Innovation Strategy: Turning a Company in a New Direction for Growth

growth innovation
  • Capabilities Used
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  • Engineering

When power equipment manufacturer Briggs & Stratton decided to make its own branded power washer, it contacted Altitude to re-conceive what that product could be. Altitude helped the company to develop a new innovation strategy for growth by creating Amplifi, the first on-demand hose powering and storage system, designed to help the average homeowner complete their watering and cleaning tasks on the fly.

Usability testing illustrated that the ideal balance for routine cleaning favored flow rate over pressure.

Reinventing the Garden Hose

Historically, the power-washer market has been an arms race centered around horsepower and PSI. Over time this escalation moved the utility of power washers beyond what is useful for routine cleaning needs, while also introducing adverse attributes such as noise, maintenance as well as safety hazards. This migration created an opportunity space between the traditional garden hose, which are both convenient and safe; and the high-powered contractor grade pressure washers designed to blast away years worth of ingrained dirt.

Understanding that homeowners desire a powerful cleaning tool that is also safe and quiet, we began researching technologies that supported this aim. Traditional power-washers use “positive displacement” pumps, which develop huge amounts of pressure, along with equal amounts of noise. Pressure, however, is only one half of the cleaning power equation. The other half is flow rate. Usability testing illustrated that the ideal balance for routine cleaning favored flow rate over pressure, which meant investigating alternative pump technologies. A centrifugal pump powered by an electric motor seemed to hit our performance target while also providing the additional benefits of low maintenance and super-quiet operation.

Amplifi hose sitting on a chair in the garden

Ready-To-Go Whenever

With its performance tuned for everyday needs, the Amplifi power washer is designed to live outdoors in a weather tight enclosure, making it ready to go at a moment’s notice. The system smartly operates between powered and un-powered states, simply by twisting the nozzle to the desired setting. This allows users to flow seamlessly between gently watering delicate flowers to blasting away caked-on dirt off of the adjacent walkway.  Finally, the electric motor and pump operate almost silently, allowing homeowners to tackle their outdoor cleaning projects whenever is convenient for them, without fear of disturbing the neighbors.

Amplifi has opened up new markets by appealing to customers who are either intimidated by or unwilling to deal with the hassles associated with contractor-grade pressure washers. Though the product has just launched, it is already stocking shelves at Home Depot and Lowe’s. In the process, Amplifi has created an entirely new category of outdoor cleaning tools, giving Briggs & Stratton a unique position within the power washer category, and opening a new opportunity for the company to grow.Blue Altitude Logo

Amplifi by Briggs and Stratton on porch