Housewares Design Awards

2007 Best in Category: Floor Care Electrics

Emerson Tool Company

goClean Household Wet/Dry Vac

This year’s Housewares Design Award winner in the Floor Care category is the Emerson goClean, a unique interpretation of the wet/dry vacuum that has been given an aesthetic and functional redesign to make it more attractive and useful for everyday household use.

Emerson has long-standing experience in the wet/dry category, where it ha been a major OEM supplier— under the Craftsman and Ridgid brands— for a number of years. However, the goClean represents a new direction for the company in a number of ways, not only giving the traditional wet/dry a new image, but also bringing the Emerson brand to the forefront.

In looking to redesign that traditional wet/dry vacuum, the company went directly to consumers to ascertain what things they find appealing and where traditional designs could be improved.

“Most people have a wet/dry vac and it gets left in the garage or basement where it gets dirty and dusty,” said Lori Moser, vp/marketing and business development for Emerson. “Most women feel like ‘heaven forbid that big old dirty, nasty thing is coming into the house.’”

What consumers really liked, however, was a wet/dry vacuum’s ability to handle virtually any household mess, from crumbs and tracked in dirt to spilled liquids.

In designing the goClean, Emerson compromised nothing in product performance, developing a unit that is capable of sucking up a gallon of water in less than four seconds. The company also maintained the ample dirt containment capacity of traditional wet/drys, giving the goClean a 2-gallon dirt containment drum.

Where goClean really got a redesign, however, was in its look and its ability to function anywhere around the home. Technologically, the company raised, the wet/dry bar, adding a HEPA filter to reduce emissions— a common consumer complaint on traditional wet/dry vacuums. The goClean also got an aesthetic update with a softer color palette of blue and silver with yellow accents combined with playful graphics on the front side to reinforce its in-home positioning. “We really wanted to develop something that was on-trend and innovative looking— not your typical wet/dry vacuum,” said Dave Hazelwood, director of marketing at Emerson.

Also gone is the traditional industrial-drum shape consumers associate with most wet/drys. The goClean has a smoother, rounded silhouette, one that subtly conveys portability and ease-of-use. Completing the design update, goClean also has been given a set of on-board tools comparable to those found on most uprights. The combination of enhanced aesthetics, improved filtration and uncompromised performance all worked to make Emerson’s goClean a deserving Housewares Design Award winner in a category packed with innovation.

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