Product design

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ABSTRACT

1 Introduction

Product design and specifically product shape and ‘looks’ have long been identified as factors that may contribute to product value and new product success. Design of products evokes both cognitive and affective responses in the mind of the observers and this can be used to tailor a more attractive product proposition.

While a lot of excellent research has been conducted on the positive effect that industrial design can have on the perceptions of customers about the product functionality, embedding issues like utility, safety and comfort, the importance of the perceived value by a customer on judgements about product elegance and social significance have not been extensively studied until recently. reference

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In this thesis I am trying to test whether Yes please soup pot design not only communicates to the potential customer a series of qualitative attributes about its content, i.e. quality and healthiness, but also triggers positive emotional responses on the perceived beauty and difference with similar products and that can be leveraged by the company to command a price premium

2        NEW PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT AND PRODUCT DESIGN

New product development processes are the subset of standardized procedures that companies use to manage the new product project phases that lead to the launch of new products in the market.

The objective of these procedures is to implement a systematized approach to ensure the potential of new projects based on their financial and development feasibility while maximizing the value of new products as perceived by its target customers.

2.1        What is industrial design

Industrial design is the set of activities within new product development processes that deal with optimizing the functionality and appearance of a product to maximize its value for both consumer and manufacturer (1).

The ultimate objective of a product design is thus to align the set of attributes embedded within the product with the target customer preferences and to implement them in a way that they are actually perceived and valued by them. In order to achieve a successful design and implementation, companies engage in direct market research to elicit the target customer segment implicit and explicit needs (‘the voice of the customer’) and align those with product attributes, using techniques such as Quality Function Deployment (QFD) which systematically links the needs the product must satisfy with technical specifications while also prioritizing them based on the level of importance to customers.

At the same time, the identification of the customer segment preferences and the mapping of those within a perceptual map, comparing how well different products in the market fulfill the identified needs, allow for the design of specific product propositions that no other product does and thus achieving a unique positioning and successful product differentiation.

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