Plus X Award seals of approval are presented in seven different categories – innovation, high quality, design, ease of use, functionality, ergonomics and ecology.
Prerequisite for an award is: The product must be of absolutely the highest quality, have a long life cycle, be functional and its design must be leading-edge. These prerequisites must be satisfied before the jury even considers nominating a product for an award. And: It must show one or more additional convincing features, i.e. functional innovations – these being the “Plus X” factors of real brand quality. With this concept, the Plus X Award maintains its high standing as a credible quality seal across all industries.
Up until now and in the future, this will be the innovation prize’s main task, that is to nominate innovative and outstanding quality products and make the public aware of them.
The word “innovation” originates from the Latin word “innovatio”, meaning more or less renewal or change. In today’s society we are quick to call something an innovation when it is new to the market. However, products with the Plus X factor are not “me too” goods. They are innovative and represent the latest state-of-the-art technology. Cutting-edge technology is an absolute must for these products, because only with this feature will they be considered future-proof, which is the basic requirement for long life and use cycles.
One of the most encompassing hallmarks of excellence a product can possibly acquire is the award for “High Quality”, for it embodies the manufacturer’s effort to deliver nothing but the utmost quality on the one hand and, on the other, the seal represents the durability of a product. Hence, “High Quality” products are contrasting strongly with the bulk of mass-produced goods that are made for prompt consumption and replacement. “High Quality” products are genuine investments into the future.
Reducing complex technology is visibly gaining in significance, both in terms of content as well as technically and for many manufacturers is becoming more and more a part of their overall philosophy. Whether their products are TV sets, fully automatic coffee machines or portable devices – functional design is a trend that is truly recognizable. And it’s a successful approach, as can be seen by many products awarded with the Plus X Award.
IIf a company’s objective is to wow consumers with the technical novelty and performance capabilities of its products, along with a device that is easy to operate, it will have to provide them with a well thought-out user’s manual. The R&D department, the product design department and the technical communications department must work hand in hand in order to guarantee from the upstart of a new product that users receive comprehensive support. Products that can be operated easily and intuitively are those that really establish themselves as innovations in the consumer’s mind.
If a product fulfills one function – or even a group of functions – in a very efficient and user friendly way, it will be awarded the Plus X Award seal for functionality. Besides their basic functions, innovative products show extra functionality. To meet the demands of consumers, those functions should work together with the basic functions in a homogenous way. Also judged are the range of functionality and the resulting advantages for the user.
The goal of ergonomics is to create products that are manageable and comfortable to use. Any interface between man and machine must be a perfect match for the product’s user to assure that there is no damage and that the product can be put to its ideal use. The principle that applies in this case: Man should take centre stage.
Saving energy these days is no longer simply a matter of ecological aspects for protecting the environment, but is also a way to save money. For consumers not nearly as transparent, for man and environment, however, just as important, is the goal to minimise a device’s emissions, such as sound, dust or harmful substances. There’s always quite a bit of courage involved when it comes to being an innovator and to setting trends. Setting products apart from the masses is on the one hand a way of helping consumers and on the other hand works as a catalyst for even more courageous steps towards environmental compatibility.