Thermador’s Premium Play
in the Kitchen
The brand’s Connected Experience Manager, Ruth Prentice, discusses its positioning in the connected home
The Thermador appliance brand carries with it a legacy of firsts in premium kitchen appliances, in the categories of cooktop, steam and convection ovens, and column refrigerators. Now, the brand is being positioned with a whole bevy of premium products designed to satisfy the needs of consumers who want their connected-home technologies to expand beyond A/V entertainment, lighting and climate control and security to encompass their activities in the home’s true hub: the kitchen – and beyond. Can you express the company’s overall design philosophy as it relates to the connected home and the new needs of the types of homeowners Thermador is addressing?
Ruth Prentice: Thermador has long led the industry when it comes to design, delivering unparalleled personalization possibilities and unmatched performance across our collection of innovative products. As we at Thermador pride ourselves on providing meticulously crafted products, homeowners are at liberty to seamlessly integrate and customize their appliances to their unique lifestyles – both inside and outside of the kitchen.
With the growth of connectivity in the kitchen and beyond, Thermador has adopted this similar approach when developing our revolutionary connected products. With our two completely redesigned collections, the appliances are not only easily integrated into any kitchen design but also boast innovative technologies that allow for more responsiveness, flexibility, and quality results – characteristics that connected homeowners are most seeking when it comes to their appliances.
Every step of the way, from pre- to post-purchase, our goal is to provide our customers an exceptional experience. That’s why it’s important to us that the relationship with them doesn’t end once the purchase has been made – we strive to create and maintain a lasting connection so we can better serve them throughout the years. This sentiment also rings true from a technology standpoint. Our appliances, while highly innovative, are truly designed to enhance our consumers’ unique lifestyles – and ensuring exceptional service is a significant part of the experience.
You are offering two distinct smart appliances lines that would fit seamlessly into any connected home: the Masterpiece and Professional Collections. How do the design aesthetics behind these two product groupings differ, and what needs do they answer in their look and functionality?
Thermador has always been a brand that sets new standards, then raises them higher. With our two newly redesigned collections, Masterpiece® and Professional, consumers can truly transform their kitchens into a seamless continuation of their exceptional lives.
The Masterpiece Collection is as sleek as it is smart, crafted to enhance every culinary moment. With beautifully integrated appliances that seamlessly complement individuality – from cabinetry to cooking style – the modern and elegant Masterpiece Collection boasts a chic aesthetic that allows for ultimate flexibility. Consumers are free to mix and match a variety of different products – from induction to gas cooktops – for an unmatched customization experience.
The equally impressive Professional Collection has prominent features, standout design and a host of new innovations. The redesigned collection, which includes Professional Ranges and Rangetops, offers unparalleled power for the most adventurous cooks and exudes bold features – perfect for the consumer who wants to make a grand statement in the kitchen. With color displays, striking metallic gray glass and distinct stainless steel handles, every element of the collection has been crafted to suit our customers’ most ambitious culinary desires.
Underlying your premium product portfolios is the Thermador Connected Experience by Home Connect. Describe exactly what that experience entails for the connected-home owner. Briefly, what do the various features within the products enable users to do better by their being “connected?”
Our approach to connectivity is unique in that we at Thermador are focused on providing our consumers with innovations that enhance their everyday lives, no matter their individual lifestyle. The Thermador Connected Experience by Home Connect™ is a portal for the exceptional experiences that help them best design their lives. Through the app, consumers can explore the possibilities across four major categories: Personalized Control, Culinary Experience & Entertaining, Exceptional Service and Smart Partnerships, and the ability to integrate with other smart devices in the home.
The Thermador Connected Experience by Home Connect is truly every ultimate entertainer’s dream app, as it’s filled with curated content such as extraordinary recipes, innovative appliance features, and culinary recommendations from trusted partners. Not to mention, it allows users to control their appliances remotely with ease via their smart devices. Consumers are able to enjoy personalized settings and features such as starting their coffee machine while still in bed, dimming hood lighting to set the mood, selecting unique interior color settings for the Star Sapphire Dishwasher, changing the temperature of the wine column remotely, adjusting the cooking setting of the oven remotely, and monitoring the status of the Freedom® Induction Cooktop as well as so much more.
Additionally, as many consumers already have smart devices in their homes, the Thermador Connected Experience by Home Connect easily connects to the devices already present. The app boasts an impressive partner network including Amazon Alexa, Amazon Dash Replenishment, Chefling, FitBit, IFTTT and more. With Amazon Dash Replenishment, for example, consumers can rely on their Thermador dishwasher to intelligently re-order tablets when running low – especially ideal for those extra busy moments when life has them on the go. Along those lines, with FitBit, homeowners can view the status of their appliances and receive notifications directly from their smartwatches.
And, of course, because enhancing the luxury culinary experience is always top of mind for Thermador, the app also features mobile notifications and remote diagnostics for the ultimate user experience.
What are some of the groundbreaking technologies that Thermador has brought to its premium products that set it apart? Some products that immediately come to mind are the Star Sapphire dishwasher, which blends aesthetics with never-before-seen features, or the built-in wine preservation column you offer.
Having recently redesigned our entire lineup of products, we’ve been able to introduce innovative technologies across all product categories.
Most notably, the Thermador Star Sapphire Dishwasher introduces StarDry™ with Zeolite™, a Thermador drying solution that even leaves containers with hard-to-reach crevices dry. After the ultra-powerful original Thermador drying cycle, an additional step utilizes Zeolite, a naturally occurring substance that generates heat when in contact with moisture. Through vents in the tub, zeolite radiates heat throughout the unit to eliminate moisture without the use of chemicals, and with no need for replenishment.
The Star Sapphire Dishwasher also boasts the Thermador exclusive StarGlow, which illuminates the inside of the dishwasher in a variety of colors through the Thermador Connected Experience by Home Connect – an especially ideal feature for entertaining, as you can set the mood that best matches the occasion.
Additionally, as wine is an essential part of our consumers’ lives, Thermador offers access to a world of wines, wine knowledge and perfect pairings to enhance their culinary experiences. Through the Home Connect app, users have access to detailed information on different grapes and wine varietals, expert storing tips and can even control their wine preservation column remotely to ensure every bottle is stored at the optimal temperature – whether they are at home or away.
As important as beautiful design and seamless connectivity are to your product offerings is the fact that you have made a priority of providing white glove support for buyers who choose the brand over other premium appliance lines. What does that mean for consumers?
Providing exceptional customer service always has been and will continue to be a top priority for us. We at Thermador know that consumers have many different choices when it comes to choosing their home appliances, so we are always striving to provide a best-in-class customer experience.
Now that we create products that are connected, we are establishing a relationship with our consumers in a way like we never have before. Through the Thermador Connected Experience by Home Connect, customer care is only one quick tap away. Providing consumers access to product tutorials, cleaning and care tips for their appliances and product feature instructions, users can easily reach customer care support. All connected Thermador products also have remote diagnostic capabilities (excluding hoods), ensuring an exceptional customer service experience that sets the brand apart.
Thermador recently announced a Kitchen Design Challenge, intended to inspire entries from designers, builders and architects. What does the Challenge entail and what is its overarching objective?
The Thermador Kitchen Design Challenge attracts talented trade professionals from across the country to enter their stunning designs for a chance to win exceptional prizes. In total, Thermador will award $110,000 in cash prizes, and all winners will receive a trip for two to attend an exclusive and elegant awards gala in Southern California. Winners will be able to meet and celebrate with fellow designers from around the country—a true, one-of-a-kind experience.
The contest provides an opportunity for trade professionals to share their extraordinary designs for all to see. This year, with never-before featured categories and an all-new student component of the contest, the Thermador Kitchen Design Challenge provides entrants with even more chances to let their creativity shine and to win big.
A beautiful kitchen can take years to execute, so Thermador wants to celebrate and reward the most remarkable designs fully completed within the contest period (January 1, 2017 through May 15, 2020).
What overall message would Thermador like to leave with custom integrators, designers, builders and architects about the brand’s vision for the kitchen – and for the connected home?
The very essence of Thermador is defined by the insatiable desire to be better than yesterday, as well as to truly empower consumers and trade professionals by providing the tools they need to transform the kitchen into a seamless continuation of the exceptional lives they lead. In everything Thermador does, the brand builds upon three pillars: innovation, performance, and design. Thermador enables the trade community to create an enhanced culinary experience for their clients with both design and product customization options that allow them to make a bold statement throughout the home.
With connected appliances across all product categories, Thermador provides exceptional experiences for a full connected kitchen through the Thermador Connected Experience by Home Connect – offering integration of smart devices and services, personalized remote control, exceptional service and recipe curation all from one app. In a world where technology continues to transform our everyday lives, Thermador is proud to be at the forefront of this revolution in the kitchen and beyond.