Driving Design-led Growth.

Rinnai / Retail Design

Customer Experience and Retail Transformation

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Following engagement with the Better by Design programme – Rinnai chose DNA to help them deliver to strategic objectives identified as part of the programme. Rinnai provide products in two key categories (water heating and fireplaces) – both of which are packed with credible competitors and typified by consumers who are price and value sensitive. The primary outcome they had identified was to develop a brand design system that signals the change, demonstrates their design approach and aids Rinnai to transform into a truly design led and customer centric business.

The customer research we generated resulted in several customer profiles, a detailed current customer experience map and a clear definition of future opportunities. The customer research would validate and tune the blueprint for brand and retail – but more importantly inform the Rinnai product design process. 


Isolate the problem – Faced with declining sales and profits in their markets, Rinnai needed to understand more intimately what customers wanted and how they made purchase decisions

End to end –  The process included - user research, strategic brand framework, digital migration, brand evolution, touchpoint makeover and alignment, CX transformation in retail

Customer at the centre – Customer research resulted in a detailed current customer experience map and a clear definition of future opportunities

Collaborative and iterative – Worked to develop a straightforward strategic brand blueprint that built upon existing business strategies, organisational goals and Better by Design programme outputs

Design the future – Embeded design thinking in organisation, deliver toolsets to unify brand and experience, distil offer into one brand and user experience.


> Retail design approach used to improve the retail experience across various formats resulting in improved sales of Rinnai fires

> Sales from retailers with upgraded showrooms show sales growth over 3 times that compared to Rinnai sales growth across all retailers 

> Double digit percentage growth in total fire sales revenue – this represents a positive swing, turning around the trending drop of the 5 previous years

> The development of the retail experience supported by the iPad virtual display element has been the most significant direct contributor to this growth

> The Rinnai Design exercise was awarded a Gold Pin in the Best Effect category at the 2014 Best awards

*NB: Actual Metrics are commercially sensitive.


> To drive more user centric product development and sales engagement, we undertook user research, mapped the current state, user journeys then prototyped new interactions and experiences

> Undertook user research, strategic brand framework, digital migration, brand evolution, touchpoint makeover and alignment, CX transformation in retail

> Delivered  product roadmap, sales environments, customer tools and technology to improve engagement and enable customers to see and feel their new fireplace in they own homes as part of the purchase process

> Rationalised the retail tiers and footprint over Rinnai's large number of different retailers throughout New Zealand

> Reduced the variability of merchandising and selling across these retailers which had been a barrier to engaging with customers around the benefits of Rinnai products

> Working in partnership with Guy Richards of GRDG retail design solutions were prototyped in a Christchurch trade display centre

> The project team collaborated to gain feedback from retailers to ensure viability and feasibility of the final design solution

> The retail project was part of a larger program around refreshing all Rinnai touch-points that delivered a new design toolkit

> Retail program delivered an iPad app that enabled customers to view fires and surrounds in their living room context

> Key factor in the success of the retail framework is a scalable design, at very low total fit out cost (each retailer provides building works, Rinnai provides marketing collateral).

The Challenge

How might we transform into a design led and customer centric business.

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The Numbers


The change in numbers from decline to growth - almost in every measure is significant. The growth numbers alone are double digit and staying on that trajectory.*

*We can’t be more specific as its commercially sensitive - but its impressive.

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