Why Branding Is Deficient

why branding is deficient

All companies wish to have a good, strong brand. For many companies, their brand is their biggest asset. The brand value of a leading enterprise can reach billions of dollars. There is no question about the power of branding. However, the common branding process is deficient, and often is only suitable for the previous century’s economy. In this article, I’ll describe what is missing in a typical branding process and how to improve it.

Read more…

Data-Driven Product Design

Data-Driven Design

A typical product design process is a knowledge-driven process with very little data involved. Product designers and engineers tend to trust their knowledge and expertise as the main resource for product design decision-making and product brief writing. Involving data in a product design process can improve the design quality, reduce costs and shorten time-to-market. In this article, I’ll explain what a data-driven product design is, what its benefits are, why it’s not common, and how to implement this useful method.

What is the difference between data and knowledge in the context of product design?
Data is a collection of individual facts. For instance: a list of materials’ prices. Knowledge is a meaningful acquaintance with facts, principles, methods, or practices to understand or perform a specific subject. For instance: the ability to choose the right materials for a product.

Read more…

12 Books for Product Design Managers

Product design management books

This time, I’d like to share some of my best nonfiction reading with you. Here is a list of 12 recommended books for anyone who deals with product design management. These books are not about product design management, but about different related topics: innovation, marketing, management, design, engineering and even history and psychology. I can guarantee you that each of these books is interesting and enriching, for both professional and personal matters.

Read more…

The Design-Marketing Tango

The Design-Marketing Tango

A successful product requires more than just design and engineering. A good design and smart engineering can result in a great product, but these two factors alone won’t necessarily achieve a successful one — a product that makes for good business. The bridge from a well-designed product to a successful one very much depends on Design-Marketing relationships.  The common relationship between product design and marketing is complicated. In many cases, you may find a lot of misunderstandings and unorganized multidisciplinary working procedures involved in this Design-Marketing Tango. This chaotic situation can cause great damage to any Product-Design Driven company.

This article deals with the integration of marketing knowledge and abilities in a product design process — the benefits you can gain from it, how to do it properly, and what to be aware of.

Read more…

How To Write a Product-Brief

How to write a Product design prief

A product-brief is one of the most important elements in a product design project. The product-brief is a plan and a compass – it defines the product’s goals and attributes, and shows you where to go. The product-brief has a great impact on the product’s quality and character, and the project’s efficiency. The product-brief writing is perhaps the activity with the highest ROI, as it costs very little and brings great value, as well as saves a lot of time and money while preventing wrong directions and unexpected outcomes.

Here is a list of eleven guidelines and insights about how to manage your product-brief.

Read more…

The two different types of product’s attributes

Product's soft attributes vs. hard attributes

When defining and characterizing a product in a product design process, there are two different types of product’s attributes that have to be considered – the Hard-Attributes and the Soft-Attributes. These two attributes are radically different in nature. Not distinguishing between them and treating them evenly is a common mistake. This article describes the differences between these two types of attributes and explains how to properly manage each of them.

What is the difference between hard and soft attributes of a product?
Hard-Attributes are objective and measurable, and have to do principally with the functioning and performance of a product; for example, strength, speed, weight, and price. They are mainly the purview of engineers.

In contrast, Soft-Attributes are subjective and emotional. They are described using words like attractive, young; sporty, pleasant, and feminine, and cannot be quantified or measured by objective means. For the most part, these attributes have to do with the character of the product and its user-experience. Soft-Attributes are mainly the purview of industrial designers.

Read more…

Product Matrix – product range optimization method

Product matrix - segmentation table

Product Matrix is a simple method for optimizing the product range of a company and defining the products’ main features – a method that can both save a lot of money and increase sales. In this article, I’ll describe what a Product Matrix is and how to use this method.

The problem

What products should we develop next? This is one of the major questions that PDD companies keep struggling with. Should we make a rich featured product or a light version? Should it be an expensive or cheap one? New product or new series? These are all crucial questions that bother any PDD company, and they are questions with enormous impact on the entire business.

Read more…

How to implement Product-Design Driven Strategy

How to implement Product-Design Driven Strategy

Product-design driven (PDD) companies achieve their advantage mainly through innovation and high quality product design. A company does not become a PDD company by chance, nor by high quality product design capabilities. PDD is a strategy. Like any other business strategy, it should be built from the top down and it requires vision, plan, budget, and execution. In this article, I’ll shortly describe the 10 main conditions and actions required for implementing a PDD strategy in a company.

Read more…

What is Product-Design Driven Strategy?

What is Product-Design Driven Strategy?

The four P’s Strategies

Business and marketing strategy is perhaps one of those things that differentiate leading companies from others. Successful companies tend to adopt one of the four strategies known as the four P’s – price, promotion, place, and product, as a main strategy, to run and grow their business. Let’s see how these strategies work for companies that sell (physical) products.

The price strategy is about attracting customers with good prices, by selling at lower price than competitors. This strategy is common in commodity product markets or among companies that bring production efficiency to its highest levels (IKEA). Big quantities and efficiency are prerequisites to succeed with this strategy.

Read more…

What is Product Design Management?

Product designer ancestors at work

Product Design Management (PDM) is one of the most important elements in the successful business of designing innovative products for production. Unfortunately, most companies do not really understand the importance of PDM or how to properly implement it. In this post, I will define what PDM is and distinguish it from Product Design.

In order to understand what PDM is, we first have to look at the history of product design and the evolution of the product designer. According to Wikipedia, “Product design is the process of creating a new product to be sold by a business to its customers.” That’s a pretty good definition. However, to understand the nature of today’s product designer, we have to go back to the origins of product design.

Early Product Designers

Let’s go back 2.5 million years to the prehistoric tool-maker, the ancestor of today’s product designer. Tool-making was a significant step in our evolution and it’s one of the main advantages that differentiate us, Homo Sapiens, from the animal kingdom. The caveman tool-maker made tools to extend his physical abilities – to improve his and his tribe’s abilities for fighting, hunting, eating, carrying and so forth. The sole effort and focus of the tool-maker’s work was on the product and the production process. There was nothing else to deal with.

The next step in the product design evolution was the artisan or craftsman. Artisans (such as blacksmith, carpenter and potter) were the dominant designers and producers of consumer products prior to the Industrial Revolution. In some respects, there were no significant differences between the artisan’s and the tool-maker’s ways of working. In both cases, design and production were integrated into a single process, carried out by the same individual. Hands-on skills were the “designer’s” most important capability, and each product was manually produced and controlled by the master himself. The product and the production process were the center of the “business” for the artisan, as well as for the tool-maker.

Read more…