MHG Asia Pacific
Conceptualisation of new products
by Prof. Blair Kuys
Industrial Design and clever market research to help a struggling auto manufacturer diversify.
MHG engaged CDI to develop 5 product ideas that would allow MHG to manufacture and supply product outside of the automotive manufacturing sector.
MHG attempted to come up with new ideas themselves but lacked research and market knowledge needed to come up with creative and innovative solutions.
CDI's market research-based ideas identified clear potential in two main sectors, hardware/DIY and supermarkets, and five concepts were chosen:
1. Innovative paint bucket with over moulded magnet for paintbrush attachment and easy to clean features.
2. Smartphone attachment to existing shopping trolley handles to allow easy use of supermarket applications as well as allow for easy rotation of the phone to allow a child to use the phone whilst in the child seat.
3. Injection moulded faucet and tap set. This would be one of very few faucets to be injection moulded, allowing for a lower cost product to enter the market.
4. Ergonomic shopping basket that conforms to your hip, addresses the restrictions around a weighted basket hanging over your forearm. This basket can be stacked to ensure appropriate costs in shipping but also practicalities around in-store positioning. The basket also had an area designed to rest your smartphone for those awkward times when you are looking up ingredients whilst picking up groceries.
5. Smart pot plant. These pots were designed to be a simple but innovative step in the pot area of Bunnings. Using MHG’s paint and surface finish facilities, the focus was on quality finishes that were easily altered to stay agile in the market. This would allow for one design to be easily altered/updated on demand.
There was technology subtly designed into these pots. A soft light would turn on to signal the plant needing water, with the option to further develop this idea into an app-driven product that would further engage owners into the health of their plants.
To date, 1 of the 5 products has been commercialised. This product has been licensed by another company with MHG manufacturing the product for that company.
Interest in commercialising a second of the five products is currently being explored.