As a leading German global luxury brand dedicated to providing innovative water products for complete bathroom solutions and kitchen fittings, Grohe has to find new ways to reach out to its consumers and the public during these times when there are no trade shows and open showrooms.
Grohe has its headquarters in Düsseldorf, and has been part of the Japanese Lixil Group since 2014. Its reach extends all over the world, with manufacturing plants in Germany (where 60 percent of its output is produced), in Portugal, Canada, and in Thailand. It employs some 6,000 people worldwide.
Before the COVID pandemic struck, I attended a unique CSR project that Grohe had initiated in Don Bosco Tondo, where Grohe had sent European specialists to train and conduct special classes for would-be plumbers. These students would graduate from the Grohe Dual Tech Academy, and receive international certification on Grohe Standards, qualifying them to work for Grohe here, or apply abroad with a much-stronger resume.
One offshoot of this project was achieved with Wilcon Depot, when the new public bathroom at the St. John Bosco Church was completed as part of the class’ requirements in November 2019. This shows the strong roots that the company has planted in the Philippines.
So I was happy to discover that Grohe is introducing Grohe X – a new digital experience hub that speaks of inspiration, innovation, and insight. In essence, it’s the brand’s roadmap to the future, and how it sees itself playing a role in a world where hygiene, sanitation, and health have become more crucial than ever.
From the outset, the Grohe X speakers were talking about regaining customer centricity and empowering their business partners. To maintain industry leadership, it was important for Grohe to listen to stakeholders, knowing that the notion of “one size fits all” will not work. Ultimately, the brand is not about individual products, but about holistic living spaces, and making its products become essentials in that concept.
Among the trends driving the research and development of Grohe would be “densification without compromising comfort, the efficient use of space, simplicity and minimalism, and the all-important water-saving features.” For example, the borders of the kitchen and the living room are dissolving – and by listening to customers, Grohe has designed kitchen faucets that work with your elbow or wrist, so that control is not sacrificed just because your two hands are occupied with some kitchen or food preparation activity.
The hygiene demands of the living area has now become a paramount and sensitive concern, and Grohe is fully aware of that, intensifying its “Health Through Water” motto. A bathroom is no longer merely a place designed for function. It has become a private retreat. While the Spa concept of Grohe in its bathroom fixtures and fittings began that trend, it has been further improved and refined. Customized showering is a part of this, as there is a temperature knob and control that allows one to get the right water temperature coming out of the showerhead in an instant. Gone are the days of fiddling with the hot and cold water knobs.
Over the three days of the virtual launch, there were interactive talks and webinars. One was about Green Buildings, one about the GROHE Spa, and about Strategies for Future Living. Even before the pandemic struck, Grohe was pushing to be carbon neutral and has embarked on a “less plastic components” initiative, aligning with the Sustainability Goals of the UN.
Prioritizing the environment and personal health, the brand’s direction is centered on being recyclable, responsible water stewardship, renewable energy, and social fairness for the protection of its workers. There was a wealth of information to be shared. I’m certain architects, interior designers, discerning homeowners, and the luxury real estate developers would find the launch of Grohe X something to be excited about.