How to become a “fashion appliances company”

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The 100% Made in Italy company launches new products for 2021 in the name of technological innovation and design. Strengthened by the results obtained with Diamond and AirO ‘, it continues to focus on quality and the ability to create “tailor made” solutions inspired by the world of fashion

The Diamond Flexi extractor hob by Baraldi received the Mention of Honor at the latest edition of the Compasso d’Oro

Baraldi looks to the future with the aim of continuing the growth path that has led the company to position its products in the medium-high end of the market, offering appliances ranging from hoods, to induction hobs (including extrctor ones), up to air purifiers. Quality, design and innovation are the values ​​on which Baraldi has chosen to focus for its all-Italian production. Together with Graziano Nardi, recently appointed to lead the company’s Sales & Marketing area, let us discover the latest news of the brand, its strengths and what it has in store for 2021.

Graziano Nardi, head of the Sales & Marketing area of Baraldi

In your first year and a half of working for Baraldi, how did you set up the company’s strategies and what are the objectives you want to achieve?
I was called to Baraldi with the aim of enhancing the brand and its products first on the Italian market and then in some foreign countries strategic for the company. In such a delicate and complex phase as the current one, it is necessary to take a rational and energetic approach, expanding the business to new opportunities, which exist even in difficult times, supporting old and new partners and acting on the redefinition of products, channels and supply chain through an even more decisive use of digital. In particular, we intend to take full advantage of the opportunities offered by social networks to strengthen the brand awareness, with an even more incisive presence in channels such as Facebook and Instagram. We want to carefully examine the potential of the on-line channel, exploiting more, for example, communication tools such as videos. Furthermore, on the product front, the AirO’ line of air purifiers, born in a few months, is the first result of this new direction that we have undertaken.

In detail, how was the AirO ‘range born?
Originally AirO’ was a single product, already present in the company’s offer for some time. It is a solution that uses cold plasma technology, able to generate negative ions that neutralize pathogens present in the air and bad smells through a chemical-physical reaction. The initial idea was to integrate this technology into the hoods to improve the air quality in the kitchen. But precisely because of its ability to also inactivate viruses, this solution was able to offer a concrete response to the sanitation needs that have become urgent due to the Coronavirus emergency. We had a great demand for this product and, to be able to satisfy the demand in a short time, Baraldi has invested a lot, not only economically but from various points of view. First of all, there has been a great deal of research to quickly create a range of 9 models, able to offer specific solutions for different spaces, always ensuring effectiveness and high performance. AirO’ can be used in domestic environments (for example in the kitchen, bathroom, bedroom or living room), but also in elevators, schools, offices or other work spaces (medical offices, gyms, bars, restaurants, hotel rooms, etc.). We have developed solutions for both small and large environments, with some models that do not require any installation (for example they can be placed on the night table next to the bed or on the floor of the living room) and other models that can be installed on the wall or ceiling, and connected to a switch. It is also available a product that can be embedded in the ceiling as a ceiling light and another designed for heating, ventilation, air conditioning or refrigeration systems. Each model that makes up the AirO’ line has been realized with its own specific design to offer the best possible solution based on the application and ensure maximum performance. In addition, the products are also made with different aesthetics to best harmonize with the context in which they are inserted. From this information, it is already clear that we did not simply “dress up” technology by inserting it in different casings, but there really was a great deal of research and development work, which has been possible thanks to the internal know-how of the company and its flexibility. Furthermore, as far as production is concerned, Baraldi has activated a new production line for the construction of sanitizers, also integrating new resources into the workforce, because the production of our products is entirely made in Italy.

What are the common peculiarities of the AirO’ line?
First of all, these are products with a very long life cycle (about 45,000 hours), which does not require special maintenance, unlike ionizers equipped with lamps which must be changed after 6,000-8,000 hours of operation. The plasma generator of the Baraldi sanitizers does not use lamps but a compact and sealed nucleus, made of precious materials, which emits a large quantity of negative ions and some peroxides. Thanks to this technology, AirO’ can be used for five years without any maintenance. Another important feature of our purifiers is that they are very silent. The smallest model, particularly suitable for use in the bedroom at night, has a noise level of 21 dB: the human breath – to have a term of comparison – is equal to 20 dB. As I have already mentioned, a further peculiarity of the range is its variety that allows to choose from a wide range of proposals to meet different needs.

More generally, what are the strengths of your company and which are your best-seller products in Italy and abroad?
Baraldi’s strengths are flexibility, ability to adapt and speed in designing and producing new products. As for our flagship products, in addition to the purifiers, I can mention the Diamond Flexi extractor hob which obtained the Honorable Mention at the latest Compasso d’Oro edition and which contains two European patents. This product is the only one on the market that does not require the disassembly of the filters for cleaning and maintenance: thanks to the Easy lift system it can be lifted and cleaned, a simple and intelligent solution. Another best seller is the Elea island hoods line made in different sizes, finishes and mounting possibilities. Then there are the 20 models of ceiling hoods, the 30 wall-mounted ones, and the new hobs, but to understand more in detail it will be enough to browse (also on-line) the new catalog that we will launch shortly (at the time the article is written, ed).

Can you give us some anticipation on the new catalog?
Among the news for 2021 we propose a hood designed to solve the problem of condensation dripping that is generated when the induction hob is used, for example to boil water for pasta. To overcome the problem, there are already solutions on the market, but what Baraldi will propose is a new technology. Another news that we will present is the air sanitation system integrated on 4 models of hoods: these are products characterized by great flexibility of use because the user can start the air purification completely independently, even if the hood is not in use. In addition, we will launch new induction hobs conceived in a special way for the Italian market, where there is still some reluctance towards these appliances also as a result of the problem of the available quantity of the kilowatts. To resolve the issue, Baraldi has developed products in which users can easily change the available power for the hob: the user can lower it or raise it whenever he deems it appropriate on the basis of the need of the moment.

In which markets are you present? And which markets do you consider potentially interesting for a future expansion?
We currently have customers in nearly twenty countries, including European and non-European nations. In the future we would like to start selling in some Asian countries with high-end products designed for those markets. I have started a path of contacts that we hope will lead us, in 2021, to have new distributors for our brand in four or five new countries. In Asia the Italian product is very appreciated and we want to highlight our “tailoring” ability in making non-standard appliances, a bit like in the fashion sector.

Are you therefore able to offer “tailor-made” solutions?
The company has always been able to offer “tailor made” products. Many clients ask us special designs, product customizations or particular accomplishments. This involves a deep technical knowledge and flexibility that allows us to be available to follow the most varied requests. More and more different countries and markets are asking for tailor-made products, and the ability to manage even small batches allows us to arrive where more structured companies cannot satisfy certain requests.

What is most appreciated about Baraldi in Italy and abroad?
Creativity, flexibility and attention to the product: this is how a company can achieve leadership even in niche markets. Someone appreciates us for the rapid response to new requests, someone else for innovation, but more generally the values ​​we transmit with new products are beginning to have recognition in many countries. The Baraldi family celebrates 55 years of company history with the desire to continue along the path of growth. Our range of products is starting to find space among Italian design enthusiasts all over the world: clearly there are products more requested in some markets and less in others, but what is gratifying is that the attention to finishes, performance and brand credibility is transversal.

Baraldi is a Made in Italy company: what are the challenges to overcome for those who want to continue producing in Italy?
Made in Italy continues to be a reference brand and a worldwide sales argument, despite all the difficulties of our country. High quality, new designs and innovation are what those looking for products like ours expect: conceived, designed and manufactured 100% in Italy. The Honorable Mention at the Compasso d’Oro confirms that this is the right direction for Baraldi. It is a demanding challenge which, however, has now entered the guidelines of the company and which is my responsibility to direct towards the commercial channels that are more attentive to the values ​​of the Made in Italy. The recognition received at the Compasso d’Oro demonstrates Baraldi’s commitment to design. Simplifying, in the company we say that we are “training” to become a fashion appliances company, notwithstanding that obviously we are always looking for both the beauty of the form and the functionality in all projects.

What characterizes the Made in Italy of Baraldi products?
We try to realize and make it understood more and more that our product contains the characteristics of technology and elegance, charm and innovation, beauty and care that are now recognized in some Italian fashion or car brands. We want to take a cue from those products of excellence and communicate that in our kitchen hoods, hobs or air purifiers there are these characteristics linked to the best resources of Italy. Indeed, by bonding ourself in some way to the fashion aspect of our city, we will use the payoff “Design Appliances in Milan” for the Baraldi brand.

AirO’ plus is able to sanitize environments up to 80m2 thanks to the double plasma generator. It requires neither installation nor maintenance. In addition, it is quiet and features a low energy consumption

The Elea island hood combines advanced technologies and design. Made with stainless steel or black aesthetics, it is available in 3 different lengths and with the chimney on the right or left. In addition, its horizontal plane can be used as a shelf

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