Unless you are trying to make it pop, corn and electricity don’t usually go well together. Kimberly Carlotti, and her husband Nikolay Yakubovskiy managed to create a one of kind product by fusing the two. Their business, Sinergized, creates light bulbs out of corn waste.
“Nik and I have always been nature lovers.” explains Kimberly, “I grew up in a very ecological household, and when we started living together we always made sure to use environmentally friendly products around the house, ate organic and limited waste. In a way it just made sense to produce something green and long lasting.”
When it comes to working in China, the world’s industrial powerhouse, Kimberly hit a few hurdles trying to implement sustainability over all of the supply chain: “I’ve seen some factories produce environmentally friendly products, but their production lines are far from that. Some don’t really see the importance of green products. For example, our supplier told us that we were the first customers to choose the corn-based plastic for its environmental qualities rather than for its durability.”
As per usual, the biggest problem in trying to sell an eco-friendly product is to convince the customer that extra cost is worth it: “To overcome this you need two things: Design and Marketing. Customers are usually willing to pay for something they find cool. And with a lot of effort and good marketing, you can better show people how your products can make a difference. When we first started out 3 years ago, we were just an LED lighting company. Back then, KAE Collective helped us set everything up: Websites, catalogs, branding.”
Sinergized now sells its light bulbs around the world, and this requires adaptation, as different cultures have different perspectives on such innovative products. “The creative challenge here is to have a brand universal enough to communicate to all, but flexible enough to be adapted to local customs. For example, we had to do extensive work adapting the original brand for the Mexican market. Colors in some countries were perceived as ‘dynamic & energetic’, however in Mexico they were associated with low cost and poor quality."
The Chinese market is for the moment out of the question: “We haven’t even dared to try yet! We feel like it would be too much of a challenge to take on for the moment, as people’s mindsets are still focused on mass consumption. This is largely due to China having only opened its free trade market in recent times”.
In November 2015, the brand was nominated at the Better Awards, recognizing their proactive spirit and ability to solve problems through innovation. Sinergized is focused on putting its roots deep in the sustainable development market."
Images courtesy of the Sinergized, catalogue design by KAE Collective.