BOCA RATON, FL: KitchenAid, the line of appliances owned by Whirlpool, is tapping the equity of its iconic Stand Mixer to demonstrate how a "superstar" product can build consumer interest in a brand's wider portfolio.
Cynthia Soledad, senior director at KitchenAid, discussed this subject while speaking at The Market Research Event, a conference held in Boca Raton, Florida.
And she reported that its Stand Mixer is so popular with many users that a simple image search on Google provides a wellspring of inspiration.
"You will find not only beautiful pictures of the Stand Mixer: you will find people that have it tattooed on their bodies, on their arms; you find pictures of people kissing the Stand Mixer," said Soledad. (For more, including how the brand shifted its strategic focus, read Warc's exclusive report: How a "superstar" product helped KitchenAid build its brand.)
"We have gotten letters from consumers who have buried family members with the Stand Mixer that they remember all gathering around in their grandmother's kitchen."
The flipside of possessing such an iconic product is that it threatens to overshadow the rest of KitchenAid's uniquely expansive portfolio.
"Most people think of KitchenAid as the Stand Mixer, and the Stand Mixer alone," Soledad said. "We actually are a brand that makes everything for the kitchen.
"Among ... all of our competitive sets, we are the only brand that makes things only for the kitchen and makes everything for the kitchen, from high-end built-in refrigerators and commercial ranges to can openers and ice cream scoops."
The challenge for KitchenAid is thus to translate the passion for its Stand Mixer into similar levels of enthusiasm for its broader range of offerings. "It's been a big challenge; it's not a small task," said Soledad.
Engaging the culinary perfectionists who generally displayed the greatest affection for the Stand Mixer, however, has allowed the brand to make considerable progress in this area.
"It's not a small asset: it's a huge opportunity if we can translate that degree of love to everything we make," said Soledad. "[It is] occupying that important space in the middle."
Data sourced from Warc