understanding consumer needs

A couple of years ago we started talking to Hozelock, the well-known British garden watering company, about developing some new products. Hozelock’s talented R&D team had come up with breakthroughs before, but they thought opportunities, for watering at least, were looking a little thin on the ground. Could we help?

Sir Alexander Fleming didn’t invent penicillin — he just happened to
notice what was growing in his petri dish. And so it is with many new ideas; different experiences, technology and circumstances make us 

adapt the way we do things. We call it ‘emergent behaviour’. It’s a phenomenon that’s happening all the time… you just have to know where, and how, to look.

We talked to gardeners around Europe and watched them at work. We weren’t so much interested in the products they used but how they used them. 

We noticed that a lot of people found it frustrating to stand around watering their garden, when they’d rather be doing something else. At
the same time, they didn’t see the point of buying different products for different jobs — understandable if you’re a casual gardener with a
small garden.

The idea for a poseable sprinkler was born — we called it ‘Bendy Lance’. 

Like toy figures, whose limbs bend into any position, you can straighten it to reach hanging baskets, coil it round a branch to water a particular area, or twist it so it rests steadily on the ground, without water pressure blowing it sideways.

Flexi Spray was the 2013 RHS Chelsea Garden Show’s Product of the Year, and won Hozelock the Gardening Industry Manufacturers ’ Association’s Sword of Excellence.