Thursday, September 24, 2020
  Night & Day  

The new-age home technology professional is more than just “The A/V Guy.” They are the cornerstone of advice on lighting, audio, video, security, and most recently, design. For better or for worse, it's becoming an essential job for the integrator to know what products help tie an aesthetic together, and which will disrupt the whole flow.

Thankfully, companies like JennAir understand this evolution and are producing new products to reflect the changing ecosystem. JennAir's two new design expressions, RISE and NOIR, bring a cohesive look to the kitchen while bringing a host of benefits such as competitive pricing and smart home technology to give integrators more solutions for their clients.

While RISE and NOIR are perfect examples of the direction that the connected kitchen and the wider home building industries are heading, they also serve as an exceptional case study into how a well-established company can alter its product and brand strategy—seemingly overnight. To get a better understanding of what JennAir is trying to do with its new look and design, we sat down with Jon Hall, JennAir’s Product and Brand Marketing Director.

Our commitment to surpassing the needs and desires of today’s new modern luxe consumer is also demonstrated through advancements in highly personalized connectivity of products.

—Jon Hall, Product and Brand Marketing Director

Connected Design: JennAir has been a stalwart in the kitchen arena for a few decades now. What does the latest rebranding say about the future of the brand?

Hall: Defying physics with the invention of downdraft ventilation, Lou Jenn, our founder, forged the path to an open concept and changed the kitchen forever. Lou was a rebel back then that challenged conventions to drive progress. Now, we are doubling down on that spirit with the launch of our new revolutionary products and rebranding.

JennAir revealed its new brand campaign, Bound By Nothing, in March 2018 to reinvigorate luxury audiences. The rebellious campaign signaled the brand's intent to tear down stale conventions and to slash through conformity to usher in a new era of luxury standards.

In October 2018 at the WestEdge Design Fair in Santa Monica, California, we showcased our new design expressions, RISE and NOIR, side by side for the first time. The two new design expressions, now available for order at showrooms across the country, mark the first time a luxury appliance brand has launched two unique design expressions, expanding the options for consumers to build bespoke kitchens to meet their unique taste and style.

This announcement was bolstered by the news that JennAir’s kitchen suite is the quietest luxury kitchen suite in its class, based on the total net sound of a 36-inch dual convection commercial-style range, built-in column refrigerator, built-in column freezer and dishwasher.

Our commitment to surpassing the needs and desires of today’s new modern luxe consumer is also demonstrated through advancements in highly personalized connectivity of products.

We’ve broken the boundaries on a once stagnant category, proving that conventional luxury is dead, and the new modern luxe consumer killed it. With the creation of RISE and NOIR, a new digital platform and an expanded service network across the country, JennAir is leading the category forward to further deliver on the cravings of today's luxury consumer and their custom-built luxury lifestyle.

Can you expand a little more on your design philosophies behind the NOIR and RISE lines?

Absolutely. RISE represents a rebellion within the luxury appliance category that both empowers the discovery of genuine personal style and illuminates kitchen detail. RISE is a colossus of progress, towering over stagnant, uninspired designs that have inherited undeserved standing.

For consumers seeking professional-grade appliances, RISE delivers luminary brilliance in a suite of precise, powerful appliances, including column refrigerators, built-in refrigerators, professional-style ranges, rangetops, cooktops, wall ovens, urban living offerings, dishwashers, and many others — each built for consumers who are unwilling to settle for the status quo.

With NOIR, sensuality and geometry collide in a minimalist and modern style. Across NOIR, strength and pride are showcased through the structured angles and clean lines, as lace patterns on the handle glide languidly and confidently into view. NOIR rejects dated ideals of beauty, and details beckon intrigue, compelling consumers to draw near and daring them to indulge.

Slick and seamless, the surface seems to swell and ebb, inviting consumers to experience its irresistible depths. With its crisp silhouettes cracking with mystique and beguiling reflections, NOIR demonstrates that true luxury can revel through utter defiance in progressive design.

Taking design cues from fashion, furniture, and beyond, JennAir pushes the boundaries of what a kitchen can be.

The poetic descriptions of those two new lines demonstrate just how intensely focused JennAir is on the design of their appliances. Why have you taken this approach, and how does it differentiate you from your competition?

In March 2018, JennAir unveiled Bound By Nothing™, a new brand ethos and creative mission rooted in deep consumer luxury category insights. According to Ipsos, 81 percent of modern ultra-affluent luxury consumers believe the definition of luxury is rapidly changing. That change is underscored by a recent Deloitte luxury consumer goods research study, suggesting that 45 percent of luxury consumers are asking for personalized products and services, rather than carbon copies of conventional luxury. Armed with these insights, JennAir embarked on its mission to tear down stale conventions to usher in a new era of luxury that fit’s today’s modern luxe consumer’s design expectations.

The new JennAir delivers 115-plus products across two new design expressions, RISE and NOIR, powered by an enhanced digital backbone cutting across all products, imagined under an entirely new brand identity, and offering the highest-quality service at every touchpoint of the consumer journey. These products demonstrate the intersection of design, technology, precision and swagger that set the brand apart from the rest. This is evident in the unmistakable edge found in every detail of its disruptive design, unparalleled quality, impeccable performance and personalized connectivity.

Further, JennAir holds kitchen appliances in a new regard, bringing the craftsmanship and artistry typically reserved for furniture to the kitchen. This is evident in its limited-edition offerings, including Cuts, Italian sourced leather-paneled Columns, the Burlesque burgundy-hued interior refrigerator, inspired by the deep reds often seen in luxury cars, and the Smoke and Brass 48” professional style range, a powerful range with a hand-applied finish of layers. Taking design cues from fashion, furniture, and beyond, JennAir pushes the boundaries of what a kitchen can be.

What is JennAir doing to be a leader in the connected home space?
JennAir's new digital ecosystem reduces the friction from finding the right product and gives consumers an ease of navigation, all the way from discovery to ownership. Across the platform, key new features include:

  • Discovery of Personal Expression: Across the new website, inspirational product imagery and detailed product pages help consumers, designers and trade partners alike explore the best offerings for their custom kitchen experience.

  • Make It Yours: The first phase of the new collections will allow consumers and trade customers to save and share products and suites, with a second phase enabling them to save to their personal accounts and share with collaborators as they build their dream kitchens.

  • Product Configuration: Coming in early 2019, new product configuration tools make the complex simple by allowing users to build and personalize their product configurations, bringing to life the full product story together in one place. The tools allow users to select layout, size and design elements across the suites, as well as share the configurations with their clients and partners.

  • Influencer Hub: A new knowledge hub exclusive for designers, builders, architects, installers and service technicians enables them to fully immerse in deeper product knowledge and product resources. Personalized for each industry, users can explore products and take courses from demos to installs, arming them with the tools they crave for greater design inspiration and an elevated experience for their clients.

For owners, JennAir integrates seamlessly into their digital lives, powered by an uncompromising mobile experience to deliver the meaningful, custom interactions consumers deserve from true luxury products. New features include things like remote access and notifications, updates to the JennAir app, appliance usage reporting, integration with Google Home and Amazon Alexa, the expanding JennAir Service network, and more.

What is important to understand about the clients looking to put JennAir in their next kitchen project?

Tapping modern luxury consumer research, we saw a white space in the premium appliance category. Data across segmentation, behavioral studies and macro trend analyses revealed the luxury audience is actually an emerging growth consumer – a new audience within a seemingly established category – drawn to strong leadership behaviors such as courage, distinctiveness, calculated risk taking and most importantly, the idea of progress. Leaving the one-size-fits-all notion of luxury symbols behind, Bound By Nothing™ speaks directly to this elevated mindset, leveraging the insight that common experiences are simply not good enough and in fact are constraining to creativity and personal expression of the consumer.

The JennAir customer is the new modern luxe consumer who lives by their own rules. They are discerning, and they build their homes like they do their custom-curated lives: with passion, precision and their own personal style. Like I said earlier, the Deloitte luxury consumer goods research study, suggests that 45 percent of luxury consumers are asking for personalized products and services. We listen to what theses consumers want, and we are happy to step up to the plate and deliver. Rather than looking the other way at these high-earning young luxe spenders, JennAir chose progress over stagnation, assuming the role of the leader to take the industry into uncharted territory. Pushing the pedal of progress all the way to the floor, JennAir delivers not only on their needs, but their desires. Across our new offerings, we're giving designers the tools to grant consumers full control of their product experiences, reducing friction and transforming the way the new modern luxe consumer experiences life in the kitchen.