Design as a differentiator


Good design is an important attribute of a successful product. A well designed product will stand out from rivals, win customer loyalty and sometimes even a ‘fan club’ as in the case of classic cars, such as the MG sports car and the Volkswagen ‘Beetle’. The concept of good design involves a number of attributes including – aesthetics (appealing to the senses through colour, size, appearance, shape, smell and taste of products), reliability, safety, maintenance requirements, impact on the environment, convenience and efficiency, ease of manufacture and commercial viability. Some products are thought to represent good design because of their functionality, they do what they are required to do in an efficient manner (e.g. a modern tin opener, a ring pull on a soft drinks can, the Ford Ka, etc.). Other products are said to represent good design because they offer style and visual impact (e.g. a gourmet restaurant dish, an expensive designer dress or a Jaguar car). A well designed product performs the functions required by the consumer better than rival offerings. Design is a great differentiator and is likely to create competitive advantage. This case study focuses on Philips and how a competitive edge can be built through…

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