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The Coleman Company

Steel Belted Cooler

Coleman was celebrating 100 years of manufacturing some of America’s more iconic products. To commemorate this milestone while leveraging the power of their brand, Colema planned to re-introduce the legendary steel cooler. The industrial design brief read: “We want to bring back the steel belted cooler the way Volkswagen brought back the new Beetle”.

Finding A Solution

The market is flooded with plastic coolers because they are cost effective and they work. Would the market accept a steel belted cooler at a premium price? To find out, we worked closely with the marketing team to develop numerous feature and material concepts for end user research. The research resulted in the formulation of a strategy based on an honest approach to the use of quality materials, superior thermal insulation and classic design detailing.

Getting The Details Right

We applied the insight gathered during research to the development of a brand language that was evocative of the original design but with a modern implementation of the signature handle, latch and drain spout details. Research also revealed that cleaning was a major concern so we incorporated a large radius to the inside corners. The larger radii also improved the thermal transfer so the inside stays cooler for a longer period of time.

Inspired Re-Birth

The Steel Cooler was a tremendous success! Within months of the introduction, Coleman was able to command a premium price and gain placement in new retail outlets from Restoration Hardware to Target.

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