Localized Washing Machines

The Reveries Web site has an interesting piece on Whirlpool and its localization efforts in Latin America. Apparently the company has had great success in Brazil by creating a low-cost “people’s washer” with features unique to the marketplace.

Here’s an excerpt:

Whirlpool’s research also revealed that aesthetics were important because washers are considered status symbols. In China, the looks factor is multiplied because “many families keep appliances in the living room.” There’s no place else to put them. In Brazil, Whirlpool jazzed up the control panel with bright yellow buttons and blue lettering. They also carefully selected appliance colors based on by-country preferences . Wash cycles were named on a by-country basis, too (in India, the delicate cycle is called the “sari” cycle, for example). What does one of these machines cost? Just $150 to $200 (about half the average cost in the U.S.). So happy are low-income Brazilians to have these machines that some are said to “treat the washer like a member of the family, referring to her as ‘my little princess’ and my ‘little girl.'”

And here’s a picture of one such machine:

brazil_washer.gif

For the full article, go to: http://www.reveries.com/coolnews/2003/december/dec_9.html

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