Transformational Rebranding Efforts Named Winner in Home Furnishings & Appliances Category
Darkhorse, a bespoke agency comprised of Digitas and MSL, won Gold in the Home Furnishings & Appliances category at this year’s North American Effie Awards in New York City for the Bound By Nothing™ creative expression, the comprehensive marketing effort to launch and sustain the rebranding of JennAir, the luxury kitchen appliance brand under Whirlpool Corporation, and shepherd more than 200 new luxury products to the market.
“Winning an Effie Award is a significant achievement for the JennAir business unit and for our agency partners; we’re honored to be recognized for the work completed to transform our brand and the traditional notions of luxury,” said Jon Hall, brand and product marketing director, JennAir. “As we continue to charge forward in year two, the JennAir brand is doubling down on its commitment to be the brand that unapologetically challenges convention, fueling progress within Whirlpool Corporation and the luxury appliance industry through our unexpected, but highly effective approach to marketing.”
Once regarded as a super-premium appliance pioneer whose founder invented downdraft ventilation and subsequently was credited with the introduction of “open-concept” kitchen designs in the 1960s, by 2014 JennAir had fallen behind the competition. Resting on its laurels left the brand vulnerable as awareness dropped year-over-year1, and by 2017, JennAir held an insignificant share of voice within the luxury appliance market and low consideration within the high-end kitchen design community.
Harkening back to the rebellious spirit set forth by its founder, Lou Jenn, as a brand born to lead, never follow, JennAir set out to command the marketplace once again with a goal to become the fastest growing U.S. luxury appliance brand. To do this, the brand needed to overhaul its product and service offerings, as well as its marketing prowess, to capture consideration and preference and fearlessly propel JennAir to the forefront of the industry.
Segmentation data, behavioral studies and luxury marco-trend analyses revealed an emerging growth opportunity with a specific consumer target drawn to strong leadership qualities including courage, distinctiveness, calculated risk taking and most importantly, the idea of progress. Progress is the underlying fuel of the award-winning Bound By Nothing™ ethos, and it quickly became the brand’s operating system. Born from a decades-old spirit of rebellion, the platform pushed from the expected confines of luxury and elevated JennAir from traditional appliance behaviors to those found in the worlds of fashion and art, strategically sparking a celebration of the entire brand transformation.
“For JennAir’s rebirth, we had to disregard the sleepy habits of the luxury appliance category: stainless-steel sameness and recycled portraits of an affluent home life,” said Atit Shah, Chief Creative Officer, Digitas North America. “The Bound By Nothing™ ethos stand alone and are not for everyone. It’s a new day for the category, and our work is felt deeply by a certain, high-minded designer and buyer looking for a deviation from the norm. It’s a thoughtful rebellion that’s connecting with our target deeply.”
Launched in March 2018, a reborn JennAir boldly catapulted into category leadership with the Bound By Nothing ethos, two distinct design expressions, RISE™ and NOIR™, a digital platform, and industry-exclusive statement pieces, with each component propelling the brand out of a place of irrelevancy, shifting perception and reigniting demand among consumers and designers alike.
Reinforced by a win at the North American Effie Awards, the Bound By Nothing™ creative expression continues to prove that defying the status quo is good for business, ultimately delivering on its mission to drive progress and end category stagnation.
Defying physics with the invention of downdraft ventilation, Lou Jenn forged the path to an open concept and changed the kitchen forever. Founded in that progress, JennAir fearlessly carries his torch — hell-bent on burning down the tired conventions of luxury. JennAir crafts distinctive luxury kitchen appliances that push form and function to transform spaces. With exceptional performance, masterful execution and provocative design, JennAir offerings are powerful, yet bespoke to individual tastes, shattering norms to deliver the progress that today’s luxury consumer deserves. To speak with a concierge at the JennAir Epicenter or learn more about the new offerings from JennAir, please visit JennAir.com or join us on instagram.com/JennAir, twitter.com/JennAir and youtube.com/JennAir.