Positioning your Brand on its History May Be the Key to its Future
May 27, 2008 ‐ 3 comments

img_logoIn these modern times, there’s still a kitchen item you can give a woman as a present that counts as a real gift, rather than a gender stereotyping offense. I found out the hard way at Christmas ’06 that it’s not an immersion blender. No, it’s the KitchenAid stand mixer – a product whose throwback design and positioning hit a number of consumer sweet spots and command a serious price premium at retail.

KitchenAid makes a great and respected product, to be sure. But it’s careful product design and positioning that make it the first item on the wedding registries of couples that dine out 5 nights a week.

First, take the logo. What is that – Rockwell Extra Bold? When was that font invented – 1934? (It actually was 1934. I looked it up). And what about the product itself? Knobs and levers rather than computers and LED screens, and colors that June Cleaver would have loved (but check out these trendsetters). Decidedly yesteryear, but intentionally so. Because that’s when baking was really baking, ‘industrial-strength’ really meant something, and a home was really a home.

Times have changed, and it’s as likely to be a man as a woman that goes weak in the knees when they tear back the wrapping paper and read those timeless words: “5-quart brushed stainless steel bowl with handle”. But baking and proper 1950’s homemaking remain inextricably linked. And KitchenAid’s product design gives its stand mixers preemptive ownership of that association.

In the meantime, Oster and Cuisinart are designing products with soft-touch buttons, digital displays, and speeds that go up to 11. In the world of stand mixers, they’re fighting for second place.

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February 17, 2010 10:42 am
[...] the diverse businesses and branding practices we’ve extolled including Costco, USAA, Thule, KitchenAid Mixers, Verizon, Johnny Walker,  Scion, Microsoft, (well, in fairness, we’ve also pilloried [...]
February 3, 2010 12:25 pm
My dad has been dedicated to his kitchenaid for 30 years, but I haven't seen him use it for anything other than cheese grating and the occasional whipped cream for about 20 years. I mentioned that he might just get an electric cheese grater and put the beast away. He gasped and began listing all the great things the "mixer" can do.
May 29, 2008 3:08 pm
great article. i love the kitchen aid mixer! unfortunately, mine is the staple white because i got it before the pink one came out! i probably used the mixer 3 times in the last 2 years, but the vintage design is an excellent piece for my kitchen decor. i'll take it's power and arhcitecture over oster and cuisinart's digital displays any day!

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