London Associates has won a prestigious international Red Dot Product Design Award 2011 for its work on the PURELAB flex, the high-end water purification product designed for client ELGA Labwater. ELGA Labwater provides water purification products for laboratories. As major competitors began to respond to the growing requirement for flexibility within laboratory environments, ELGA decided to invest in a research and development project to increase its market share.
London Associates were asked to contribute to the project design strategy, user research, product proposition and realisation. The end result, the PURELAB flex, is aimed at the high-specification end of the market. Focusing on visual and functional qualities, the new product contains many patented features that enhance the user experience. These include injection-moulded hand-held dispensing head, integrated controls and easy-glide dispenser support.
The PURELAB flex has enabled ELGA to rationalise their offer and product range. The new product has led to penetration in new markets, and uplift in ELGA sales attributed to the product is already more than 100% higher than forecast. As a result, ELGA is now a recognized "centre of excellence" for the Veolia Water group.
"ELGA's attitude to the value of design has altered significantly during the development of flex. The improvement in staff morale has been one of the major successes of the project," said Les Stokes, founding partner at London Associates. "The solution required water purification to be made flexible, personal, simple, precise and sustainable. These principles supported all product development and marketing media."
London Associates has also benefited from the success of the project. "LA's relationship with ELGA has changed from a 'supplier' of design services to that of a 'strategic partner,' helping to define new product development roadmaps and integrating the design process with research activities and digital promotional marketing material," added Stokes.