Seymourpowell has recently designed the Growbag Waterer and Flexi Spray for leading European manufacturer of gardening products, Hozelock.
Hozelock had an objective to minimise consumer hassle through new and innovative products that would grow the business. Through qualitative and quantitative research, Seymourpowell created a picture of different attitudes to gardening, including 'Devoted', 'Systematic', 'Romantic' and 'Averse.' Once these 'types' were established, Seymourpowell identified how irrigation fits into the lives of these gardeners. Combining this and influences from Hozelock's brand focus; 'Gardening for Life', Seymourpowell developed a range of products to suit different types of gardeners.
Two of the products that have already launched include the Growbag Waterer and the Flexi Spray.
Seymourpowell's design of the Growbag Waterer, a hassle free and low cost plant irrigation system, has seen a 50% increase in plant growth and yield. The Growbag enables people to garden like experts without requiring any pipes, timers or micro irrigation systems as found in traditional garden watering systems.
The product, when filled with 15 litres of water, automatically irrigates plants for up to two weeks through capillary action. The device was constructed using a large trough with watering spikes, which puncture the growbag and push a capillary mat into the bag. The watering spike locks onto the base and pushes the capillary mat into soil. There is a fill point and water level indicator to easily fill and monitor water usage.
The tested results demonstrate that the Growbag Waterer achieves twice the growth using two thirds the amount of water normally used for growing plants in growbags, as there is minimal water waste due to run off and spillage. The design works to improve efficiency by wicking and absorbing the water upwards as opposed to watering down and losing water through splashing and evaporation. It can be connected to a water-butt to eliminate the use of tap water. The product is made in the UK, with consumption predominantly for the UK and Europe.
"Over 4 million growbags are sold every year in the UK. They are traditionally time consuming and messy to water. Often when people go away on holidays these plants wither and die," commented Simon McArdle, Managing Director of Hozelock. "Through the design and innovation process, Seymourpowell developed a simple product that doesn't require computers and high-tech watering systems to keep plants alive and productive."
In addition to the Growbag Waterer, Seymourpowell also developed Hozelock's Flexi Spray, which is an extremely adaptable hose attachment, which embodies all the functionality of four different hose attachment types.
Following detailed ethnographic research, Seymourpowell came up with a gardening tool that is useful to its four identified and diverse gardening types. The product works as a sprinkler, a long reach hose for hanging baskets, a hands free hose, and has a strong spray function for cleaning.
The hose has a twist actionthat is a remarkable piece of engineering and is now in fact patented. The hose can withstand at least 2000 different orientations and twists on every single millimetre point without breaking. The hose is made from heat-treated wire with a flexible coating that allows a bendable section to be moulded as required. A single layer inner hose adds structure to the outer hose to prevent kinking, while the braided outer hose carries water from the handle to the head. The anti-torsion feature at both ends allows the head to turn without twisting the hose.
"Rather than paying lip service to social responsibility, Hozelock had the foresight to hire an agency that could look at its business through the lens of sustainability, and were able to create a product that saves water while also maintaining plant life and yield," stated Ed Hebblethwaite, Strategy Director of Seymourpowell. "Furthermore, with the design of both the Growbag Waterer and the Flexi Spray, Hozleock have created unique products in the market place which will give them first mover advantage in the competitive world of DIY sheds and garden centres. Above all it's great to see your ideas come to market with a flurry of orders and profit - special thanks must go to both the Hozelock marketing, and the design and engineering teams... they were enthusiastic, fun, supportive and intelligent partners."