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'Simplexity' in design

Pauline Wong
Pauline Wong • 4 min read
'Simplexity' in design
Premium Swiss appliance manufacturer V-ZUG is going beyond just the ordinary to bring a combination of style and substance into your home
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Premium Swiss appliance manufacturer V-ZUG is going beyond just the ordinary to bring a combination of style and substance into your home

SINGAPORE (Apr 3): For over 100 years, Swiss premium home appliances manufacturer V-ZUG has transformed what one expects from home appliances. Gone are the days of bulky, ugly machines more suited to practical use than aesthetic function. At V-ZUG, form can meet function and that has been the driving force of the brand for the past century.

As a brand, V-ZUG wants to combine reliability with seamless integration wherever its products are used, V-ZUG’s international division director Alberto Bertoz tells Options in a recent joint-interview with V-ZUG chief executive, Heinz Buhofer. “We want to combine reliable products which are at the top of the industry in terms of both cooking results and precision of the results, with products that are perfectly and seamlessly integrated with the kitchen environment,” he says. “[Our products are] very simple to use, because we want to provide the easiest experience for the best results.”

All their range of products — be it ovens, washing machines, cookers or refrigerators — are designed with what Bertoz calls “simplexity”, a portmanteau of the word simplicity and complexity. This term describes the simplicity and ease-of-use of V-ZUG’s designs, matched with the complexity in the inner working of all its appliances. “I think that as a brand by definition, we are not the brand that tries to please everyone and we are not the brand that does a product for everyone. We are a brand that targets customers with refined tastes, those who are looking for products which integrate with their homes, and provide the top results,” says Bertoz. “While many brands have more depth of products than we do, we are not a mainstream brand. We have our ideas of design, and this makes our products easily recognisable. Entering a kitchen, you will recognise that it is a V-ZUG product.”

“[We] do not show off,” Bertoz adds. “We want to target those who experience and enjoy, rather than show — it represents the Swiss brand of simplicity and serenity.” V-ZUG prides itself on its customised fit to their customers, who are not trend-chasers. “We like to think about our customers individually. We like to have each of our customers feel special, to really differentiate from competition by having a direct relationship with our customer. And this means to provide appliances which can be adapted to the preferences of the customer,” says Bertoz.

Recognising the need too, to ensure that their products meet the demand of the ever-discerning customer, Buhofer says that for a very long time now, the brand has paid close attention to the sustainability aspects of their products. “I have given high importance to sustainability for many years. We started [developing our business towards] carbon-free since 2007,” he says. In fact, V-ZUG’s location in Switzerland continues to play a key role in this.

By 2033, there will be an entirely new neighbourhood on the grounds of their headquarters in Zug, while long-term, they work towards being carbon-neutral. But not only that, sustainability is also about the business, says Buhofer. “I believe that if you talk about sustainability, you talk about how you do business. It’s not only about goals, it’s also about good business. I believe such values as simplicity and sincerity, is, in a philosophical way, very much linked to sustainability. So whoever believes in the importance of sustainability, I think, will have an affinity to our values of simplicity and sincerity.” Going forward, V-ZUG has big plans to expand their presence in Asia.

In 2014, they started with direct subsidiaries in Shanghai, followed by their second showroom in Hong Kong in 2016. Last year, the brand opened a showroom and a fine dining restaurant — called V Dining — at Scotts Square on Scotts Road. “For Southeast Asia, our current focus now is to increase our penetration and our visibility in Singapore. We selected Singapore as the lighthouse and centre of gravity for Southeast Asia, in the belief that once we increase our visibility [here], we will create a natural point of to take off to to enter in a new market,” says Bertoz.

They have plans to target new markets in the region, but at a sustainable speed. “We want to complete the growth in Singapore, to where we [have] a clear sign of success,” he adds. “Our aim is not to become a big player in terms of numbers, but to be the leader in the premium and upper premium segment. We have the strength to succeed, and we need to keep innovating and proposing solutions, anticipating the market needs and anticipating our competition, both in terms of time and in terms of benefits.

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