Marketing and Product Design: A Rocky Love Affair

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The success stories of design-oriented companies like Apple, Audi or Nike have put design on the agenda in many marketing departments. Consumers cannot elude the effect of aesthetics and therefore design is a major factor for business success. Typically consumers choose the product with the best design, all other aspects being equal. Only when the interplay of product characteristics, brand and design is carefully coordinated can successful products be created. This requires an integrated approach to design, one which is applied right at the beginning of the value chain. Product development, marketing and design need to work in close cooperation, communicate well and frequently, and collect feedback from the market. Superior aesthetics are always important but should be a top priority in cases where efficiency-oriented Asian competitors are able to offer functionally similar products at much lower prices.

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