Design as a differentiator
A Philips case study

Page 1: Introduction

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...
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Page 2: Starting the design process

Marzano approached senior managers in the two organisations with his idea of working together and was pleased to receive a positive response. Philips saw the benefits of repositioning its products in a more up-market segment, while Alessi was already considering the possibility of extending the company’s range of materials into plastics and moving into a larger market. The first practical...
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Page 3: The design brief

On the basis of the analysis, the group outlined a series of products that might fit the aspirations and needs of the target audience. The design direction was based on creating ‘a new domestic quality’ including the characteristics of: affection rituality reliability ease of use. It was decided to make four products - a toaster, a kettle, a coffee maker and a citrus press...
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Page 4: Refining the design

About 200 sketches of ideas for the products were generated; after a screening process these were reduced to ten ideas which were further refined. Body shapeTo create the image of a family, it was necessary that all of the products had a stocky shape with a body gradually tapering up from a broad base. This required considerable ingenuity in the case of the citrus press which also needed to have a...
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Page 5: The communication strategy

Having developed a winning set of products it was essential to get the message out to the customer that the products provide the ideal combination of form and function. Communications needed to emphasise that the products are not only innovative and aesthetically appealing, but also eminently practical - efficient, effective and easy to use, providing the perfect balance between the need for...
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Page 6: Conclusion

The Philips-Alessi Line provides an interesting and useful case study outlining the nature of the design process and how it is put into practice in the real world. In particular, it provides a good example of how elements of design can be fused together. In this case a fusion of the ideas of form and function, ‘humanity’ and high-tech convenience has enabled the Philips-Alessi Line...
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