Dyson has already created ripples in the past by completely rethinking vacuum cleaners. Shame on the whole industry for traditional product-led thinking – and not re-examining what really gets on users’ nerves: the loss of suction. Dyson came along and solved the problem by thinking “problem > solution”, not “how do I improve my vacuum cleaner”. Customers think “need”. Too many companies think “product”, not benefit. Dyson zoomed in on the benefit and created a winner.
So now he’s doing it with hand dryers.
For years we’ve been staring at the same scorchers in toilets, many imported by unknown firms with obscure names like Acme XXX Philadelphia Inc Corp, complete with 6 million patents on the boilerplate. For years they’ve done nothing new. Enter Dyson. He sees cars being dried in an instant in car washes (or actually having water blown off them) and applies the same jet-stream concept to hand-dryers.
These dryers are brilliant. A thin, fast stream of air that razes moisture off your hand, rather than just dry it. BUT… the idea isn’t new. The German company Wolf has had a similar idea, too. Though I have to say they didn’t have the engineering Dyson has. He really shoots the air over your hand.
And something else has made a difference with Dyson. He went hell for leather for high profile advertising on his vacuum cleaners. In so doing, he made a name for himself as an innovator. So opening the door in B2B (selling to public toilet operators) was so much easier.
Whereas Wolf really has missed a sales and marketing opportunity here. Judging by the number of places I’ve already seen Dyson dryers in the UK, and now in Germany, he’s obviously about to blow a few competitors out of the market. Simply by examining the benefit, not existing products.