Product Design Strategy

Product Design Strategy

When we look at the role of a product designer and the impact on a business they can have we see how closely business and design are intertwined. Having an understanding of businesses and their different approaches is very useful as a designer.

According to the Product Development Managers Association. (PDMA) new products have a 55% success rate. How do you measure success? Is it purely financial? I do not think it should be, new products can benefit a company by increasing their brand image, awareness, it can disrupt markets and  create new markets. New products can change a business and bring new life and excitement to a company.

The key question is how do you achieve success? There are various success drivers such as understanding of the customer, management support, product process in place, effective communication, effective idea screening and playing to the company’s strengths. The key element in all of this is Strategy: Where are we? Where are we going? How do we get there? How do we know if we have arrived?

Strategy can look like:

StrategyCourtesy of Professor Paul Inns GSA .

There are various strategies for various businesses. A business can be reactive for example clothing stores such as Zarah where they react to trends in the catwalk. Speed is essential to their operation. A business can be proactive investing in R & D and development such as Apple where their ability to release completely new ideas has made them one of the world’s biggest companies.

The product portfolio of a company is crucial to its success. A clear strategy should be behind each product with thought placed to the relationship between each one. For example a business can operate where by they have key resources an investment in certain technologies for example communication or security technologies. Each product they sell will make use of this technology but for different end uses and markets.

Business and design are tightly linked. I am actively developing my business skills in tandem with design and engineering skills to become a better, more aware product designer.

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