The Thermos® 360°: Still Hot
- Enhanced ethnography
- User experience
- Structural product design
The Thermos® 360° commuter mug features a lid solution designed by the Verv team more than 10 years ago. And it’s still a hot item on the shelves at Target, Amazon and Walmart in several configurations. What is this innovation and why has it remained a category leader for over a decade?
Getting a Grip on the Problem
Thermos® challenged us by asking, “What’s next in our category?” It was a category that had seen little innovation beyond styling. No one had looked at the opportunities to truly delight users. But we did. After traveling to work with more than a dozen commuters, our consumer visits uncovered these three challenges:
Locking Down the Solution
Our design thinking approach engaged designers with users to surface this initial concept early in the program. And it was a winner. A rotating lid that has three settings:
- Locked down
- 360° drinking
- The sunken cavity drinks like a cup… but never spills.
- The “open” position allows the user to pick it up and drink any which way. Great for keeping eyes on the road!
- The “vent” settings let the beverage cool a bit before the first sip.
The Road to Success
This innovation has profitably endured and proliferated for years. Here’s why:
- We were quick to identify the problems and define what we were solving for in a user-centric way.
- We leveraged users to inspire rather than direct iterative-concept ideation.
- We designed a single, efficient, intuitive and elegant solution that solved a bunch of real-life problems.
- As a modular unit, the lid could be grafted onto any cup body to transform it visually and functionally.