The Appliance and Electronics World Expo (AWE) is a major annual event in Shanghai, China where domestic and multinational brands showcase their latest offers. Competing for the Chinese consumer market (which continues to grow in available disposable income), many brands use this space to attract consumers by quickly driving innovation to market. Klaran attends these events to monitor new products and messages, and to extract relevant insights on global trends in consumer and commercial water purification.
Domestic and foreign brands alike place a heavy focus and luxury price point on health and purification products in the Chinese market. While attending AWE 2019, we encountered two particularly interesting trends in water purification and hygiene.
As countertop and corded appliances like water purifiers cram more features into smaller packages to fit in homes, both whitegoods and water purification companies are turning their attention to making higher priced products that can be considered permanent installations. For example, companies like Culligan and Haier offer faucets and kitchen fixtures with integrated purification. Chasing this particular buying trend (retail appliance purchase vs. home renovation specification) may reduce price sensitivity to water purification products and secure the value of longer lifetime purification.
Companies now have messaging that targets another group of buyers for these products: mothers with young children. Haier showcased a “mother and baby appliance system” area which contained a suite of premium purification products, while Midea incorporated kid-friendly designs and colors throughout their portfolio. The styling, which included cream and pastel colors, soft edges, and characters licensed from popular children’s movies, was a stark contrast to competitors and other portfolio offerings.
Both of these trends show that water purification companies are competing to increase the value and durability of their products. As these companies reposition their products from “retail appliance sales” to part of a fixture or permanent installation, it’s clear that they’re seeking to be more specific about which buyers resonate best with the messaging and to assure that these higher value products can justify their price points.