The Importance of Product Design

Customers love products with great design. A product may work great and provide real customer benefit, but will struggle to gain momentum and marketing ’buzz’ if it looks unappealing. Therefore, the design of a product (or service) is just as important as its functionality and the value it provides to a customer. In fact, many customers presently expect products to be just as beautiful to look at much as they are reliable and functional.

Over the past two decades, companies such as Apple and Tesla have used product design to create competitive advantage. Furthermore, these companies discovered that customers are willing to pay a premium for a more attractive product. For example, compare two canister vacuum cleaners; a Dirt Devil and a Dyson. Without looking at the specifications of each, it can be agreed that both products perform a similar function (floor cleaning) and are constructed from similar materials (plastic). The significant difference is the design and attractiveness between the products. The Dirt Devil resembles a standard modern canister vacuum. The Dyson, however, looks like something used on a spacecraft. The standard two rear wheels are replaced by a single orb. The filter was crafted to mimic a jet turbine. Clearly, the Dyson team spent significant time crafting the look of the product.

The effect of product design is reflected in the price difference between the two vacuums. The Dyson ($599) is priced approximately CAD $400 more than the Dirt Devil (CAD $199). Of course, Dyson may have some higher internal costs, however one can expect that a retail price difference of 200{c14336733e672691d2f6ee53eca2ca89cf69e0e611d493bf1e4e7a5799201387} provides Dyson a much healthier margin than Dirt Devil.

Read this article from Entrepreneur magazine to learn more about how product design affects the emotion of the customer, and can either persuade (or dissuade) someone from purchasing a product.

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