One small pad machine conquers the household coffee market.

The WMF1 coffee machine in a cube design.

Iconic design that polarizes.

The WMF 1 was something of a revolution in the coffee machine market. In the apparently completely saturated pad coffee machine market segment the machine managed to mobilise new consumer groups and was briefly sold out soon after its market launch. We deliberately polarized the effect with the iconic design: You either love it or you hate it. And it was precisely this discussion that rewarded the small machine – and as such also the WMF brand itself – with a seven-figure media value. There are only a few products that can boast similar success when it comes to design awards: The WMF 1 has won a total of ten!


Client Info

Project Date


With its iconic design and by focussing on key functionality, the small WMF 1 is rewarded with a seven-figure media value.



The “brand refresh” ensured that the product was sold out soon after market launch.

Brand refresh

In 2005 the idea was born in a consulting project with WMF and the management consultants McKinsey to develop a pad coffee machine for the consumer segment that did not focus on the traditional WMF-consumer groups. The aim was to win new customers with a brand refresh and a look based on modern electronics products. Since the pad coffee machine segment was already highly populated, we presented WMF with an innovative concept with which they could clearly differentiate themselves from competitors such as Philips, Senseo or Nespresso with a niche product.

The WMF1 coffee machine in a cube design.
Material selection for WMF 1.
The simple, quick cup of coffee for singles and connoisseurs

We began with a research and analysis phase starting with the design and culminating in the implementation. The key for the entire development process was given by researching the user behaviour. Customer surveys and observations meant that we could identify hitherto unknown potentials in an already densely populated market: Single households and connoisseurs who want to drink a cup of coffee conveniently every now and then were looking for a simple, compact and fast solution combined with maximum coffee taste at the same time. The analysis of the brand positioning and perception of WMF with our SimuPro® Tool showed that by making slight changes to the brand positioning, WMF had the potential to address a new, younger target group.

We do things differently!

Our cross-disciplinary team developed a product concept that meets the target group’s requirements in terms of form and function, but at the same time polarises in its design. We worked with WMF to define clear new product requirements with the aid of initial mock-ups and proportion models: True to the “Human Simplicity” design style, we reduced the operation to one single button. With the water container that holds precisely the amount of water required for one cup of coffee, we guaranteed that each cup was brewed with fresh water and designed a compact, space-saving coffee machine. Moving away from the typical stainless steel look associated with WMF, the new easy-to-care-for plastic WMF 1 machine captivates in different colours. The extremely powerful heating element ensured tasty coffee brewed in just 40 seconds and as a result even exceeded the target of one-minute brewing time. In addition to the product design itself, our designers were also responsible for the packaging and POS display system design and ensured a successful product launch at the “Ambiente” trade show in Frankfurt. As such the small pad machine not only strengthened WMF’s brand perception as an innovative company in the long-term, but also smoothed the way for numerous future products in the household electronics market segment.


Fresh coffee brewed straight into the cup in just 40 seconds.

Three WMF 1 coffeemaker.
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Persons in charge.
Nico Michler Managing Director and Expert for Household, Building Technology and Automotive & Mobility

Nico Michler Get to know our Managing Partners, Directors and Competence Leads!

Michael Lanz Managing Director and Expert for Concumer Electronics

Michael Lanz Get to know our Managing Partners, Directors and Competence Leads!

Tools we used in the process.
Abstract mood pictures for SimuPro: Triangles, circles and the WMF1 pad machine.