Braun Ag: the Kf 40 Coffee Machine

13776 words 56 pages


Braun AG: The KF 40 Coffee Machine

This case study came from the Case Study Research and Development Program at the Design Management Institute’s Center for Research. The Center conducts research and develops educational materials on the role of design and design management in business success. Case studies, the Design Management Journal, reprints from the Journal, and other educational materials are available from the Design Management Institute Press. Design Management Institute Press The Design Management Institute 29 Temple Place, 2nd Floor Boston, MA 02111-1350 USA Phone: 617-338-6380 Fax: 617-338-6570 Email: Web site: Harvard Business School Publishing
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Designing a New Company
By enlisting Eichler, history would show, the Braun brothers changed the direction of their company and built not just a successful business, but also a cultural symbol, a distinctive style. That development took more than Eichler’s efforts alone, however. In 1955, looking for an architect to help build a new office building, the company hired Dieter Rams, just two years out of architecture school. The 23year-old Rams was more broadly experienced than most young graduates, having spent three years as an apprentice in carpentry along the way.

Braun AG: The KF 40 Coffee Machine

Rams became Eichler’s protegé, and together they built a small, intense design department at the company’s headquarters. Believing that they could single-handedly change the taste of their fellow citizens, Eichler, Rams, and colleagues set out to design and build a new kind of product. Eichler believed that such products would find a response in people whom he visualized as
“…likeable, intelligent, and natural, with a feeling for authenticity and quality. People, in other words, whose homes are not stage sets for unfulfilled pipe dreams, but simple, practical, and comfortable. And that is exactly how our products should be and look. Products made not for show windows, loud and obtrusive eye-catchers, but, rather, products that one can live with for a long, long time.”

the organization. Almost any employee could tell a visitor that Braun’s