The home is enriched with innovative lines and features, that perfectly blend with the traditional function of a kitchen hood.
Focusing on the research and development of new technologies to stand out and expand on the international level, where the competition is now global. But maintaining flexibility and adaptability to the different markets, with style and care of the typical Made-in-Italy details. These are the elements on which the reinforcement strategy of Baraldi brand is based in the segment of kitchen hoods for domestic use.
Marco Caprotti, commercial manager of Baraldi
Tradition and innovation: how do they live together in your mission?
During the last years, our hoods were transformed from simple household appliances to decor items. To create innovative designs we start each time from the images of memory, that is from the tradition of reassuring environments and atmospheres of the kitchen to get to propose new products with unusual shapes and functions, which make a hood a more and more beautiful and functional object. Even in the most advanced models, there are elements such as the fireplace, or materials such as glass and steel, which maintain a deep connection with the history of this product. After all, behind the constant search for innovation, there is an invisible thread represented by our company culture, which looks for care and quality in products and remains alive.
Has the balance between these two components led to specific measures in terms of productive organization?
The offer has expanded and enormously developed over the past 5 years, and each geographical area, distribution channel or single customer is looking more and more a ‘tailored dress’ about the many details of the product. This is pushing us to think and design hoods that share common structure or bases, on which to have a great freedom to provide the product with different variations. We can no longer think of the individual models but of families or platforms which make the design time very fast and simplify the manufacturing processes. This year we will launch a line created with these principles and made up of 5 initial proposals, which will give us the opportunity to expand the creative possibilities much more and with more limited resources. Noa, Space and Divina are some of the names of this series.
How do you manage to intercept or anticipate new demand trends?
The general information of the sector, the technological innovations, also coming from the network, until the input of each single client create a very dynamic atmosphere, from which to catch many opportunities to conceive and then carry out news, that we very often try to propose. At the end a natural selection arrives, dictated by the needs of the distribution chain in which a cooker hood is located, and which may be the price level a kitchen manufacturer requires or the finishes that a shop wants to propose, or characteristics to which some kind of consumer is more sensitive. The new ceiling hoods, such as Unika or Gea white are a concrete example of this process.
What tools allow you to meet the specific needs of a buyer?
We are always more and more sensible to listen what is required to us and to act quickly. Today, with the available software, in a few hours we can transform an idea or a hint in a 3D image, on which it is possible to process and develop a possible new model in great detail. We are moving from the hood adapted to the customer’s specifications to the new exclusive product designed with the customer himself. It is a great challenge because we can get from idea to the product in less than 60 days, taking 10 days to collect all the specifics, 30 to get to the finished project and about 20 to produce the first pieces. The electronic information exchange, through all kind of files, is the tool that feeds a continuous activity and that allows us to make every month several new models and prototypes. Many buyers appreciate the flexibility, speed and customization that we can offer with the use of the available technology. The model Alexa, for example, was born from a few words shared with a buyer, who asked an original lighting for a hanging hood.
Which positioning do you intend to pursue in the future?
In the kitchen hoods the lower-priced models comes generally from other countries, including Poland, Turkey and China. We want to offer qualified products with a high level of innovation, that can include an always new and exclusive design up to new functions, that valorize the creativity of our products and the satisfaction of an advanced customer, who pays attentions to the differences and appreciates the novelties. This year, for example, we have launched a models line, that put the environment fragrance integrated beside the traditional function of the hood. Namely, through a specific cartridge, when the user wishes, some perfumed essences may be released from the hood, improving the kitchen air. Space and Pratika are among the first models equipped with this function.
Are the international certifications an opportunity to reaffirm the intrinsic value of your production?
This is a controversial topic for us, because on one hand they can help to raise the level of development and quality of the company, as the Iso system that we included several years ago, or push to increase the safety and efficiency of products, such as the new European rules for the low consumption, introduced for the hoods too. On the other hand, in some countries they are actually disguised trade barriers that are used to increase the costs of our products to slow the penetration in those markets. Sometimes, we have received not coherent technical requirements by international organizations and heavy bureaucratic costs, only to be able to put a label on products for export.
What does the expression “Made in Italy” suggest to you nowadays?
It is as it were a footprint or rather a brand that stands for high quality and beautiful products, that can only be realized with a certain passion. Those who appreciate this expression in our sector expect not trivial hoods, which can be recognized and distinguish from the offer coming from the producers of many other countries. The unrestrainable research, the care of so many details, together with utility and a sort of craftsmanship are some points that we would like to highlight more and more, in order to have the merit of fall in the value of the ‘Made-in-Italy’ expression. Someone considers it a bit vague and romantic, but actually it underlines the style we stand out for and that in many areas can valorize us. We think that looking at some of our products such as Amy or Nima this imprint is evident.
What characteristics allow a national product to stand out in the global market?
The listed above attention and innovation qualities of a product that has the Italian style are those that allow us to compete in a market of very enlarged supply and demand. The problem is that it becomes a constant challenge to maintain an advantage on those producers in other countries who, with a little effort, take the most successful models as example to make imitations at low prices. There are no precise instruments to defend ourselves, but to lengthen our stride for the number and content of the new proposals. A very challenging goal, but which often leads to that appreciated level of differentiation that perhaps is the only strong variable that they cannot copy from us. If we look at a reversed T model hood, in the market there are many different versions, but our Lumina or Stivia, with the elegant use of glasses, can surely stand out among many others.
How can they represent an added value for a buyer who invests in an Italian brand?
With the product, made of materials and components, the customer often finds a little emotion tied to harmony or elegance or beauty that the whole transmits. Usually a buyer does not expect to find the lowest price but the newest, more original and unique product. Many understand that our product can give the user that little extra satisfaction that, on a daily basis, rewards him for the careful choice he made. If we take the model Xenia, the hood is, to all effects, a decor piece that complements and enriches the kitchen in which it is placed.
Do you think it would be desirable a stronger synergy among producers to strengthen the made-in-Italy in the world?
Certainly, in our case, it would be useful to work with companies operating in other appliances segments, such as hobs or ovens or with kitchen manufacturers to coordinate an offer of products, conceived with the same line of reasoning or with the specific characteristics required in certain geographical areas. For new markets other countries, more than ours, organized fairs and events that promote the quality of their products supply chain. For us it is still only an expectation that to be better supported to constantly show our potential. Sometimes the many creativities and uniqueness of our industry represent a limit to the ability to work together to propose us in a united way. In any case, we are making some attempt to create a group of products that transmit inside the kitchen some shared values which, besides a coordinated aesthetic also have high levels of efficiency and functionality. Probably in a few months it will be possible to see the first results.
"I started my career in the electromechanical components field, landing then to the household appliances sector. What fascinates me in this field is the emotional aspect of the product. Design, for example, represents the first and most powerful element that distinguishes the mid-high level hoods and the innovation that creates a strong impetus to the realization of better and better products. Having played basketball at an agonistic level, I learned to appreciate the teamwork, the fair competition and the desire to always improve performances. I also love traveling, listening to people's stories in the places I visit, share my experiences with them: in this aspect I find an opportunity to improve my work."
Baraldi is an historical company in the field of kitchen hoods with a strong tradition of several decades. In recent years he has started an innovative approach in the development of products with high technical content. Today in the entire organization we share the wish to create and offer a range of new generation models, based on a strong appealing design, but also equipped with functional new contents. The search for a more qualified level positioning is giving birth to hoods that have new functions such as depuration, integrated fragrance or heating from the top of the food. The line of products that will be presented at the end of the year will be already ready for the most efficient classes of the new regulations on low power consumption.
|In the air…
The new Noa hood, with modern, elegant and unusual design, incorporates a simple but extremely useful function: the air freshener. During the preparation of the food, the hood perfectly performs its function of fumes and vapors suction. At the end of it all, some residual odors may be present in the air, rather unpleasant. Thanks to its "Deotech" function, Noa released in a few moments pleasant fragrances in the kitchen. To activate it, it is enough to press a button. Through the comfortable cartridges, it is possible to choose among different fresh and pleasing fragrances, which enhance the feeling and the pleasure of being in the kitchen. "Deep clean", "Light breeze" and "Flavor of home" are provided directly with the product. In addition to the above model, the function Deotech is integrated in Nur, Pratika, Space and Divina hoods.