Innovative design has always been paramount in computers and electronics. HP's efforts to refresh the design of its products will help the company sell more and strengthen its brand. If you plan to give your product line a facelift, consider the following:
- Leading the Customer: Usually the best design efforts lead the consumer as iPhone reset our expectations about smartphones. Being ahead of the curve, however, increases the chances of going too far and producing designs that consumers don’t find appealing. So be prepared to act quickly if a newly designed product line sells more slowly than you have experienced in the past.
- Delivering Benefits: Designing solely for appearance sake is often far less successful than when a design is associated with the introduction of a new benefit. This benefit could be inherent in the design, such as a much thinner product. Or, it may simply signal to consumers some other new benefit, such as a lower price or improved sound quality.
- Designing a Portfolio, Not Products: A portfolio maximizes returns by having a range of different products and brands that target different customers and usages. Design can play a critical role in explaining to customers the similarities and differences of groups of products and brands across the portfolio.
- Evolving The Portfolio: A portfolio always evolves over time as the competitive environment changes. A constant internal pressure is to homogenize the portfolio using similar design elements and components across it to reduce costs. Sometimes this strategy works and other times it doesn’t particularly when the target customer finds your new designs less appealing than competitors. To get on the right path, it’s important to establish a clear multi-year roadmap for the entire portfolio to ensure that your design language remains distinctive and relevant.
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