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Aqualisa Quartz - Simply a Better Shower Harvard Case Study

Essay by   •  January 19, 2019  •  Case Study  •  1,092 Words (5 Pages)  •  805 Views

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Nature of Situation

Many homes’ showers in the U.K. suffered from poor water pressure and fluctuating

temperatures due to old, outdated plumbing. These problems were addressed and solved for the

most part by electric showers or specially made shower valves. Aqualisa, one of the top shower

manufacturers in the U.K., had developed a revolutionary shower system called the Quartz.

Before the development of the Quartz, the only option to have good water pressure and

temperature in the shower was to install either the mixed shower valve, which involved

excavating the bathroom wall and was costly, or to use integral power showers, which resulted in

a big, bulky box being installed inside the shower. However, the Quartz used electronic

technology to allow the remote processor that mixed the hot and cold water to be located away

from the shower, and once the ideal temperature was set, there was no need to fiddle around to

find the right temperature in subsequent showers.

Harry Rawlinson, the Managing Director of Aqualisa, had invested a lot of time and money into

developing the Quartz shower system and thought for sure that the Quartz would be an instant

success, but sales after the initial launch was disappointing.

Decision to be made

Rawlinson wants to choose the best marketing strategy to increase sales for the Quartz shower

system since the current strategy has led to disappointing sales.


Targeting Consumers Directly:

The first option is to target consumers directly in order to increase consumer awareness of the

Quartz shower system.


- Triton (30.3% of the shower market share) proved that it could be done

- More immediate results

- Probably easier to convince consumers than plumbers or other professionals

- After initial market penetration, word-of-mouth could help sales

- consumers could convince their plumbers by insisting on the Quartz

- Already a trial-run in place, so results could help inform decision


- Increase in advertising costs

- Difficult to justify such a steep increase in advertising (23.5% of net income)

- Because Quartz is a premium system, a large part of the consumer market (Standard, Value, and DIYers) may not take interest

Targeting Developers:

The second option is to target developers, so that they can request that plumbers install the

Quartz system in their buildings, whether commercial or residential.


- Developers can force plumbers to install the Quartz, no matter how wary plumbers are of electronic technology

- May be able to generate more sales

than targeting consumers (large-volume



- Slower results than targeting consumers

- Developers resistant to Aqualisa products because they see it as a “premium” brand, even with 50% discount

- Rawlinson does not want to discount the Quartz because it is a revolutionary product

Targeting Plumbers

The next option is to target plumbers and help them overcome their wariness of electronic

technology in shower products.


- 73% of consumers buying showers are influenced by their plumbers

- Once a plumber installs the Quartz, he/she “is a convert”

- 54% of shower installations are done by independent plumbers, and some developer installations and showroom installations may be done by independent plumbers as well

- Aqualisa already has a loyal group of plumbers; they could use word-ofmouth to help sales


- Plumbers are very wary of electronic technology in plumbing, because it seems complicated and easier to mess up the installation

- Plumbers often became “experts” at installing certain types of showers and do not want to switch

Lowering the Price:

The last option is to lower the price of the Quartz, in hopes of attracting a wider market.


- Lower price would mean more people from Standard, Value, and DIY market segments would consider Quartz as a viable shower option

- Lower price would also encourage more developers and landlords to consider putting the Quartz in their buildings


- Lower price would mean lower profit margins

- Lowering the price may lower the perceived value of the product, which Rawlinson does not want

- Quartz is already cheaper in terms of price and labor compared to similar Aqualisa models



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