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Innovation at IHS

Show highlights the latest ‘buzz’ and new award designations.

April 2012

International Housewares Show Launches First Annual Innovation Awards
These days it seems like revenue generation and turning product is tied to the question, is the product innovative? Innovation is turning out to be a hot buzzword, increasingly becoming part of the marketing lingo for increased sales.

While grappling with the meaning of innovation, I read an interesting interview in the Canadian Globe and Mail publication with Vijay Vaitheeswaran, a globe-trotting writer for The Economist and author of “Need, Speed and Greed: How the New Rules of Innovation Can Transform Businesses, Propel Nations to Greatness, and Tame the World’s Most Wicked Problems.”
I was struck by his simple definition of innovation, as ‘fresh thinking that creates market value.’ 
This neatly frames the awards and recognition given by most association-backed shows. Following in the footsteps of the highly successful model develop by CES with its Innovations Awards, many organizations have created their own ways to recognize exceptional products. The award’s multi-color logo is highly visible in advertising, on placards in exhibitor booths and in stores near the winning products. For a confused or indecisive consumer, this award can help clinch the sale.
These awards help retailers sell and are becoming valuable marketing and sales tools. The winner designation gives a product a way to differentiate itself from the competition.
This year the International Housewares Association joined the Innovation Awards bandwagon with its First Annual IHA Innovations Awards. While there were 12 categories, we have chosen to highlight the winners in the five categories particularly relevant to retailers, dealers and distributors of small appliances and electronics. They are as follows below. Further descriptions can be found in the product section. They are:
Floor + Carpet Care: Rowenta, Groupe SEB USA, Rowenta Delta Force Stick Vacuum
Home Décor + Gifts: Energizer Household Lighting, Energizer Ambiana Desk Light
Household Electrics + Home Environment: Humanscale, Horizon LED Task Light
Kitchen Electrics: Jura Capresso, Inc., Jura IMPRESSA J9 One Touch TFT
Personal Care + Home Healthcare: Veridian Healthcare, iBaby Monitoring System
Other categories and winners were: Bath + Personal Care: Gleener, The Ultimate Fuzz Remover; Cleaning: Casabella Holdings LLC, Quick Scrub Double Sided Microfiber Spray Mop; Cook + Bakeware: Kuhn Rikon Corp., Kuhn Rikon PushPan; Home Organization + Storage: Clean Cubes LLC, Clean Cubes; Kitchen Hand Tools + Cutlery: Rush3 LLC, Kebo; Kitchenware: Browne USA, Date Dial Sealing Lids; and Tabletop: Harold Import Co., Inc., Blossom Trivet.

The IHS Global Innovation Award for Retail Excellence (gia)
Today, retailers have to create some sizzle and entertain customers who may end up buying their products online or from somebody else. For more than a decade the Global Innovation Award (gia), sponsored by the International Housewares Association and International Home + Housewares Show along with international trade publications around the world, has recognized the best in global retail merchandising while teaching retailers who attend the show the techniques developed by the most visionary minds in the business.
The gia is the leading housewares industry awards  program fostering innovation and excellence in housewares retailing throughout the world. The 2011-2012 GIA Global Honorees were Sur La Table of the U.S., Morandin Regali of Italy, De Bijenkorf of the Netherlands, home&you of Poland and NK Glas, Porslin & Kök of Sweden.



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