"Innovation is funny word. One that has come to mean something quite removed from its original intention. Originally defined as a new method, idea or product, over time the genuineness of this ‘newness’ has been called into question, and where it hasn’t been it really should be. Innovation is certainly an over-hackneyed word in the interiors industry; often it refers to a new shape, slightly improved functionality or a different finish. New yes – but innovative? That’s certainly open to question.
"What we really need to be asking ourselves, before we use ‘innovative’ to describe our products or ideas in marketing material etc is how are we defining new? Is your product really the first of its kind? Does it offer your customers something different to what has come before?
"The interiors space is a crowded one and it can be difficult to think of a product or a service that hasn’t already been covered to some extent. But with the world shifting on its axis since the beginning of 2020 and our homes becoming the centre of our gravity for so many of us, the home interiors market offers new opportunities for innovation. Not just a new take on an existing idea, but truly innovative thinking that may even change the way we think about kitchen design, the way we use the space and the products we choose to put in them.
"That’s been the basis for the creation of Kaelo. Not just a new product, although it’s that too, but an entirely new product category, born out of a change in UK lifestyles and a nation that is spending more time at home and more cash on making their kitchens an entertainment hub. With any new invention it’s important to take a look at the competition, to see if there are other ideas already like it in the marketplace and to see how your idea will do things differently. That’s when true innovation is born.
"With Kaelo, the nearest product to it is a wine trough, that needs to be filled up with ice and then emptied. But we wanted to be innovative, to offer consumers something completely different. Kaelo is an open bottle host, keeping drinks chilled and every drop at the perfect temperature. Using patented dry-cold technology, it will keep the drink to within 1-2 degrees of its opening temperature, with no need for ice, water or any maintenance. It’s integrated into the worktop too, so it’s integral part of the kitchen’s design in the same way as a built-in oven. A cool idea that is catching on quickly, is it innovative? It most certainly is.
"It’s undeniably useful and also creates a wow factor, both in a showroom environment where retailers can offer customers drinks from a working Kaelo, and for consumers at home too. And when selling kitchens as a lifestyle choice is so important, it’s a product category that is needed and far from just a nice-to-have gimmick.
"It’s also rare to have a product that is genuinely innovative that originates in the UK and is made here too, in a carbon neutral factory, with no need to travel around the world to take stock. As the drive towards sustainability continues in the industry and the Made In Britain label really hits the mark with consumers wanting a quality product produced on these shores, this is something that we are more than proud to deliver on at Kaelo.
"Above all, an innovative product should offer retailers a genuine opportunity for upselling and not be not in place of any other product and that’s just what you get with Kaelo."