Marketers use many tools to achieve their goals, including demographic data, statistics, budgets and more. Yet one of the best tools at a marketer’s disposal is often overlooked, and that tool is product design. Today, the best marketers are using product design firms to increase their sales, develop company recognition and create brand loyalty. For some years, the larger corporations have included Industrial Design departments and the smaller companies have employed Design Consultancies to develop their products, but marketers have not always taken advantage of their creative potential.
Defining the features
The competitive nature of our current commercial environment means that if there is a good idea out there, a dozen companies will have products that realize the idea. Auto companies will make cars of a size that is within an inch of their competition, and smartphones are differentiated in appearance only by a subtle curve or the texture of the frame.
There is no magic right or wrong to any of the design solutions, but a customer will still be looking for products that reflect his or her own identity. Marketers will know they cannot own a complete marketplace, but they can define a product segment and flourish within that.
So how are they to identify design solutions which differentiate one product from the next? Through the creativity of product design. Industrial designers can provide a spectrum of concepts to map out the options, giving a marketer the tools to define their customers and discover how best to reach them. It will help define a business strategy. With a product design direction defined early on, he will be better equipped to articulate the particular design features of the product when it is released. Communication between marketer and designer will inevitably benefit both the final product and its fit in the market.
An industrial design firm with design services including design research, user experience, innovative design development and design engineering capabilities, will create products that provide the core of what a marketer will present to the world. Not being fully versed in the design process is an opportunity lost.
The old adage, “never trust a book by its cover” is familiar to all of us. We also know we will pick up a book with an eye-catching cover and ignore the one with a predictable or uninteresting cover. The appearance of a consumer product and its “covers” do matter as they express a new take on technology and identify something worth a second look. Just as one can judge the date of a movie by the cell phones being used, we can judge a product by the age of the design language applied to that product.
This design language is a palette of design features, finishes and colors. It also includes a range of ergonomic relationships and familiar keystrokes. These are all attributes called on by designers to define their particular take on a product. Their choices will differentiate one product from the next, but will also fit more broadly with the range of products being introduced across the wider marketplace.
Conceiving a design that captures your attention requires a highly innovative company. Designers must be bold, inventive, free thinking and open minded. Product development company culture must be willing to change perception and attract customers to your new product. Successful marketing strategies coordinate the product’s design and features with the advertising message.
This design language is constantly evolving, and industrial designers are the ones pushing the creative edge to develop and implement it. While there are places where the origins of the design palette can be found, they are few and far between. Tapping into the output of a design company will provide instant access to style, market trends and raw creativity.
The product design company is a resource that a marketer can mine for ideas and inspiration when crafting new promotional campaigns. The use of these ideas can maximize the impact of a new product in the marketplace.
By working with experienced product design firms, you give the marketer a fuller picture of the complete product, allowing it to succeed in hitting its target customer and achieve the success the company will demand.
Although successful products are sometimes recognized with design awards, real success is measured by sales and profits. Long-lasting market leadership is always associated with an attractive product that provides value to the customer. Product value is directly proportional to benefits and cost. High performance at the right price equates to high value. IDSYS is fully aware of this simple formula and strives to maximize these objectives in every project we undertake.
Foundational Data for Marketing
Beyond the creative flow of ideas between a marketer and an industrial designer, there is a basic set of information a marketer will need to define a potential market, and decide where in that market a company would like to be and where it can afford to be. A low-volume product may not be able to support the tooling costs to create the fluid forms possible in injection molding and will need to use low-cost tooling like sheet metal or pressure-formed parts. This might not compete with similar products from a larger corporation and require a re-focusing on a market segment more suitable to a company’s resources. You may want to compete with a supercar but if you can’t afford welded seam lines between panels, and titanium components, you may end up not making that particular grade.
One of the sources of information which enables these critical decisions to be made is the engineering end of the industrial designer’s skill set, which can help identify assembly complexity and allow for initial cost estimates. Communication at the earliest stages of a new project is not just beneficial, it is essential.
It has been suggested that Industrial Designers are not perfect! This is actually a required assumption at the start of a new project, which requires that preconceptions be left at the door. A fresh evaluation of a product must be at the root of initial research. A designer will look for the critical information which will enable the product to succeed and will welcome input from all sources. A marketer should understand that a Design Company is not only a place to draw inspiration from but also a conduit where creative marketing can be projected into the design development process. Contributing to the three-dimensional solutions that define a company is not only personally rewarding but increases the value of the whole marketing organization.
The Love of Some Runway
In today’s world, there are very few resources more precious than time. To create truly impactful and unique marketing campaigns, marketers need as much time and runway as possible. Great product design is key to giving them this time. If you start to involve marketers at the same time as product design firms, you are giving them ground-floor access and the time they need. More importantly, it gives them the chance to be truly strategic and give their best, helping a product get the attention it deserves at precisely the right time.
If you have a great product that needs to find its place in the market, IDSYS can help you realize that goal. We are one of the top, most experienced product design firms in the country. We have a long history of working with marketers to ensure they can make impactful campaigns that work. We have years of experience in design and development and a record of award-winning industrial design.
Don’t settle for last-minute, non-strategic product design and marketing. Just contact IDSYS to discuss how these two important pieces can work together for better sales, greater brand recognition and a stronger bottom line.