Aqualisa Quartz: Simply a Better Shower Case Executive Summary

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Situation
Aqualisa Quartz, a significantly innovative product developed by Aqualisa, in terms of both cost and quality, has been facing challenges in the market since its launch four months ago. The product described by one of the customers (a plumber) is a 'push-fit-connect-you're done' shower and offers the customers 'what they (the plumbers) want'. Despite the above facts, Quartz has experienced poor sales and has not met the company's expectations.

Brand awareness was low in the industry, problems were frequent breakdowns, re-installations, and leaking/stiff valves, besides pressure and temperature inconsistencies, and nearly half the sales were from replacements. The new Quartz product line is experiencing a very slow adoption process probably mostly due to the stigma that has remained from other electronic showers that have failed. Consumers and plumbers do not have much faith in the current quality of existing shower products much less an electronic version.

The Market
Showers were affected by low pressure and varying temperature of water. Aqualisa sold the electric showers, one of the solutions, through their Gainsborough brand; electric showers were visible in the shower stalls and did not solve the pressure problem.

Mixer showers were the other solution. Manual mixers and Thermostatic Mixers were available. Aqualisa sold the Aquavalve in this segment, it was thermostatic, but could be supplemented by a booster for pressure. 94,000 units sold at a margin of €225 if without a booster, total margin would then be at least €21.1 million. Assuming all sales is without boosters. Installing a mixer valve meant excavating the bathroom wall, which was a 2 day job.

Integral power showers combined thermostatic mixer valves with booster pumps, but were considered less reliable than when installed together. Aqualisa sold Aquastream Thermostatic in this category. (22,000 units @ €175, at least €3.85 million margin, again assuming all sales are without...
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