Bringing Danze to Life on the Sales Floor

How to Break Out of the "Sea of Sameness" & Into Big-Box Retail

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Everyone told them the world did not need another faucet company. So Danze decided they wouldn’t be just another faucet company; they would be different for their customers and their retail partners. And, for a while it worked. For five years, Danze was one of the fastest-growing plumbing companies. They were unique and progressive and their “affordable luxury” faucet line made a big impact on the new construction market. But then the housing market crashed and competitors started lowering their price points and copying the playful Danze product line, all while the customer was evolving and changing with the advent of the Internet and ecommerce. To climb back to the top, Danze knew they needed to be different once again. And, when they landed the opportunity to have their products displayed in Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting galleries, the largest plumbing wholesaler in North America, Danze knew they had to be inventive. This is when they turned to InReality.


Before diving into designing and developing a new solution, the InReality team used stakeholder summits and Mobile Path to Purchase Research to properly identify business challenges, gather insights on customer needs and behavior and understand opportunities for competitive differentiation. And, like many of the other industries we had worked in over the years, we discovered an uncanny “sea of sameness” inside the four walls. All the brands and products looked and were displayed in what seemed like exact replicas of each other. There wasn’t much of an experience for customers or opportunities to really explore the products on their own. And, product information was limited, making product selection very difficult.

We needed to break Danze out of the monotony. So, using insights from our research, we moved through customer journey mapping, concepting, rendering, prototyping and production to create the Danze smart shelf—a playful, interactive experience that seamlessly blends real-world product interaction with an intuitive digital interface into a six-foot linear wall space. The digital display consists of a selection of faucets affixed to custom-designed acrylic display pods, each tagged with radio-frequency identification (RFID) technology. To trigger interactive on-screen content specific to a particular faucet, shoppers need only move a pod from the wall and place it on the Smart Shelf, which reads the RFID tag. The touchscreen display—with a digital archive of thousands of Danze products—then provides detailed product information quickly and easily.


First-in-the-Industry In-Store Experience

Danze Smart Shelf

“The Smart Shelf brings our brand to life.”
– Michael Werner, President & CEO, Danze

Ultimately, the new solution, provided Danze with a new in store experience that allowed it to stand out among the crowd, while giving its customers renewed control of navigating their experience and accessing product information. The high-tech, high-touch smart shelf was a first-of-its-kind in the kitchen/bath showroom industry.

New Heavyweight Retail Partner—Ferguson

With its new solution, Danze was also able to successfully win placement in Ferguson. And, the new solution was ultimately displayed in 200+ showrooms.

Industry Recognition

Communicator AwardIn August, 2014, Danze and InReality were also honored with an award for the Smart Shelf from the 20th Annual Communicator Awards. The Communicator Award is the largest and most competitive award program honoring creative excellence for communications professionals, with 6,000+ competition entries from across the U.S. and around the world every year.