Let’s face it, with ever increasing workloads, time is precious to us all, so when it comes to products, any promise of time saving, with a ‘simple’ idea, is welcomed with open arms. The aircare sector is no different. Customers are looking for the latest high tech solutions that can deliver on consistency, reliability and fragrance delivery, but also ones that they can actually use. Over the past 10 years, eliminating ‘friction’ (the name big tech companies like to give to anything that makes a product more difficult or time-consuming to use) has been central to many tech businesses. Apple is, of course, the most famous example, with every slick new iPhone released even more minimalistic than the last.
So how do we, as a manufacturer, keep coming up with the latest technological advancements in the aircare sector whilst also keeping products simple to use? One of the ways we can achieve simple but effective products lies in the materials we use.
Simplicity can be achieved in an air freshener, for example, through a passive system whereby little human interaction is required and the system can be left to run by itself. Another way is through advanced atomizer technology. The first method uses a recyclable EVA (ethylene-vinyl acetate) material which needs solely airflow to work. Recyclable products are high on the wish list of consumers and we can all benefit by doing our bit for the environment. The latter method uses essential oils in its refills that can be topped up by a central refill. This is particularly useful for end users in locations like hotels and offices.
We have seen a huge increase in demand for ‘lifestyle’ scents which conjure up memories and emotions, as customers are realising the ability to connect with their audiences through scent. It’s not just toilets that people want to fragrance but lobbies, meeting rooms and spas. And if people can’t easily work and refill a product themselves, they will ultimately end up finding another solution. This happened with Jeff Highfield, owner at Gloucester House serviced offices in Stockton-on-tees, who required an ambient fragrance to enhance his environment but replaced the aircare systems in his building because he felt like he was constantly replacing refills that were clumsy and difficult.
The easier your products are to use, the more your customers will use them. You as a company will save time and money on training and support, and there will be less of a risk of products going wrong or being broken when people are tinkering with them. If a user can easily tailor an aircare product to their own needs, they will experience a much higher level of product satisfaction. This can be achieved by smart programming, giving the user options to adjust fragrance intensity and/or frequency, depending on their preferences.
Research shows, though, that most technology users learn only four or five main functions of an application, so although lots of features sound impressive, it is important that manufacturers stick to the basics if they want to avoid over complicating themselves.
As seen in the August edition of Cleaning & Maintenance Magazine (page 29 & 36).