Innovation and design
Product innovation and design were early on important factors for Electrolux’ success. In the early 1960s, a dedicated design department was established under the leadership of Hugo Lindström. Over the years, the company has developed a lot of today’s iconic products, such as the vacuum cleaner “The Loaf”, designed by Laurelle Guild; the bench washing machine “The Round Can”, the rechargeable Ergorapido vacuum cleaner and the Trilobite robot vacuum cleaner. Electrolux also broken ground when it went against tradition in the “white goods” industry in the 1970s, making stoves and refrigerators in wine red and avocado green.
In the early 1990s, environmental issues and consumer needs became increasingly important factors in Electrolux’ product development. In the book, former CEO Leif Johansson acknowledges the impact that Greenpeace has on the organization, when it one day dumped a pile of freon-based refrigerators outside Electrolux headquarters. This event made it easier for those managers already working with environmental issues at Electrolux to get more people in the company to address the issue. Since then, Electrolux has been leading in developing environmentally-friendly products.
Now, in 2018 , it is the the digital transformation that is the company’s largest challenge – and opportunity. However, the vision remains the same as on Axel Wenner-Grens days: to make life a little easier through smart household appliances.
More about the book
The book Shape living for the better: The first 100 years of Electrolux will be published in English in a hard-cover verison. A Swedish version, available in pdf for downloading, will be made available. An English audio-book has also been produced.
The book will be distributed internally at Electrolux, and then made available for purchase in book stores by end of January.
The book is published by Business History Publishing. The project team at the Centre for Business History in Stockhlm, owner of the publisher, was:
Editor: Karin Jansson Myhr
Image editor: Martin Månson
Publishing assistant: Mikaela Nordin
Project manager: Jenny Bergman
Project manager at Electrolux: Paul Palmstedt
Designer: Johan M Sandell/Devocy
Cover illustrations: Kajsa Eldsten
Print: Åtta45 Järfälla, Stockholm