Digitalization is impacting our world in nearly every way, including what products people consume and how they consume them. Not surprisingly, this shift impacts product design: companies need to focus beyond features and functions if they want to meet consumers’ expectations. Accomplishing this starts with gaining a deep understanding of consumer desires then applying that information to create experiences that make life easier or more enjoyable.
(Image © Jeff Koons)
This is no simple transformation. It’s not about gimmicks such as printing a personal photo onto a garment. It’s about finding innovative ways to fundamentally improve the consumer experience and create a lifestyle and culture to help people form a deeper connection to products. It’s also about imagining how people will consume differently in the future which can help create new customers in new markets for these companies.
This is triggering a fundamental shift in how consumer goods companies work. No longer can these organizations just think about what they can make; they need to change their entire approach to development by adopting consumer-centered experience-creation processes.
A recent Compass article explores this evolution. It looks at what a number of consumer products companies are doing to innovate, such as using 3D design and printing to prototype faster, both to show clients a very realistic preview prior to production as well as to create fully customized products. Technology also facilitates innovative product designs that are just not possible using traditional hand-drawn methods. One of the examples the article digs into is what ECCO’s Innovation Lab is doing with their Quant-U (Quantified You) customization project; this has been covered within this blog before, so we invite you to read more here. The article also examines the opportunities for continuous innovation and entering new markets, such as seeking input from other industries and from professionals of different backgrounds to open new perspectives.