Faucets and showerheads aren’t exactly the first thing a lot of people think of when they think of interesting Kiwi innovations. That’s their mistake – after all, Methven has been designing fixtures considered to be some of the world’s most innovative for 130 years.
Chief marketing officer Matthew Jones says a single word can describe the company’s approach.
“Unrelenting,” he says. “We have an insatiable appetite for providing New Zealanders with amazing water experiences.”
The key to that, Jones says: innovation. “For us, good innovation comes without compromise,” he says. “It makes life simple and enriches our experience with water. Our Aurajet shower is a great example of this, providing superior coverage than conventional showering whilst only using nine litres of water per minute.”
And technology is an important part of that innovation. “Technology is right at the heart of Methven,” says Jones. “We have a New Zealand-based technology team that are responsible for many of our most successful launches such as Aurajet showering and Fastflow tapware. We create the space to work on ground up technology and also seek to partner with others. Many of our new product ideas are technology led. We make technology a priority – we see it as a way of providing an enriching consumer experience and a sustainable competitive advantage for Methven. We have several showering and tapware technologies which are unique to Methven.”
And another part of that uniqueness? “Our approach. We think globally. We seek to understand the customer better than anyone else and we are design and insight driven.”
Another part of understanding the customer, Jones says, is staying ahead of trends. “Expect to see the bathroom reframed both as a sanctuary and health and wellness centre,” he says of what may happen within the next five years. “Digital will play an increasing role in the home as we seek ways to be connected, personalise our experiences and measure our environmental impact.”
With 130 years behind it, Jones says Methven is a great example of the New Zealand business story, and what a successful business in the Land of the Long White Cloud looks like. “Core Kiwi values of innovation, authenticity, and trust drive our business today,” he says. “We recognise the importance of water quality and preservation and seek to harness the power of the abundant natural resource we have in New Zealand. Methven has changed a lot in 130 years but the spirit of innovation established by our founder George Methven remains alive today. Technology will ensure the pace of change increases and consumers will be at the forefront of driving change. It is our challenge to ensure our core values remain alive for the next 130 years.”