in the ensuing years, this SKU is still the leading PAR Halogen SKU at the Home Depot, 10 years later.ultraxl