Airbow / Product and Brand Design

Making an immediate impact in a well established market.


How does a startup brand deliver a differentiated, unique, and coveted new product line in a crowded, utility-driven industry?


The Challenge

AIRBOW began when a small group of builders in New Zealand decided to address the less-than-ideal performance of their framing guns. The building market is dominated by one nailgun brand – Paslode.

The incumbent’s product had built an incredibly strong and loyal user base, where the gun is almost the most important tool a builder has on site. Entering the market with a new solution seemed inherently risky.

The Approach

Airbow and ThoughtFull approached the project by designing the things that mattered to builders. Right through the design and development process the team developed deep empathy with the users, understanding what would make their lives on site better, what would make their business better and what would make the lives of homeowners better.

All ideas – from key features, brand positioning, product form, naming, right through to the diagrams and language – were shown, tested, mocked up and put in the hands of the builder every step of the way.

The Outcome

The resulting product, the first in an anticipated series of Airbow untethered power tools, delivers remarkable performance through a completely new technology. The product has completely reimagined how a framing gun should fire nails. The new system allows the gun to effectively transform one gram of compressed air into enough power to consistently drive a nail home every time.

Overall, AIRBOW has delivered a consistent, battery-free and fuel-free weatherproof product-line that has effectively differentiated itself in the marketplace.