BEYOND DESIGN by Gjoko Muratovski
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Copyright © 2004—2006 by Gjoko Muratovski Contacts: www.gyokomura.com firstname.lastname@example.org This book is written and designed by Gjoko Muratovski as Master’s project for the Bergen National Academy of Arts. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form without the written permission of the copyright owner. All images in this book are made by Gjoko Muratovski, except on the pages 56, and 260, where images have been done in colaboration with Peter Klasson. No responsibility is accepted by producer, publisher, or printer for any infringment of copyright or otherwise, arising from the contents of this publication. Every effort has been made to ensure that credits accurately comply with information supplied. This book has been written and designed under the supervision of: Bergen National Academy of the Arts Department of Visual Communications (MDes) Bergen, Kingdom of Norway Year of study: 2004—2006 Publisher: NAM Print Printed in Macedonia
Having American, German, French, British, and Norwegian tutors, made the work on this book a valuable international experience. This book has been written and designed as a Masters Project at the Bergen National Academy of Arts. I would like to thank this institution for choosing me to become a part of the first generation of the Master students in Design and Visual Communication in Norway. This has been one of the best design schools where I have been studying so far. I would like to thank my main tutors, Rachel Troye and Michael Hardt, as well as my external tutors, Andrea Tinnes, David Cross, Trond R. Eide, and Morten W. Knudsen. I have learned a lot from you. Thank you for providing me with excellent conditions to work. I would also like to thank my dear colleague Jo-Anne Alvis for her consulting on the British English while writing. However, If there are still some mistakes, it’s my fault.
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â€œFor his masters project, Gjoko Muratovski has ambitiously taken on the challenging task of trying to look into the future of our design profession; to look beyond design. During his broad studies and engagement in various areas of the design field, Gjoko has acquired a vast amount of information. With this knowledge, he aims to give a broad interest group a contemporary overview of the design process. He advocates working across borders and has a holistic approach to design. He sees design as being more than problem solving; as being a tool to create change and thus have greater impact, and meet the future challenges of our society. With his book, Gjoko aspires to contribute to the development of the design professionâ€?. Rachel K. B. Troye Professor of Visual Communications; Design Department at Bergen National Academy of the Arts
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“A 10-year-old boy once asked Bill Gates how to become the richest man in the world. Gates answered that one has to have good marks in mathematics and physics, know something about computers and understand (…) design. In fact, the success of Microsoft and Apple is basing on the fact that the interface design made personal computing accessible for everybody. But they went beyond design to achieve this. Design today is in transition from a product oriented aesthetical and commercial function to a process oriented communication tool with far reaching sociological effects. The development is taking place in revolutionary speed. I came to know Gjoko Muratovski in august 2004: A walking encyclopaedia about design who eats knowledge. Soon the idea was born to try to sum up some of his knowledge and make it available to whom it may concern. How to make a point out of a line? The development is ongoing. We were aware of the danger that this project will be outdated on the day it will be send to the printer. Internet publication would be much more flexible and appropriate. But yet Gjoko decided to make a classical book, a designed book even; a coffee table book with content. To mark a point on a line, beyond design”. Michael Hardt Professor of Visual Communications; Design Department at Bergen National Academy of the Arts Former Vice President at the International Council of Graphic Designers Associations ICOGRADA
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â€œIn my opinion, the book on design, by the MA student in Design & Visual Communications, Gjoko Muratovski from the Bergen National Academy of the Arts, represents a very thorough review on the interdisciplinary aspects of design. Both in scope and execution, I find his views highly interesting and intellectually stimulatingâ€?. Morten William Knudsen Senior Lecturer at Norwegian School of Management BI
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From design to corporate strategy
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“People are starting to understand that the traditional boundaries of design are fading and new opportunities are emerging. After giving the commencement speech at the Art Academy’s graduate program, I got to discover that Muratovski is one of the young designers who will help define the new boundaries of design. We had several long conversations that took us from his intriguing book to such varied topics as life, design, beauty, trends, history, culture – and he could connect them all. I think because he’s been able to transcend many borders to study the breadth of design, he’s well prepared to reach the future before most people do”. David Zach, Futurist Master of Science Studies of the Future; University of Houston, USA Consultant and Lecturer (www.DavidZach.com)
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FOREWORD What is this all about?
When I first started to study design in 1994, I was seeing design only within the constraints of my own department. At that time, for me, everything started and ended with design. However, in a course of years, my opinion started to change, and I started to get interested in expanding my knowledge within other design areas then the one I initially have started. From Interior & Furniture Design, I moved to Industrial Design, Architecture, Visual Communications, and Graphic Design. I had the feeling that they are overlapping themselves at certain points, and I thought that it would be beneficial to have a universal view while working on projects. The more I was broadening my view, the more I understood the importance of thinking outside the box. There was even more useful information out there in other areas that has not been used in the design profession yet. Therefore, I started to expand my knowledge in Marketing, Advertisement, Consumer Behaviour, Psychology, Corporate Communications and so on; while at the same time I was moving from one design department to another one. I have not only been changing the departments, but I have been changing the design schools and countries as well. Different tutors, different design philosophies, different systems of workâ€Ś seven different countries in the course of twelve years. All of that helped me to define myself individually, and trained me to have a global view on design. My educational background brought me to the conclusion that the most successful products, services, and systems, are combination of much wider holistic knowledge that goes beyond design.
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â€œMost think of design in terms of putting lipstick on a gorillaâ€?. Dieter Rams
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PREFACE: The butterfly effect theory ....................................................... 18 TO BEGIN WITH: Brief introduction ......................................................... 22 THE QUESTION: What is design? ........................................................ 26 BRIEF HISTORY: The beginnings of modern design ........................... 30 DESIGN AS IT IS: General overview .................................................... 36 DESIGN IS DESIGN: What makes design different? .......................... 42 DISCOVERY: The role of design research ............................................ 48 LEARNING: Design education .............................................................. 56 THE PROFESSION: Designers and design studios .............................. 62 YOUNG DESIGNERS: Who wants to work for free? .......................... 68 TREND SET: Description and future projections of trends ................. 74 FUTUROLOGY: The future of design .................................................. 80 EMPATHY: Empathic design ................................................................. 84 INTEGRATION: Integrative design ....................................................... 88 TEAM WORK: Multidisciplinary teams ................................................ 92 EMOTIONS: Experience design ............................................................. 98
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NOT MADE OF: Immaterial design .................................................... 102 ONLINE: User-interface design .......................................................... 108 PEOPLE FIRST: From ergonomics to universal design ....................... 114 SAVE THE WORLD: Environmentalism ............................................ 120 BACK TO NATURE: Sustainable design ............................................. 124 GO GREEN: Sustainable development and environmental design .... 130 CLEAN CHOICE: Sustainable materials ............................................. 138 ECO: Environmentally friendly products ........................................... 144 BUY BUY: The art of shopping ........................................................... 158 NO ESCAPE: Controlled shopping ..................................................... 164 BEHAVE: Consumer behaviour ........................................................... 170 SENSE: Perception and interpretation ................................................ 178 VARIETY: Market segmentation and target groups ........................... 188 MARK-E-THING: Contemporary marketing ....................................... 210 BRAND NEW: Branding ..................................................................... 216 THINK BIG: Corporate branding ......................................................... 222
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BIG AND POWERFUL: Corporate identity ....................................... 232 THE MESSAGE: Corporate communications ...................................... 236 NEXT IN LINE: The new corporate designer ...................................... 244 THE DIFFERENCE: Design as corporate strategy ............................. 250 THE END: Last words ......................................................................... 256 PERSONAL: Something about me ..................................................... 260
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PREFACE The butterfly effect theory
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â€œDesign does not reside in finished products, but in the act of making them. Not in the result, but in the processâ€?. Andrea Branzi
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When it comes to literature about design, a huge divide exists between highly specialized scholarly texts, design articles, and beautiful but expensive coffee-table books. The later maybe do not have much to say, but are lovely to look at. I have always wanted a book, which combines the three.
This book represents my interpretation of the design process in general. In the book I will be occasionally shifting from one discipline to another, but only because in reality they are overlapping themselves. Therefore, I think it is important to provide as much as possible a holistic overview. There are many different understandings on what is design, and as long as the designer can explain and communicate his work in a rational and logical matter, there are no wrong or right design interpretations.
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I like to see them as different points of view. There isn’t a single design style, direction, or philosophy that I don’t like or don’t respect. I always try to find the beauty in every style and try to understand the time and the circumstances under which it was made. After all design is also a way of expression. In my opinion, designers should not be judged by taste, but by the understanding of the principles of how something was created. Design is not the same as styling and even less is good taste. The great American architect, Frank Lloyd Wright, once said: “Good taste is basically a matter of ignorance, seldom, unless by accident, on good terms with knowledge of the poetic principle”. I did not made an attempt here, to create an encyclopaedic enumeration of some kind; rather, this book is designed, to present a survey of the main lines of the design development and influential factors that may and will determine the future of the design process. This book represents a contemporary overview of that process and relates to the tendencies of the integrated design approaches in the industry today and the knowledge that lies behind. I believe that the implications of this project could be beneficial in determining corporate or national strategies, as well as the educational direction in this field.
Design as itself is not an exclusive process. Nothing starts or ends with it, but is in the middle of everything. The process of work spans through several different disciplines, and each discipline can influence directly or indirectly the final outcome. Even the tiniest details can influence the final design – for example, a flaw in the design brief or the marketing strategy. Similarly like the Butterfly Effect theory – A term that some meteorologists began using when trying to explain the unpredictability of the weather. The theory is that, if a butterfly chances to flap his wings in Beijing in March, then by August, hurricane patterns in the Atlantic would be completely different. If designers can manage to deal with the overall sum of knowledge, design in the future will not just be in the middle of the things, but can become the main link in this new system of work.
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TO BEGIN WITH Brief introduction
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â€œProducts have become containers for stories and designers have correspondingly become storytellers and even mythmakersâ€?. Steven Skot Holt
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Today, design has become an extremely wide area of expertise, that overlaps with many other disciplines. The knowledge of the classics of modern design has almost become a common cultural property. Design objects today are presented in a similar manner as art.
TO BEGIN WITH
Industrial design in the past has been known as the Determination Of A Products Form, or like in Germany prior to 1945, Produktgestaltung (Product Shaping) or Industrielle Formgebung (Industrial Form Giving). At that time, the design has been the exclusive concern of the engineers. Design today, is a significant marketing factor whose importance is an essential component of the business policy in an increasing number of firms. Design tomorrow, can evolve to become the leading force in the multidisciplinary teams that will be creating the new corporate philosophies and national strategies.
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In reality designers are never really independent. Not even if they have their own studios, because they work on projects for other companies. They are corporate designers, since they follow the corporate rules. Not their own, but the ones from the company that ordered the designs. Designers are independent when they make things just for themselves. Then they don’t need to explain anything to anybody. If somebody else likes the things they do, than that’s great, but it’s a coincidence. But that’s art. Not design. It’s not a conscious problem-solving process. I am not saying that there is no freedom in the work of the designers. There is a certain amount of freedom, but there are much more restrictions then freedom. There are always restrictions that apply. Weather they are in the manufacturing process, the target market, environmental issues, the price, the user-friendliness... And that is what makes a product successful on the market or not. A careful balance of all the restrictions and guidelines provided to you from the brief. But, only if the brief is really well done. When it comes to that, why shouldn’t designers be integrated in the concept development as well? After all, they are the ones executing the work. In my opinion, designers lack certain knowledge in other areas to be fully competitive. Areas that are not in the general design education. And that is what I will try to introduce in this book.
TO BEGIN WITH
*1 Corporate Identity (CI): The uniform image of a firm, from an intrinsic and extrinsic perspective, intended to clearly distinguish the firm from its competition and to give it instant recognizability. The CI incorporates the design of all products, buildings, and means of communication–e.g., company magazines, advertisements, and letterhead. It might even dictate the design of the uniform clothing (or determination of a dress code) and social behavioural norms toward customers. A related term is corporate culture (CC), which refers to the efforts of a firm to create a respected cultural image, forexample, by sponsoring cultural events and social benefits for employees. Hauffe, Thomas; Design –An Illustrated Historical Overview; Barron’s Educational Series Inc; 1996. (Pg. 63)
In an age, in which many products are technically mature, distinctions in quality no longer exist in certain market sectors, and the determination of prices for products with approximately the same wage and material costs, can hardly vary. As a result of that, design becomes the ultimate difference in competitiveness. Nevertheless, design means more then just forming individual products. The image of the entire firm, in everything from the letterhead to its company buildings, from its uniforms to its advertisement – it’s so called Corporate Identity*1, is designed. Even the manufacturing, the transportation, distribution and the waste management can be, and should be incorporated in the design strategy.
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THE QUESTION What is design?
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â€œDesign, in its broader sense, is creation of systems for livingâ€?. Yoshida Mitskuni
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What is design? The question that many have tried to answer, but none has succeeded to give a definite answer. Perhaps this question cannot be answered. Maybe design is some kind of abstraction; an entity with no real definition? Since design is influenced by the most varied factors, it is not possible to come up with a single definition. So what lies behind this confusion? To answer that, we need to look beyond design.
Even today there still isnâ€™t an exact definition of what design is. In the course of years, there have been many interpretations of what it should be, but nothing is finalized, as design is an ever changing and evolving field. And because of that, we constantly need to be oriented towards the future definitions and developments of the design. There are two ways for us to foresee the future; one is if we create it, and the other is if we know and understand itâ€™s past, and the present, and follow itâ€™s evolutionary link. Etymologically, the word design comes from the Italian disegno, which since the Renaissance has meant the drafting or drawing of a work, and in general, beyond this, the idea at the root of a work.
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At the first international industrial exhibition of modern times, the Great Exhibition of 1851, there were 1.756 French participants, of which many have gained awards. This success has delighted the French officialdom. However, Count Leon de Laborde, who had then been in charge of organizing French participation, wrote a number of critics in his report on the exhibition, published in 1856. This report, showed him to have been one of the most perceptive men of his time, and one of the prophets of future developments in the decorative arts. Leon de Laborde was an eminent archeologist, member of the Institut and director of the Archives Nationales during the Second Empire. He had traveled widely and studied the great monuments of antiquity. However, unlike some of his contemporaries, he did not make a cult of the past and he roundly criticized artists who killed art by making a fetish, of copying the masterpieces of past ages. According to him, artists should concern themselves much more with the settings and surroundings of everyday life. He made the following statement at the beginning of his report: “The future of the Arts, of the Sciences and of Industry lies in their association”.*2
Seen in this way, we can limit the term to the period since the Industrial Revolution, which began in England, and from there it spread to the other countries of the world.*1 However, with the coming of industrialization, the history of design also begins – more precisely with the opening of the Great Exhibition held in London in 1851. For this purpose, a new building was constructed; it was called The Crystal Palace. Joseph Paxton (1801—1865) designed the building and made a clear break, with traditional separation of interior and exterior. Engineering techniques and new materials, now determined the aesthetics of a building.
*1Authors Note: Regardless of that, I would like to mention that for many people, Leonardo Da Vinci (1452—1519), ranks as the first designer. *2 Guerrand, Roger-Henri; Edited by Garner, Philippe; The Encyclopedia Of Decorative Arts 1890—1940; Art Nouveau –The Birth Of A Modern Style; Chartwell Books Inc; 1988;
In the 16th century in England, design was used in the sense of a plan from which something is to be made… a drawn sketch for an artwork. The word also connotes planning, purpose and intention. As for the term design process, we can also read it as a problem-solving process. The term design is used in general, for the drafting and planning of industrial products.
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BRIEF HISTORY The beginnings of modern design
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“Knowledge comes from the past, so it’s safe. It is also out of date. It’s the opposite of originality”. Paul Arden
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The roots of the Modernism are located in the 19th century consolidation and questioning of Enlightenment attitudes. The celebration of nature, the cult of individualism, the ideal of progress, and the challenge of science and technology; all contribute to initial theories of design.
The style in the decorative arts (1890—1914), which eventually become known as Art Nouveau – an art, which refused to accept the prevailing cult of the past – was made possible by a number of outstanding writers on aesthetics, during that period. What these writers, John Ruskin and William Morris in Great Britain, and Leon de Laborde and EugeneEmmanuel Viollet-le-Duc in France, had in common was a rejection of the crass materialism that had reached its apogee in many of the exhibits at the Great Exhibition (London, 1851).
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These men, whose love of the past was never beyond dispute, rediscovered the long forgotten truth that art should be in harmony with the age that creates it. John Ruskin in the field of aesthetics was especially responsible for numerous advances and he rejected the fine distinction between the so-called major and minor arts. Interior decoration therefore, which had formerly been entirely in the hands of artisans, now took on the dimensions of a major social and artistic mission. According to him the decorative arts, should once again assume the central position in artistic concern that they had occupied at the time of the Renaissance. John Ruskin, during his lectures at Bradford in 1859, reminded his audience, that Correggio’s finest work is to be found in the domes of two churches he decorated in Padua, that Michelangelo’s masterpiece is the decorated ceiling of the Pope’s private chapel and that Tintoretto decorated the ceiling and walls of benevolent society in Venice.
Viollet-le-Duc, who was to teach for several years in the Ecole des Arts Décoratifs in Paris, on the subject of interior decoration, professed exactly the same ideas as John Ruskin and Leon de Laborde. He once wrote that: “Interior decoration, has lost any semblance of unity. The architect never gives a second thought to what sort of paintings are to decorate the rooms he has designed, the painter never takes into consideration the architecture of the rooms there he hangs his works, the furniture-maker completely ignores what both the painter and the architect have done, and the man who supplies the curtains takes great pains to ensure that his products are all that you notice in a room”.
It was also Ruskin who called on architects to draw their inspiration from the lessons taught by nature, a concept that was to be central to movements in the decorative arts at the end of the 19th century. The ambition to translate the secret truths of nature in architecture and interior design, can be seen in the works of Horta in Brussels, of Guimard in Paris and of Gaudi in Barcelona.
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*1Battersby, Martin; Edited by Garner, Philippe; The Encyclopedia Of Decorative Arts 1890—1940; Art Deco –The Triumph Of 1925; Chartwell Books Inc; 1988;
He also suggested that: “It is barbarous to reproduce a Greek temple in Paris or in London, for a transplanted imitation of this monument revels an ignorance of the basic principles governing its construction, and ignorance is barbarism”. And by that, he clearly removed design and architecture, from the field of decoration. The triumph of 1925 International Exhibition of Decorative and Industrial Arts, held in Paris, inspired the development of the emerging style known today as Art Deco. The style was not so named during its existence, when it was referred to as Moderne or Contemporary for, as is usually the case, a definitive name was applied only long after in retrospect. Youth was the most accented characteristic of the generation of versatile designers, mostly in their early twenties who through the patronage and encouragement of Paul Poiret, created Art Deco.*1 Soon after, the appearance of several art movements contributed to the fall of Art Deco. These movements were Dada in Switzerland, De Stijl in Holland, Cubism in France, and Negro Art brought from the French colonies. And finally, the new and revolutionary furniture from Bauhaus began to replace the elegance of Art Deco. Closely related to the methods of industrial production was serial and mass production. Many everyday objects and variety of pieces of furniture were not produced as single pieces, but in large quantities. New distribution methods and increasing use of advertising have followed. The moral and social aspects of serial production also led to an aesthetic definition of design, which arrived especially through the theory of functionalism. The supporters of modernism and of functionalism assumed that the form of an object had only to suit its function and must not include any superfluous ornamentation. Also that, the industrial conditions of production, demanded a standardized, simple, geometric language of form in order to be able to produce good quality, durable products inexpensively, as was necessary for social reform. In 1908, the Viennise modernist architect Adolf Loos, made a strong statement that corresponds with the above, when he wrote the essay/manifesto “Decoration and Crime”.
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By contrast, the German design of the 1950’s and 1960’s was highly technically oriented, mostly putting the emphasis on the ergonomics of the workplace and the practical convenience of the product. Since the end of the 1960’s, especially since the beginning of the postmodern, the liberal arts have been increasingly incorporated into explanations of the functions of design. With recognition that design not only fulfills technical and material functions, but is also a medium of communication, methods from psychology, semantics and other areas of communication science and have been employed in order to investigate and describe the symbolic character of the designed object.
Since the functionalism at the beginning of the 20th century untill well into the 1970’s, the function and the technical requirements of industrial mass production were considered as a model for the form of an industrial product. Styling on the other hand, which was particularly common in American industrial design, have placed the marketing aspect in to the foreground.*2
*2 For more informations: Hauffe, Thomas; Design – An Illustrated Historical Overview; Barron’s Educational Series Inc; 1996. Byars, Mel; The Design Encyclopedia; Published by Laurence King Publishing, London; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; 1994/2004
He stated the following: “Ornamentation as a rule makes the product more expensive. (…) Lack of ornamentation leads to a decrease in production time and a raise in wages. (…) Ornament is wasted work effort and therefore wasted wealth”. And in connection to that, I would also like to mention the comment made by the German architect Hermann Muthesius (1914): “It is only through standardization, which is to be understood as the result of a healthy concentration, that a generally accepted and sure taste can again, be established”.
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DESIGN AS IT IS General overview
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“Between two products, equal in price, function and quality, the better looking will outsell the other”. Raymond Loewy
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DESIGN AS IT IS
Globalization has forced businesses to keep even more dynamic pace then ever before. They must deal with severe international competitions, unpredictable markets, quick shifts in the sociocultural processes, demographics and consumption preferences, as well as with the unpredictable technological developments. Despite those risks, they have to manufacture the right products and deliver them to the right consumers in the right way, at least four out of ten times every year â€“ just to cover the expenses.
Design has become a natural component of the corporate identity in more and more businesses. For the consumers as well, the products have assumed the images of the corporations. Many firms however, never developed any particular design policy or line, but took a shortcut by designating anything that was more colourful or in some way out of the ordinary as a designer piece.
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However, in the last decade or so, a new design trend has emerged, new products have been created, that were not just functional and void of any unnecessary detail. A new idea was born, which was to create an emotional bond between the product and the consumer. Designers wanted to create desirable products instead of just functional ones. Products, which are becoming objects of art and also performing a function, products that will become, lifestyle statements. This reminded me of one description of the Arts & Crafts movement: An art product is viewed primarily as an object of aesthetic contemplation without any functional value. A craft product in contrast, is admired because of the beauty with which it performs some function. And since we know that the design emerged out of the Arts and Crafts movement in the 19th century during the Era of Industrialization, by rejecting the difference between the major and minor arts, does this means that design is it rediscovering itself again? Or perhaps is entering into its own Renaissance period? From a philosophical point of view, we can say yes. But things are not that simple, since we have much more issues to worry about today.
DESIGN AS IT IS
Styling and Streamlining*1 from the middle of 1920’s till 1950’s in USA, lead by Raymond Loewy, also made its mark, but many buyers are no longer looking for the high-pitched and flashy. Instead they look over and above a product’s practical value, for its individuality, authenticity, and meaning for their lives.
*1 Styling: In design, this term means the formal reworking of a product under purely aesthetic and market-oriented considerations in order to make it more attractive to the consumer. The term appeared in the United States after the Great Depression when industry wanted to boost sales. Because it promoted consumption, functionalists were strongly opposed to the concept. Streamlining: The idealized waterdrop form was able to minimize wind resistance. Streamlining is the result of aerodynamic research in airplane and automobile manufacturing since the First World War. Since the 1930’s streamlining has been used in the styling of various products to symbolize a dynamic faith in the future; in the 1950’s it was being used by all the industrialized nations. Hauffe, Thomas; Design –An Illustrated Historical Overview; Barron’s Educational Series Inc; 1996. (Pg. 97)
Consumers, in the same way like the producers and designers, are changing. The functionality of the products and their ergonomics are taken for granted today. And why shouldn’t be? Generations of designers have been obsessed with it. It started from the often quoted, but much misunderstood statement by Louis H. Sullivan, Form Follows Function in the early 1900’s, continued to the 1970’s, and then went to Less Is More (An ideology that Mies Van Der Rohe and Buckminster Fuller has adopted as a way of life). And that became a design philosophy that clearly left its mark on the industry today.
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*2 Sales of organic food have risen by 10 per cent in the past year (2003), growing by £2 million a week: twice the rate of the rest of the grocery sector; Times Online, The Times and The Sunday Times; Copyright of Times Newspapers Ltd.; November 15, 2004; www.timesonline.co.uk
DESIGN AS IT IS
People more and more care about their own health, the food they eat, the life they live. They are more concerned about their own wellbeing and environmental issues we are facing. Technological advances are making our lives simpler in one way, but more complicated in another. We are becoming more and more dependent on technology, and we are trying hard to stay in touch with the latest developments. The world is developing too rapidly and with globalization today, people from different cultures are merging together more and more. Everything is influencing design. For example, look at the sudden rise of the organic foods market in Britain. Sales of organic food have risen by 10% in 2003, growing by 2 million pounds per week – twice the rate of the rest of the grocery sector.*2 That means new opportunities in packaging design, transportation, distribution, and so on. This is a trend, which looks likely to continue. If design should be a medium, that improves the quality of life, then life is what dictates the moves we make. Problems that we are facing today are far more complex and they require an additional knowledge, which has not been common among the designers. We need a better understanding of the consumer, environment and sustainability and that’s just a start. Design today, is more then simply styling or art. Designers cannot assume to know what lies in the hearts and minds in the people for whom they design. They are not utopian visionaries, who can act upon their individual insights or upon their artistic skills. Instead they need to adopt theories and practices that threat creativity as both psychological and sociocultural process. Therefore, sociologists, psychologists, philosophers and marketers, are being called to work together with designers in multidisciplinary teams, to discuss new possibilities and development of completely new products and services. It’s clear now, that design processes have evolved and moved to another level, from project execution to project planning and concept development. In the past, designers have been used merely as a tool that can help to increase products sales, and therefore the profits of the company. And designers need to change that.
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You can ask yourself, why this change now? Why this hasn’t been done sooner? Have the big corporations, finally decided to do something good for the world? We can say yes and no to that. The yes answer, lies in the nobility of the action it self, but only because it creates even higher profits. Surveys show that consumers are ready to pay even more for products that are environmentally friendly, thus it’s simple business sense. Obviously consumers have not been that concerned before, otherwise we would have had these solutions a lot sooner. However, making environmentally friendly products is not enough. People don’t want boring and sterile looking products. They should feel as though they have not sacrificed aesthetics and design for something else. We need to maintain the emotional bond that products can create and still attain the desirable outcome in function, ecology, ergonomics etc. Therefore, we need to know what people want and when they want it. When people choose a product, they don’t choose it on the basis of whether or not they have good or bad taste. Good taste in theory does not exist. Every single decision, and every single purchase made, is based on a certain emotion or previous knowledge or experience. These emotions or experiences are driving the consumption process. This process takes half of people’s life, and we, as designers, need to know everything that happens in that area. Only then we can have successful design that can produce maximum results, and maximum profit.
DESIGN AS IT IS
Designers today are able to create concepts from scratch. Therefore, they can directly influence the environmental issues like pollution, waste and greenhouse effects. The multidisciplinary knowledge helped the creation of the idea of Sustainable Design – A solution perfect in theory. Sustainable design creates a win-win situation for everyone, fewer expenses for the manufactures, cheaper products for the consumers, and clean and safe environment for all. It may sound impossible, but it’s out there. Nature is the perfect sustainable system. This can work in the industry as well, only if designers rethink the old concepts from scratch, instead of trying to fix the old problems. By locating the problems and eliminating them in the first stage or before they have appeared, this can become possible.
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DESIGN IS DESIGN What makes design different?
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“I hate design for design’s sake”! Jason Hall
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DESIGN IS DESIGN
Design is a field that involves problem finding and problem solving, analysis, invention, and evaluation. All of this is guided by sensitivity to environmental concerns, human-centred aesthetic, functional, as well as cultural needs.
Designers work on teams, or as individuals. They are outer-directed and work for others. Their work is to create products, systems, communications, and services needed by the society. To do that, they use a variety of tools to collect and organize information in that process. Product designers mostly work with artefacts, systems, or hardware. Communication designers, most of the time work with messages, information systems, and software. In both cases they work with professionals from other disciplines to develop complex systems that require broad expertise..
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Then again, artists work subjectively with the motivation of self-expression to produce works that fulfil aesthetic and intellectually stimulating objectives. They are inner-directed, and they usually work for themselves, or in some cases, for individual clients. What they use is primarily intuitive and personally developed skills. There are some techniques and processes that overlap with design, like the common use of visual media to communicate ideas, but that is as far the similarity goes. The fundamental methods, the results, and the goals, are very different.
When it comes to advertising and communication, some of the techniques and the vocabulary are the same. They both use visual language elements, like type, image, colour, texture, and composition to create visual messages. The main goal of marketers and advertisers is to persuade the consumers to purchase products or services, or in some cases to perform a certain action. Communication design can also sometimes be focussed in that direction, but there are many other applications that they can perform. For example, communication designers can plan and develop exhibitions, publications, and information systems for industry and institutions.
DESIGN IS DESIGN
Due to the extensive use of the word design to mean fashion in advertising, a great confusion has been made among the general public. Fashion design is taught in some schools, which have clothing design programs, and some fashion designers have extended their interests to certain products as well. Fashion designers are stylists, and often, they seek new forms without regard for matters of functionality, performance, human factors, or almost any concern. The public is confused by the fact that other design professions are also concerned with issues of aesthetics. The difference is that other designers, besides the fashion designers, do not deal with aesthetics exclusively, neither with the simple pursuit of something new. This does not means that fashion designers are lower category of some kind, but it means that usually the goals in that particular industry are different. Fashion design is nearly always indirectly connected with all other design fields.
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Educational materials, multi-media productions, and web sites are increasingly used in schools and to support learning in growing fields of industrial training, continuing education, and professional seminars. Other more conventional information systems include magazines, books, technical manuals, and corporate communications. They all require communication design to organize the information, increase the clarity, enhance the effectiveness, and ensure readers satisfaction. New forms of communications like Internet also need design, and communication designers are breaking new grounds while exploring the possibilities in this area. Product design and engineering share the concern for planning, development, and production of products. From simple ones, like can openers, to more complex systems like cars, or airplanes. Product designers need to concentrate on the needs of people and the ways in which products can be made safe, comfortable, and easy to use. The terms that describe this special concern are human factors design and human centred design.
DESIGN IS DESIGN
Engineers concentrate more on problems of how to make a product work well for the functions that they need to perform. They are also optimizing the design of the product for the production. Designersâ€™ work includes concepts, human factors, appearance, and performance. Engineers work with details, functionality, performance, and production. Some say that designers work with thing-to-people relationships, and engineersâ€™ work with thing-to-thing relationships. Both share a common ground, but their specializations differ. That is why they frequently work in teams. Design aspect that is concerned with strategic, conceptual, and methodical approaches is called Design Planning. This design area is more concerned with the initial activities encountered in the design project. It establishes purpose and creates fundamental directions, while also defines the goals of the project, but does not focus on the means to achieve those goals. Another part is the development of the concept that can be the project direction for detailed design activity.
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DESIGN IS DESIGN
All of these involve specialized skills and are important to the overall business or institutional plan. The design planner may be involved in developing any or all of them, but the primary responsibility stays â€“ to develop the conceptual plan.*1
*1 Inspired by the article: Owen, Charles L; What is Design?;Institute of Design, IIT; September 2004; www.id.iit.edu
That development means customizing or creating the process, methods, and tools to conduct the project. Compared to other forms of planning, design planning is concerned with the productâ€™s nature, system, service, institution, etc. being planned and what it can be. A key outcome of this process is the conceptual description of what is to be produced. There might be several plans to support that â€“ a financial plan for how to fund development and how to price components and associated services; implementation plan for how to stage development and when to introduce offerings to the market; a marketing plan for how to target niche markets and how to communicate product values; etc.
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DISCOVERY The role of design research
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â€œEverything should be made as simple as possible, but not simplerâ€?. Albert Einstein
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The role of research in the creative process is to discover and guide the design implications of the real cultural phenomena. Researchers must have a sound working knowledge of the concepts and methods that make culturally motivated designs possible. Every project demands that we, as designers, determine the appropriate outcomes, project constraints, and research methods. Researchers must demonstrate that their conclusions are logical and founded in the data created during the project itself, so the design team can create new ideas and solutions.
The dynamic nature of the contemporary design and research, continues to fuel debate about what represents appropriate design research. Despite the differing opinions, many research systems that are not applicable can be modified to become applicable for design. Design researchers have made the distinction between three basic research platforms. These platofrms correspond on some levels, with the principal stages of the product development. They are discovery, definition, and evaluation.
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Data collection methods are standardized techniques that enables researchers to gather valid and relevant project information. Qualitative data gives us clues about the culture, such as descriptions of perceptions about how people use or classify things, the nature of their personal interactions, and opinions about the world around them. All of this provides tremendous clues about people on a group level. Quantitative data, such as the amount of time people spend at displays in museums, or the number of phones or bicycles a family might have, is great for the same reason. Combined, these methods can help us create and distinguish, among the most important human processes within and across groups of people. On the other hand, one of the most common research and inspirational technique, used by designers is known as the image board.
Any project may start with any of the research platforms above and then lead to others. The immediate challenge is not so much in creating new research methods, but to figure out exactly when, how, and why to use them, and specify the implications of their findings for the design process. These platforms help us to make it possible to select the appropriate qualitative and quantitative methods for data collection and analysis. These methods helps us to discern among processes that may be more or less, prevalent among the customer groups we study.
*1 Reference from the section: New Methods of Design –ID Methods;Institute of Design – Chicago, IIT; 2004; Published online: www.id.iit.edu
The discovery research is an open-minded effort when we are learning about the consumers’ culture. This method is useful for developing original product and service ideas, or in many cases finding new applications for existing and emerging technologies. The definition research is a more focused upon effort and it assumes that there is already a product concept. It helps us to define the product, by identifying the implications of the consumers’ culture. It is somewhat useful for matching products and guiding the business decisions. The evaluation research, assumes that there is already a working product or prototype. It helps us to refine and authorize product prototypes and their usability, market segments, and consumer preferences.*1
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These image boards are collections of images from various sources. Common themes might be competing products, or artefacts the designers feel are representative of the target market. Other boards, could be composed of images from nature, or unrelated objects, providing inspiration for colour and textures. In this process, designers are creating the initial concepts for the product. The Institute of Design in Chicago uses a range of methods to help gather data, analyze, and understand human behaviour. Some of them, like the ethnographic observation, are methods that have been borrowed from social science research. They have utilized this method in order to understand the unarticulated needs and issues, that users’ of particular products, environments, software, and systems may have. All in order to create innovative design solutions. Another method, like video ethnography is a way to capture human behaviour in the context of the person’s natural environment and a means of gaining insights about user behaviour and needs. By that, they can re-view the user’s behaviour. The analysis of the tapes is used to present insights and implications for design solutions. Videotaping is also essential as well at the beginning of the design process – when needs are identified, as it is throughout the process – when understanding of a particular user context is gained.
Disposable camera studies are a new method that enables researchers to gain insights about places they cannot get access to, such as people’s homes. Cameras are given to the users, so they can document their environments and objects in context. It also helps researchers to get a glimpse of life through the users’ eyes. Another type of research is called observation with prototypes. In this case, prototypes are given to users as a means of observing typical interaction. Researchers use video ethnography and field notes to document their observations. The insight can allow them to determine what works, or doesn’t, and why, so the concepts can be refined.
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Designers should also use a combination of conceptual and behavioural prototypes to reach their final design. Behavioural prototypes demonstrate how a new product, environment, or interface may function rather then how it may look.
New human factors include methods to understand the broad terrain of human needs in a methodical way. The needs, people may not even know they have. These processes extend far beyond the focus groups and surveys applied in traditional marketing. Employing the principles of human factors, in combination with ethnographic observation methods, can help product developers to create value-rich products that not only satisfy but also delight their users. That usually guarantees long-term success on the market for the producer. Understanding of the physical human factors helps designers to create products, environments, software, and systems that can fit the physiological capability of users. NASA space research also led to important understanding about physical needs in extreme environments for living and working in the modern world. Understanding of the cognitive human factors helps researchers to understand how people receive, process, and understand information. The research helps designers to respond to cognitive patterns. This becomes critical as we incorporate increasingly complex information into products and services. Understanding of the social human factors helps designers to create products, environments, software, and systems that enable people, to work more effectively either individually or in teams. This is increasingly vital to the emerging networked society. However, regardless of the emerging trend toward collaborative work, almost all of todayâ€™s products that support work, such as office furniture and computer hardware and software, have been designed for people working individually. The understanding of the cultural human factors helps the product developers to avoid creation of products, environments, software, and systems, that conflict with values and patterns of behaviour. It is always difficult to grasp the cultural influences on human perception, yet such understanding is essential when developing products for new markets, or new products for current markets.
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*2 Squires, Susan; Edited by Squires, Susan and Byrne, Bryan; Creating Breakthrough Ideas â€“ The Collaboration of Anthropologists and Designers in the Product Development Industry, Doing the Work: Customer research in the Product Development and Design Industry; Published by Bergin & Garvey â€“ London, 2002 (Pg. 103â€”124)
Prototypes are made so designers can observe the typical user interaction early in the design process. The insights from such observations are determinant as to how to proceed. Conceptual prototypes represent what products, environments, and software, may look nice without necessarily simulating functions. These prototypes are made so that people will not have to rely on verbal descriptions, which often lead to variety of interpretations. Structured planning is a computer-supported methodology that was developed at the Chicago Institute Of Design, by Professor Charles Owen. It is a process for identifying, structuring, and synthesizing, information necessary for inventive solutions. It helps designers to identify, relate, group, and rank hundreds of factors that are determined, from observation and secondary research, in terms of qualitative, as well as quantitative information. The result is a finding of non-intuitive relationships that may have remained unexpected.*2 Being consumers themselves, product developers and marketers are even more sensitive to quality than other consumers. It should be no surprise that team members feel heartbroken and rejected when the products and services they have created, fail to succeed on the market. One of the fundamental problems is the fact that marketers and product developers are two different subcultures. They both have different views on the product development in terms of time required. Product developers are interested in longer time spans in the product development. Marketers are interested in shorter time horizons and far less interested in developing new products than selling the existing ones. They want to understand the problems that consumers might encounter so that they can create better products, whilst the marketers are interested in addressing the current problems that consumers have. In many cases, conflicts, poor communication, and misunderstandings might appear, due to these differences. It is important that the main issues are resolved before the project starts.
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However, the final product proposal must meet a number of conditions. It must at least meet the emotional and functional needs of the user, be manufacturable, affordable, and profitable for the company producing it. It should also create solid expectations about team member skills, work process, schedules, methods, tools, deliverables, locations, and resources. The proposal outlines the mutual expectations between the client and consultancy, measures of quality, and the criteria for determining successful completion of each step. The project proposal sets the parameters for the teamâ€™s creative efforts.
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LEARNING Design education
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“Learn, Learn, Learn”! Vladimir I. Lenin
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Itâ€™s never an easy choice when it comes to selecting the right design school or the right design program. Schools differ in their approaches to design and to design education. Most important is to understand your own interests, so when learning about each department or school, you can evaluate if it is the right choice for you. You might be faced with different choices and philosophies, and none of them might be wrong or right, but they might not be exactly what you want.
Design education is a young discipline, which is born from the needs of the industrial economy. Programs for product design and communication design began invariably in art schools. As the knowledge required to succeed as a designer became better understood, different courses were defined to teach design. Undergraduate degree programs were gradually separating from parent art programs. The beginnings of graduate education in design followed a similar paradigm and after sufficient experience, the Masterâ€™s degree followed as well.
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For a designer, a greater knowledge must be vital. Designers need to be generalists in their approach in content and specialists in the application of the methods of design. A broad education is desirable, since it opens many new options and provides an excellent foundation for a more specialized graduate education in design.*1 In the past, and still in the present, a loop has been formed in the design industry that operates to maintain the status quo and deter the evolution of design programs. Design students frequently exhibit a dislike or inability to deal with the content of other fields.
There comes a time when the capability to extend and refine the design education as a mature discipline is needed. Soon, designers will be asked to perform tasks for which they may not have been ready. This is understandable, since design has emerged from an evolving industry, and in its nature it is an ever-evolving field of itself. Fundamental changes must take place in the design education.Only then can take advantage of the new capabilities and can meet new responsibilities. Someone needs to be able to reach across disciplines to bring in information, to extract ideas, and to think critically from the viewpoints of many. For a career in design, general knowledge is now more important than ever, and it should be required in the design education. The ideal location of a design program is not in any of the typical colleges of art, engineering, sciences, or humanities, but in a college or school devoted to the integrative use of all of those reservoirs of knowledge.
*1 Inspired by the article: Owen, Charles L; What is Design?;Institute of Design, IIT; September 2004; www.id.iit.edu
Since the demand for design education was created by the industry, the programs were constructed to meet the needs. The structures of the courses were modified, refined, and expanded as the knowledge expanded. The graduate study was introduced to achieve mastery and to explore areas of advanced interest, which were not yet well enough structured in the classical courses. Finally the doctoral programs appeared, when the body of knowledge built upon the graduate level was sufficient to teach in classical Masterâ€™s level programs, and the forefront of research has progressed to a level requiring more thorough preparation.
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*2 Inspired by the article: Owen, Charles L; Design education and research for the 21st century;Institute of Design, IIT; 1988/1991; www.id.iit.edu
During the learning process, these things go unattended because the faculty, returned from the industry, are products of the same process and hold similar viewpoints. When they graduate, the students go into industry to departments or consulting offices staffed by graduates with the same dispositions. Later on, they consult with schools as professionals to ensure that schools prepare students as they themselves were prepared â€“ so that future employees will have the same skills and attitudes that they will have. In order for the evolution of design education to continue, this loop must be broken.*2 When looking for a suitable design education, it must be understood that different programs have different emphasis. Some are more skills oriented, and others are more conceptual. Neither is wrong, as long as it fits in with the image you wanted after your education. Some of these programs are more fitted for corporate design offices; some for consultancies, and other are more engineering and manufacturing oriented. It is important to know if a program has a good post-graduation network to help you find a job. It can be useful to see how many graduates have successful design careers, and in what companies. Is the program, or the school, connected with some companies on a regular basis for internships, job placements, or research programs? Do outside designers come to visit the program and give comments, or held lectures? The teaching personal make the programs what they are. Therefore, it is important to know who they are, plus their experience, both educational and professional, because that can tell you about the direction that they can provide; on what kind of projects they have been working on, how long, and for what companies or institutions? In most cases, the schools reputation can be evaluated on the basis of its teaching personal. Another was to evaluate the schools reputation is to see if it is well known in the design community, does its students take part in competition, and more importantly are they being ranked well.
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I would recommend that future design students do a solid research of the design schools before they apply. In that way, they can be prepared to take advantage of the every opportunity the design program can offer.
And then, there are things like what are the facilities, does the school have a good standard of equipped workshops and instructors. How is the library equipped, and are there options to order books or magazines that you may need. What equipment and technical assistance can be available to the students, as well as licensed design software and fonts?*3
*3 Inspired by the article: Richardson, Adam; A Brief Guide To Design Education; www.core77.com/design.edu/readme.asp (2005)
Is the school accredited by other institutions or not. Are there relations with other design schools and does the school participate in an exchange programs with other schools.
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THE PROFESSION Designers and design studios
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“The designer is traditionally seen as a stylist, someone who providdes the new look and identity for the products. But there are signs that the designer’s role is changing”. Thomas Dickson
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Creativity for designers is a process that involves both the conscious and the subconscious. They are never really off the clock. They think about their challenges whether or not they are on the workplace. Many of them understand the studio as a playground for artists, engineers, and scientists who dare to challenge everything in their profession, and ultimately themselves.
Design studios are hierarchical institutions; the positions of the employees are marked by a job title. Every job has a set of responsibilities, limits of authority, access to resources, and accountability measures. Principals are executive officers, which usually hold property interests in the company. Typically, they are designers with more then ten yearsâ€™ experience. They are responsible for sales, negotiating contracts, administration, business strategy, human resources and facilities management, financing, legal issues, public relations, internal direction, making of policies, and referee disputes.
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According to some managers, the optimal size of any studio is twenty to twenty-five people. This includes one or two directors, two or three project managers, up to twelve junior staff, two secretaries, a business manager, and an assistant. Each director can typically support a maximum of ten people, without reducing severely the effectiveness of the teams. When there are more than twenty-five employees, the studio dynamics must change, the managerial structure changes to a more formal corporate organization with internal departments, that distinguish among professions and functions.
Although they may occasionally work on some projects, they are not extensively involved in any single project. They usually attend key meetings or provide occasional artistic direction and business advice. Department directors and project managers occupy the second level in the hierarchy. Directors are more likely than the project managers, to have ownership interests in the company. They are responsible for some elements of business development, sales, project design, team organization, scheduling, work performance, and billing. In small studios, principals and directors may double as project managers. Project managers are responsible for the execution of multiple projects. They write proposals, assembly teams, calculate budgets, set schedules, handle expenses, manage clients, and advise team members. The apprentice comes as next in line, together with the engineers, modellers, and researchers. They are usually between twenty and thirty-five old with less then seven years of experience. The bottom level consists of interns; students attending B.A. or M.A. design programs that are given a three-months internship. They are given in-house tasks and roles in projects as additional designers, but their presence is usually not needed. They are there to learn; not to assume business responsibilities. Salespeople, administrative staff, and facilities-support workers that operate in larger firms are a parallel hierarchy. These are the people, who make the company function as a legal and solvent entity, From the perspective of the apprenticeship system, they are all non-designers who make it possible to work but who cannot do the work itself.
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*1 Byrne, Bryan and Sands, Ed; Edited by Squires, Susan and Byrne, Bryan; Creating Breakthrough Ideas –The Collaboration of Anthropologists and Designers in the Product Development Industry, Designing Collaborative Corporate Cultures; Published by Bergin & Garvey –London, 2002 (Pg. 47—69) *2 Owen, Charles L.; What is Design? –Some Questions and Answers; Institute of Design – Chicago, IIT; 2004 (Pg. 6)
In the last two decades, designers evolved from using ink and polymer pencils, to a variety of computer programs. This has tended to change the value of the apprenticeship system. Senior designers lost a great deal of control over maturing designers when they installed computers. The control of the studio stayed with the senior designers, but they have started to rely on the junior designers to stay competitive. Besides that, junior designers are more familiar with the state-of-the-art technologies; they often are matching the cultural profiles of the young customers, and they have gained a degree of influence over corporate working processes and artistic direction. However, in most cases young designers complain, that senior colleagues cannot teach them how to conduct business in today’s global multicultural economy. Due to all of these things, the iconic image of the design master is under question today. Corporate dynamics are becoming much more fluid and young designers have bigger freedom to express themselves. Brainstorming sessions have become far more experimental and playful, and there is a greater emphasis on the technical skills. Meanwhile, design masters lose their apprentices if they cannot teach them how to apply design concepts to new technologies. The corporate managers who don’t offer creative supervision, nor control the latest tools of the trade cannot hold on to the junior design staff, longer than between five to eight months.*1 A young designer in USA, with a Master’s Degree may start in a professional consulting office at over $50,000; in a corporate design department the figure may be slightly higher: nearer $60,000. Senior designers make higher salaries, generally comparable to those of senior engineers. Owners of design offices, principal partners, and independent consultants are limited only by their energy and ability. Salaries at this level can be quite high. Employers who recognize the growing importance of sophisticated design thinking, are increasingly seeking design graduates with specialization in design theory, methodology, and processes; as well as the use of advanced computer techniques.*2
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The Internet has become a part of the digital equipment that challenges the apprenticeship system. Designers from around the world started using various Internet forums, like IDFORUM, DRS â€“ Design Research Society, www.ProductDesignForums.com, or the forums organized by certain design magazines, for example Computer Arts, or Creative Review. These discussions are full with requests for information on specific techniques, tools, contacts, jobs, competitions, and ethics; also with philosophical discussions about the qualities and activities that mark design as a profession, art form, business and approach to life. By taking part in those sites, designers are declaring their status internationally, as well as influencing their professional development and the profession itself.
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YOUNG DESIGNERS Who wants to work for free?
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â€œExperience is the opposite of being creativeâ€?. Paul Arden
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At one time, for designers it was only necessary to know how to draw well, or to make models. But back then it was easier for designers as the competition was practically non-existent. The people who positioned themselves well back then, are running the show, but what happens now?
The competition between designers today has become fierce. Every year, thousands of them stream out of various colleges and institutes around the world and struggle to get a job. I am constantly reading letters from just-graduated students published in various design forums or in design magazines. They are complaining that they canâ€™t get a job, and when they do, they are usually forced to work for free. I read columns from the same old school professionals that I mentioned previously, explaining how design graduates should not complain about working for free, since they lack the experience in the real world. I see design job ads, looking for entry-level designers with minimum three years of work experience, with perfect rendering skills and excellent knowledge of countless design software. So what is happening here? Does the term graduate have no meaning?
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I think what is happening today is called exploitation of the young designers. Why should they need to have previous working experience? What are these people thinking? That those students get their diplomas for nothing? Or do they think that the institutions where they studied are not serious enough? I think that this mistreatment, is leading the young designers in to a wrong direction. They rigorously focus on expanding their technical skills in software, or in model making, just to impress their would-beemployers. And by that they start to become simple executors, that just perform an action on the surface without understanding what lies in the core of their project. And for what? In the eyes of their employees they are only seen as a simple workforce. Since the top management has set the limits of the project, created the brief, made the initial sketches, students or just-graduates are just doing the heavy lifting.
There is another downside to consider as well. Intense competition has created designers with perfect knowledge in design software, but with less understanding of the design itself. However, there are few design institutions that are creating a new breed of designers â€“ the so-called think tank designers. These new designers are focusing on solving problems, creating concepts, and developing ideas, pretty much back to their original idea of creating a better world. Of course there will always be a place for the old school designers, as someone has to execute the projects. But since their roles are limited to executors, they will have few chances to express themselves in a more profound level. Itâ€™s true that many of them will be absolutely satisfied even by that, but is that really what designers should do? In an global competition like today, there will always be someone who can draw better, or someone who can use the software better.
On the other hand, from what I have seen so far, students do the best work, not the senior designers. And why is that so? In many cases, the tutors are more strict than the real-world clients. Also, students experiment. And they believe that they can make the world a better place... if only somebody could give them a chance. Why shouldnâ€™t they deserve that chance?
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And the worst thing for designers is that these people donâ€™t even need to be designers to be their competitors. In many design studios it doesnâ€™t matters how good your ideas are, since they will want you just for your execution skills. This is particularly evident for Transportation Designers, where you need to be the best of the best in your class, and even then you may only get a job drawing buttons or steering wheels. Hardly the job they dreamed of. So what should make designers different then? In my opinion is the knowledge that counts. There are many young designers today, who are perfect executors, but very few who can actually develop intelligent concepts from scratch. And this is due to a limited knowledge that has been served mostly in arts and crafts schools. It has been perceived wrongly, for too long time now, that a designer is not a person who thinks, but a person who acts.
I have to note, that not all design graduates are good, nor are all design schools. This text is about graduates who are passionate about design, and are being used because of it.
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YOUNG DESIGNERS 73
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Description and future projections of trends
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â€œTrend is not another word for fashionâ€?. Michael Hardt
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People often make mistakes when talking about fashion and trends. Trend is not the same as fashion. Fashion is the style of dress, behaviour, way of living, or other expression that is popular at present. Fashion can be made, trend cannot; trend can only be followed. Much like a weathercast; and the best we can do, is to make the most of it.
Trend is a projection of the direction, of the society and the future. This projection can be based upon mathematical and statistical calculations and a mega-trend is a long-term projection of the social development. Designers need to be aware of trend, and to follow its development. In the opinion of Professor Michael Hardt, we can get important indications out of four different domains.
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The industrialized society of the 20th century, brought both a great deal of material affluence and a great deal of stress on the environment, the human minds, and bodies. This has resulted in the rise of the consumers’ need for health, safety, and comfort. Furthermore, the rapid advancements in global information and telecommunications triggered an additional change in how individuals see themselves and how they interact with others. The concern over the influence of the upcoming trends on design has always been the main topic of the International Design Competition in Osaka which is regularly organized by the Japan Design Foundation. In 2004, the Out, In, With… competition was introduced.*1 The theme Out was related to the trend about the increasing people’s need for better outdoor life. According to this particular trend, more and more people wanted to train their bodies and minds in a natural surrounding, in order to relieve stress.
On his opening lecture, called Look Around You (2005), at Bergen’s National College of Arts, he stated the following: “The era of industrialized massconsumption is on decline, a new mega-trend is approaching but the trend lines have not yet crossed. Experts expect this to happen within the next ten years. A change of mega-trend happens every fifty years, and we have the privilege to experience such a change and to be at the very beginning of a new trend”.
*1Japan Design Foundation; In, Out, With...–International Design Competition; Osaka, 2004; Link: www.jdf.or.jp
First domain is the domain of issues: Designers need to follow the news, read newspapers and analyze the topics discussed in the media and the agenda of the politics. Second is the domain of economy: Designers need to follow the shifts in the economy. Which shares rise and which decline. Third domain is the domain of the artefacts: What is the concept behind the new products? Why people ask for these products? Is there a gap between the needs and the offer? And the fourth domain is the domain of the individual: Designers need to be analyzing lifestyle concepts and be able to identify, target groups.
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*2 Solomon, Michael R. and Rabolt, Nancy J.; Consumer Behavior: In Fashion; Copyright by Pearson Education Inc., New Jersey, 2004. *3 Askheim, Ola Gaute Aas; Six Super-Trends – Lecture at the Bergen National Academy of Arts, 2004; Bengal Consulting; Link: www.bengalconsulting.com
However, when describing a style, the term trend in the fashion industry is used differently. When a style appears and quickly disappears, that is called a fad. If the style’s acceptance continues, then they call it a trend. And if it lasts, and gets a widespread acceptance, then it becomes a fashion.*2 A Norwegian consulting agency called Bengal Consulting*3 in 2004, did a research on radical tendencies which they have called – The Six Super Trends. The first trend was called Internationalization. The key factors in this trend are: travel, socialization through the media and the Internet, and migration. In their opinion, travel will be a growing trend. People might travel more in connection with their work and free time. Travel will include more distant destinations towards more diversifying cultures. Young people in education spend longer periods abroad, either as exchange students or on discovery travels. Migration is increasing and will continue to do so. Certain groups of employees have a larger geographical work sphere than before. Both, national and international media deliver news from around the world instantly. All this conditions are affecting the level of our openness to other cultures. People who are fitting in this profile are called the multi-cultural customers. The second trend is called the Learning Revolution. Key factors in this trend are the increasing length of time spent in education, media as an information carrier and learning institution, together with the tabloidisation of news. In western countries there are now problems finding manual workers. The information economy has increased the need for longer theoretical education. The media has contributed to life long learning. The amount of the information received today is huge. It has been calculated that the average Sunday edition of the New York Times contains more information than what has been received by someone living in the Middle Ages during their whole lifetime. People have become more capable of relating to information and using this information to make demands on those that can and do affect our environment. These people are called the critical and competent customers.
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The third trend is called Connectionism. The key factor is the importance of being connected. The connectionists are a keystroke away from their friends or their network by various methods like e-mail, mobile phone, SMS, IRC, and Skype. The ability to be in a place without actually being there is expanding the social sphere. Technology is seen as a creator of new possibilities. These people are the connected customers. The forth trend is called Fragmentation. The key factors are specialization and niche orientation. Specialist magazines for every possible hobby and area of interest are continually emerging. Consumers often seek out the suppliers who appear to be specialists in some way or another. Since the number of suppliers has increased dramatically, the number one player in a given market or within a given product group, is often used as a model when comparing similar products. These groups of customers are called the specialist seeking customers.
The last trend is called Transmodernism. The key factors here are phase orientation and extreme mobility. Suppliers of products and services in the information society are continually developing, improving, and changing their products. The consumers understand this as an impression that everything resolves around phases of changes. With every product we expect that a new and better version will soon emerge. Many marketers are experiencing a weakening customer loyalty and this can be understood as curiosity or desire, on the part of the consumers to try new products. These consumers are called the change aware customers. Therefore, a dynamic brand might be better placed for the future, than the static brand.
The fifth trend is called Metropolisation. The key factor in this trend is the national distribution of the city culture. The cities are the key drivers, in the positioning of products and services. It is now defined as positive to live in the city and a research had shown that those who live in the city are pretty content with their lives. People who belong in this group are called the urbanized customers.
3/7/06 11:16:30 AM
FUTUROLOGY The future of design
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“The best way to predict the future is to invent it”. Alan Kay
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Many will agree that radically new solutions are needed in the near future in order to maintain and improve the human life quality. A number of global mega trends described that design can improve human life in fields like health, housing, and organizations. However, this requires long-term planning.
In the future, designers could play key roles in facilitating positive futures. The shift from the material to the immaterial will change the design concept radically. The future of the design is not about things or specific problems, but about listening, asking, understanding, and drafting possibilities. It is expected that societies will depend heavily on their ability to create new solutions to specific problems. A decade from now, many countries will find themselves struggling with challenges like water scarcity, overpopulation, environmental change, terrorism, or global epidemics. Much will depend on professional problem-solvers to respond to these changes.
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Predetermined elements like growing populations, ageing of the developed world, increased sensitivity to environmental issues, increased stress between society and technology will have great influence during the coming years. Some critical uncertainties like the effects of dramatically advancing technology, advancements in the materials science, globalization, terrorism, rapid climate change, energy sources, togheter with global epidemics will be the most relevant in the next decade.*1 The increasing complexity of high-tech systems, like electric grids, the Internet, satellites and the risk of them failing can have a great impact to the way we live our lives. They are created of too many moving parts and they produce incredible amounts of data that had to be observed, analyzed, and managed. In case things go wrong, people will need to have a quick response, perhaps to quick to manage. Systems in future need to be designed in a way that will give the people adequate time to manage failure. They will need to be flexible enough, so that parts of the system will continue to operate if something gets wrong. Systems need to be designed within the human limits of management.*2 In the near future, the importance of design as an innovation tool and a driver of commercial success and social change, is more likely to increase. Ironically, the increasing importance of design has also become itâ€™s potential threat. The field has been attracted by other professions, that in the opinion of some, are better equipped to deal with complex business and social problems than the traditional designers from the arts and crafts schools. Therefore, designers will need to improve their analytical skills and their ability to collaborate with other fields in order not to get marginalized.
*1 Petersen, John; INDEX: Magazine; Imagine The Impossible â€“ Key Trends In Human Life; Publisher: INDEX: Design To Improve Life; September Issue, 2004 (Pg. 21) *2 Nussbaum, Bruce; Business Week, Technology: Just Make It Simpler; McGraw-Hill Companies Inc. September Issue, 2003 (Cover Story)
The new generation of designers is just as likely to engage in energy-saving products and processes, creating human-friendly environments, and even encouraging political participation. Perhaps the only obstacle to designers becoming more involved in solving social problems is the challenge to overcome the traditional mindset of design. Designers rarely think of complex social problems in terms of design, but design has often made difference in fields where is not expected to the part of the solution.
3/7/06 11:16:38 AM
EMPATHY Empathic design
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â€œA successful marketer purports to give consumers not what they say they want, but what they really wantâ€?. Theodore Levitt
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The traditional purpose of design is to help differentiate oneâ€™s product and corporate image. Design today has made one more step forward. Since clients must issue marketable products, services, and images in highly dynamic markets, the development teams must think ahead and discover what their consumers and companies may not know.
Two prominent scholars, Dorothy Leonard and Jeffrey Rayport in their article â€œSpark Innovation Through Empathetic Designâ€? published in the Harvard Business Review in 1997, called this emerging approach empathic design. Empathic design (which is also known as user-centred, or humancentred design) is a combination of interpretive and scientific research to discover recurrent themes and opportunities that consumers themselves may not be aware of.
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In general, this process is better understood as an open-ended process, rather than a process in which a specific problem is solved. This is not an analysis or problem-solving process, but a process that helps to interpret the new situation. Interpretation can be a highly creative process – much like invention. The simplest way to say it is that Empathic Design understands the unspoken needs of the users; by giving people what they need, even if they didn’t ask for it. In this way you are already one step ahead of your competitors.*1 However, empathic design can be especially frustrating to engineers and modellers because they normally try to figure out how to make something rather then to decide what to make. In an era of empathic design, the real strengths of designers lie in their crossover skills – moving from verbal to visual to verbal modes, or from technical to artistic to technical modes of knowledge personification and communication. This method is forcing designers to move away from their own conception of the ideal design professional. The profile is moving from individualistic notions of creativity towards an understanding of creativity as a social process.
*1Leinbach, Charles; Edited by Squires, Susan and Byrne, Bryan; Creating Breakthrough Ideas – The Collaboration of Anthropologists and Designers in the Product Development Industry, Managing For Breakthroughs: A View from Industrial Design; Published by Bergin & Garvey – London, 2002 (Pg. 3—16)
This technique involves a twist on the idea that users should guide new product development. By this method, they are still doing that – except they don’t know about it. Developing a deep, empathetic understanding of users’ unarticulated needs can challenge the industry assumptions and improve the corporate strategy.
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INTEGRATION Integrative design
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â€œThe world hates change, yet it is the only thing that has brought progressâ€?. Charles Kettering
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In the opinion of Professor Ken Friedman, an expert in the field of leadership and strategic design, the shift to global, information-based economy is forcing changes in design as profession. A shift from a crafts-oriented discipline that was initially oriented towards individual creativity and commerce, is moving to a stronger multidisciplinary profession, devoted to the conceptual and configurative implementation of meaningful living environments, products, services, systems, and brands.
Communication between design professionals and those trained in social sciences is affected by fundamental assumptions held by each discipline. On a certain level, industrial designers want to make the world a better place. They believe that objects around us enhance our daily lives by being functional, beautiful, and easy to use. In some way, they see themselves as the gatekeepers of the worldâ€™s aesthetics, while the anthropologists are taught to seek the balance of the material world around us.
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Future students who would like to become designers in the post-industrial knowledge economy, will enter an inherently multidisciplinary profession. This profession involves a wide variety of professionals, including physical, biological and social scientists; industrial, civil, biological, genetic, electrical and software engineers; different level managers, as well as many artists and artisans now called designers. In the future the distinction between analyzers and creators, or between researchers and designers is expected to fade considerably.*1 In spite of this, there is still great resistance to design science among academic and studio designers. The general tendency among students in arts and craft schools is not to develop analytical and theory based skills but to develop more visuals skills instead. This is understandable because faculty members shape schools and their culture, and design faculty members come from an arts and crafts tradition. A tradition that has mostly ignored the scientific approach to the problems and fostered a more artistic way of solving the problems. On the other hand, the new megatrend in the design practice tells us that the solution may be artistic and beautiful, and may even fulfil a need – but unless the method is a conscious problem-solving process, it’s not a design, The design process requires a larger understanding of the human beings, completed with a general knowledge of industries and businesses within which design operates.
*1 Friedman, Ken; Edited by Squires, Susan and Byrne, Bryan; Creating Breakthrough Ideas – The Collaboration of Anthropologists and Designers in the Product Development Industry, “Conclusion: Toward an Integrative Design Discipline; Published by Bergin & Garvey –London, 2002 (Pg. 199—214)
In a time of a fierce corporate competition and an ever-evolving global market, the interdisciplinary partnership between design and consumer research is becoming a necessity. In order for this partnership to work, professionals in design and consumer research must understand each other’s professions. They must adapt their working concepts to work effectively in multidisciplinary teams. Social scientists must become more familiar with the guiding principles of design, and designers must become more familiar with principals of social science, not as experts in the field, but as professionals whose work should be influenced by the needs of those for whom, they design. This process is causing changes in the initial definition of Design, with the area of knowledge and skills that comprise it. Integrative design is clearly changing the balance between art and science.
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TEAM WORK Multidisciplinary teams
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â€œNever doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world. Indeed it is the only thing that ever hasâ€?. Margaret Mead
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There has been common discussion among the design community and business societies about the need for the creation of multidisciplinary teams. This can foster innovative thinking by focusing on differing professional standpoints regarding a problem or project.
The difficulty in creating multidisciplinary teams and making them work together effectively is the amount of communication needed to develop a cohesive unit. Each group has its own concerns, priorities, and issues that it is trying to communicate to the rest of the groups; but they often speak in unfamiliar terms. Most of the companies expect that the groups will develop a certain compromise during the work, but ideally collaboration should not be about compromise. Compromises always lead to mediocre results.
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The most common problem is when a group finishes its part of the task in an isolated fashion; than hands it out to the next group to continue the work. Some experts refer to this behaviour as throwing the information over the wall problem. As a result, the task is handed over but the meanings and efficiencies are lost as the next group attempts to work on the next phase of the project from their new viewpoint. Despite some possible problems that may occur, the most recommended approach is the multidisciplinary effort. As a multidisciplinary process, this means that each phase of the project is lead by a primary discipline, together with the support of the other groups.
Strong financial and intellectual advantages to multidisciplinary collaboration tell us that multidisciplinary teams are here to stay. Design managers need to create better ways to offer multidisciplinary services. This effort takes creativity, persistence, and business principles in shaping design.
There are two primary objectives to the multidisciplinary effort. One is to gain multiple points of view from diverse stakeholders. The second is to ensure that the individuals carrying the product to the closing stages, fully understands the field research and its implications. With this process, we are seeking results that are inspirational and generative instead of evaluative, but in most cases itâ€™s rare that the original idea will appear on the market. A combination of other influences from cost of engineering and production, time to market, or a sudden shift in the companyâ€™s strategy can alter the final result. On the corporate level, the product has to go through numerous checkpoints and stakeholders, each of whom may influence the outcome or possibly to terminate the products development path. During each of these phases it is beneficial if there is someone who understands the nature of these constraints and can negotiate these changes, based on the directions from the discovery and conceptualization phase. The idea of someone leading a product from discovery-based research through final production is an ideal that is not always attainable.
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*1Byrne, Bryan and Sands, Ed; Edited by Squires, Susan and Byrne, Bryan; Creating Breakthrough Ideas – The Collaboration of Anthropologists and Designers in the Product Development Industry, Designing Collaborative Corporate Cultures; Published by Bergin & Garvey – London, 2002 (Pg. 48—69)
There are at least eight strategies to assimilate researchers into the multidisciplinary corporate culture, and each carries a mixture of advantages and disadvantages.*1 The most common strategy is Self-sufficiency. This is a strategy in which designers offer strategic services without working together with additional groups of experts. In this case, designers are trained in several other disciplines as well, and this is a trend that designers might follow. The advantages is stable authority structure, but the risk is that designers might provide substandard analysis. The Design Support strategy is when researchers are supposed to feed the designers’ creativity by providing them with raw information. Researchers can provide ethnographic information and solid interpretations and recommendations. One of the principal advantage is that designers can maintain control over the creative process. The possible danger is that there might be conflicts over the sales message, client management, project definition, and performance measures. The Internal Unit Strategy is when design firms create departments according to profession or project focus. If the departments are managed well, clients can have the full service. Disadvantages might appear if the design firm chooses to create units, based on the projects they work on. This approach usually offers little opportunities for cross-training or individual professional growth. The Strategic Innovation strategy is a case where design firms have gone so far as to abandon design. Industrial designers and engineers do not control the multidisciplinary set of consumer researchers, business analysts, and designers from other disciplines. The Partnership strategy can be quite common, but in most cases is not successful due to possible disagreements between the partners.
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Design firms may ally themselves with various consultancies but these partnerships tend to be fragile and unprofitable. Itâ€™s not a recommend strategy, but it might come to it when there is a mix of interests between the parties. The Entrepreneurial Alliances strategy is the case when design firms merge with manufacturing companies or consortia. The acquiring company enjoys the resources, location, and the contacts of the studio. The studio is gaining access to other professionals and larger clients, and enjoying larger economies and more stable revenues. The danger is that the parent and subsidiary companies may not balance the primary conflicts between stable operations, profits, and creative experimentation. Relative to the senior executives, employees might lose status. By reducing budgets to increase the investorsâ€™ dividends, managers in most cases often destroy any chance for creativity. Therefore, is not a surprise that large, profit-driven consultancies typically do not produce the most creative and innovative design work. That is why the small and independent firms are still viable.
The Foundation is a strategy when some designers are establishing their own multidisciplinary companies. This strategy is by far the riskiest and the most rewarding. It permits greater opportunities for experimentation, since entrepreneurs avoid establishing institutional obstacles in classical terms. They define the corporate missions, make investments, find employees willing to experiment, and find companies willing to risk large sums of money on their services.
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EMOTIONS Experience design
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...â€?simply to believe that if people buy something beutiful, they will live amidst beauty and even think betterâ€?.... Philippe Starck
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People today are looking for enjoyment, entertainment, and amusement. We have created a society in which anything and everything is a product. Experience design is a new emerging concept that is trying to satisfy these needs.
Products have become containers for stories, and designers have become storytellers and even mythmakers. The focus has shifted towards the narrative component of the design. The active consumption of products has itself become almost religious, part considered ritual and part spontaneous manifestation of existence. We no longer purchase design merely on the basis of aesthetical qualities or physical performance.
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We are at the point in history where we cannot comfortably define ourselves without the presence of products. In the individualized society of today we use products and experiences to design our own identity. We believe, consciously or unconsciously, that a certain combination of car, watch, sunglasses, shoes, jewelry, mobile phone, or even a laptop, defines us as what and who we are. We use products to help us express us more who we feel we are, who we would like to be, and who we would like other people to think that we are. Whole new species of products have appeared as a result to this re-energized material sense of wellbeing. We also prefer to design things from scratch, which is why the industry today is redefining its production methods from mass-production to so-called mass-customization that can accommodate the consumers desire to design their own products. The challenge is to balance competing demands in a way that they have never been balanced before. The commercial must to be weighed against the ecological. The needs of the client must be weighed against the possibility of communication to a mass audience. The potential is there, but the only question is whether designers are ready to promote greater consumer influence and individualization as a new design experience.*1
The value of the product can be increased by the story it tells. And fiction sells. Rather then products themselves, people consume the magic and the stories that are part of it. That is why storytelling and branding has become important components of the experience society.
*1Inspired by the articles: Holt, Steven Skov; Design Culture Now, Beauty And The Blob; Laurence King Publishing, 2000 Stockmarr, Pernile SĂ¸holm; Experience Hype, Design In The Experience Society; Published online by the Danish Design Center â€“19.Aug.2004; Link: http://ddc.dk/designviden/artikler/enpaaopleveren
Certain car manufacturers, furniture companies, and clothing companies offer more then just products. They offer an experience. A lifestyle. Only as a second phase they launch and market products that go with that lifestyle. They are seducing people with the shopping experience itself.
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NOT MADE OF Immaterial design
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â€œThe designer of tomorrow not only develops physical products, but also immaterial solutions for larger social, existential, and technological issuesâ€?. Mette Thomsen
3/7/06 11:18:32 AM
NOT MADE OF
Now and even more in the future, one of the biggest luxuries will be to have time. Cities are becoming more and more crowded; traffic jams, especially in the larger cities are becoming unbearable. Getting to work and back home is taking much more time then it use to. People sometimes need to spend up to 4 hours a day just doing that. Not to mention the groceries shopping on a regular basis and the time spent waiting in lines. Even the everyday struggle cleaning up our e-mail accounts from Spam, takes us time we would rather spend doing something else.
This tells us that many predictions in the past that the technologies in the future will create more leisure time for the people were simply wrong. Well, the problem is not in the technologies. The problem is in the management of the whole structure and the systems in which we are living.
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There have already been some attempts to solve these problems. Interesting advance in biometrics technology already has created the opportunity of paying by using our fingerprints. This process reduces the time spent waiting in lines, since you don’t need to count the money. You just put your PIN code, and you proceed. It is also better then using a credit card, since it cannot be stolen, lost, or misused, since the chance of two people having the same fingerprint is about one-in-220 million. The system has already been put to test in places like supermarkets, school cafeterias fast food restaurants, and pay-tolls, mostly in US and Germany. And this new business seems is on a rise.*1 People also want more options in their life. They want to be able to control their own free time instead of being servants to the system. They want to choose what they want to watch on TV and when. Now there are digital TV channels that offer that option. You can create your own program; choose the films you want to watch and when you want to watch them. With the Podcast revolution, you can now download your favorite radio show and listen it whenever you want. All of that means that ultimately, we are moving to the creation of our own leisure time.
NOT MADE OF
There is one company, that left me a good impression with their smart use of design, technology and branding. That company is Vertu. A new communications company, that has pioneered an entirely new category in mobile communication with the world’s first luxury mobile phone.*3 The Vertu Signature fuses the best in craftsmanship, precision engineering, tried and tested technology, high performance and personal service. Nevertheless, those are not the only qualities that this company has.
Reference to: *1 www.paybytouch.com *2 www.sainsburystoyou.com *3 www.vertu.com
Another trend that is on the rise, is Internet shopping. We all know about eBay and Amazon Books, but Internet shopping is moving on in the supermarkets as well. Supermarket chains, like Sainsbury’s in London are already using this home delivery system, which saves people time to go to the local shop and spend time buying everyday groceries.*2
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You may ask, what makes this company different from the other mobile communication companies. Well, first of all, they are targeting the very high-end market only. Unlike other companies, they sell only from jewellery and luxury watch shops, which is not surprising since they are made out of titanium, gold, and jewels. The cost of the phones is very high of course, but there is something more about them than just another just a luxury brand.
NOT MADE OF
In my opinion, what makes them different as a brand, is what they have to offer along with the price. Since the handset is so expensive, you wouldn’t like to replace it after one year because it’s outdated. The design is not made in a way to get outdated. The design that those phones have is very classic and timeless. When new technology arrives, you just bring your phone to the dealer and they update your phone for you. In that way, you don’t have to replace your phone with a new one. This is how things should be done with most products. We all know that in practice, updating technology or replacing a small damaged part on a certain appliance might cost us as much as buying a new one. In this case it is normal to throw away the old appliance, together with the rest of the good working parts and therefore adding to global pollution. Vertu just offers the better option – at a higher cost unfortunately. However, this could prove to be a good tendency to follow for the medium priced market as well. There is another interesting thing that you get with your purchase. When acquiring Vertu, you join an exclusive community of people around the world that may take advantage of the Vertu Concierge – A global network equal to that of the world’s finest hotels, at one’s disposal twenty-four hours a day. This exclusive support system allows the user to receive expert information on travel and entertainment, as well as reservations, preferred rates and access to emergency assistance, simply by pressing the dedicated key and therefore saving the precious time of the user. After all, time is the biggest luxury when you have everything. This service could also prove to be a good tendency worth developing as a separate offer.
3/7/06 11:18:33 AM
Time is definitely the new product on the market. A simple, pure, immaterial product, that comes out of the new design phenomenon called immaterial or virtual design. This form of design helps to create better systems, communications and services, in order to simplify our life thereby reducing the impact we are having on the environment, by consuming only material products. Immaterial design helps to create additional value on a certain product or service, thereby creating the impression that we get more for our money.
NOT MADE OF
Combined together â€“ empathic, universal, sustainable, multidisciplinary, immaterial, and experience design â€“ they can create a new powerful direction in the design process from which everyone can benefit economically and environmentally.
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ONLINE User-interface design
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â€œDesign is the contrast of the core limitations; therefore there are no boundaries. It is simply an interpretation of creativityâ€?. Jenaiha Woods
3/7/06 11:19:04 AM
Within a few years, many experts predict that the majority of products and services will be created, advertised, sold, or delivered to customers with and through the Internet.
This is a huge opportunity for the design business, since all those customer interactions need to be designed in order to compete successfully in the digital marketplace. Taking advantage of the Internetâ€™s design opportunities is not an easy task. An essential part of the user-interface design, is the integration between professionals from a wide variety of backgrounds such as graphic design, industrial design, computer science, software development, psychology, human factors, and social science. We can divide these professionals on two core cultures â€“ analyzers and creators. Among the analyzers we can encounter mainly psychologists, anthropologists, sociologists, and human factors experts. The creators consist of graphic designers, industrial designers, and software designers. This is the most common trend, but there are many other crossover types possible as well.
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Analyzers focus on understanding the real world performance between the users and the interface. Their initial focus is on users needs. Their initial studies may include what a user might understand and might know. Later on, they study the performance of the user interface or the prototypes. Creators focus on providing visual designs, interaction protocols, information architecture, and navigational structures. They base their work mostly on concise requirements from technology, markets, and users. The designs are created within a given schedule and budget. The outcome might be a product concept, an interface design, a better functioning prototype, or any combination of these. In the past, the desktop metaphor did a good job of constraining things. There was a user, a desktop, the documents, tools, and a set of tasks. The analyzers job was to identify the right tool for the task. When graphically presented and consistent with the overall metaphor, thing would more or less fall into place. This formula was used for great many word processors, desktop publishing programs, and image processing tools.
The Internet has became equally challenging for the creators as well. The techniques for designing user interfaces have mainly evolved in the context of graphical user interfaces. This is why most of the creators come with a background of some form of visual design. Creators are experts in designing visual stimulations with relationship between objects, spaces, and behaviors. The Internet, however, has virtually infinite navigation space that changes dynamically.
For the analyzers, the complex relationship unfolding on the scale of the Internet becomes increasingly difficult. Today, analysis has expended to include enterprise wide collaboration, huge knowledge databases, mobile access, distributed systems, intelligence agents, and so forth. The old activities known for the desktop metaphor seems lost. Things have became more complicated.
3/7/06 11:19:06 AM
*1Sacher, Heiko; Edited by Squires, Susan and Byrne, Bryan; Creating Breakthrough Ideas –The Collaboration of Anthropologists and Designers in the Product Development Industry, Semiotics as Common Ground: Connecting the Cultures of Analysis and Creation; Published by Bergin & Garvey – London, 2002 (Pg. 175—195)
The users therefore, interact with the Internet by asking questions. Creators are confronted with a shift from creating visual metaphors to designing protocols for the asking and answering of questions. Besides the opposite indications that occur in design practice today, both analyzers and creators need to increase their interdependency. They must collaborate more closely. That is the only way to overcome the challenges of the Internet and to take advantage of its opportunities.*1
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PEOPLE FIRST From ergonomics to universal design
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“Uniform products promise a potential mega market. In fact, an almost universal market – at least in theory”. Linda Rampell
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At the beginning of the 20th century there were two different approaches to the study of work and design â€“ European and American. The first one concerned itself with human anatomical and physiological traits, and the second, in contrast, with human psychological and social traits. In Europe, the work was focused on the minimal nutrition requirements, optimal body postures at work, and other capacities and limitations of the body and mind. In the United States, the earliest studies dealt with ways to improve work efficiency through task ordering. The wartime efforts of the past have created a synthesis of their individual strong points. American psychologists, during World War I, developed something called intelligence testing, to screen aviators and specialized personnel. Later on, industrialists adopted the same approach under the name industrial psychology. Throughout the 1920â€™s and 1930â€™s, the increasing use of automobiles stimulated a degree of curiosity among psychologists. Some researchers started to study the behavioural characteristics of the accident-prone drivers, and the perceptual abilities of people moving at high speed.
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During second World War, and after it, social scientists become involved in product development intensively. In America, the needs of the U.S. military created a special new field of expertise, which came to be called engineering psychology, or human factors analysis. In war we have high penalties for system failures – both in terms of lives and equipment losses. Most of the human factors work through the 1950’s was meant to remediate such military failures. During the same period in Europe, the worker physiology became associated with issues related to occupational safety and health. Strong Scandinavian and German labour unions shaped a certain social consciousness. Ergonomics evolved to work at accident prevention. In 1950, British experts founded the Ergonomics Society in Cambridge, and in 1956, American specialists formed the Human Factors Society. Ergonomics stayed in the centre of design throughout the 1960’s and 1970’s. Another style appeared in the 1960’s in Germany, called the Good Form, also known as Good Design but it was subjected to extensive criticism. Functionality, simple form, utility, durability, ‘timelessness’, order, clarity, thorough and solid workmanship, suitable materials, finished details, technology, ergonomic design, and environmental responsibility characterized the style. However, all of this resulted in the creation of less imaginative and boring products, or even soulless satellite communities and cement slob settlements.*3
*1 Reese, William; Edited by Squires, Susan and Byrne, Bryan; Creating Breakthrough Ideas – The Collaboration of Anthropologists and Designers in the Product Development Industry, Behavioral Scientists Enter Design – Seven Critical Histories; Published by Bergin & Garvey – London, 2002 (Pg. 17—43) *2 Whorf, Benjamin Lee; Edited by Spier, L., Hallowell, A.I., and Newman, S.S.; Language, Culture, and Personality, The Relation of Habitual Thought and Behavior to Language; Univesity of Utah Press, 1941 *3 Hauffe, Thomas; Design –An Illustrated Historical Overview, Good Form and Neo-Functionalism; Barron’s Educational Series Inc., 1996 (Pg. 130—131)
Industrial anthropologists of the 1940’s and 1950’s, also developed a technique to predict discrete components of the human interpersonal behaviour, called interaction analysis.*1 The most willing scholars, to engage in some degree of product design, tended to be linguists and biological anthropologists. One of the leading figures in sociolinguistics, Benjamin Lee Whorf, originally an inspector for a fire insurance company, discovered that many hazards had a linguistic foundation. Factory workers smoked and tossed cigarette buts more often around signs saying Empty Gasoline Tanks than they did around signs that read Gasoline Tanks, even though the vapours in the empty tanks made them more hazardous.*2
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*4 Rampell, Linda; DesignMatters Magazine No.7, Universal Design; Published by the Danish Designers and Danish Design Center, September 2004
In the recent decades a new concept has emerged, that contrary to Good Design, has never met any resistance. US designers and market strategist, dividing the consumers into three groups within a market pyramid, launched the concept of Universal Design.*4 People with serious physical disabilities were placed at the top of the pyramid and those with a light handicap, such as rheumatism, were grouped in the middle. At the bottom of the pyramid were people without disabilities. Disabled people with very specific needs were not represented in the model, and are not covered by the concept of Universal Design. According to the proponents of Universal Design, regular design disregards the needs of the disabled since it centres on non-handicapped consumers. In this concept, non-handicapped persons will need to use handicappedfriendly products referring to the concept of relative handicap. This concept claims that we are all semi-handicapped to some degree, and accordingly all need design for disabilities. For example, we may not be deaf or blind, but we may be least a little hard of hearing or have a slightly limited sight range. You can break your leg or arm, and during the period of healing, you encounter the same problems as the disabled persons with similar problems. Universal Design also embraces design for the elderly, and for pregnant women. Even mothers with baby carriages encounter the same problems as people with wheelchairs. Uniform products promise a potential mega market, that at least in theory, is universal. Lobbyists, designers, and market strategists are advising decision-makers to regard Universal Design as a universal method in promoting aesthetic, ethical, and economic integration in society. Equally, producers are tempted with the prospect of this humongous market for handicapfriendly products and services. Under the pretext of being a humane and democratic project, this concept has become one of the most manipulative phenomena that capitalize on our sense of community.
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The proponents of Universal Design are exploiting the goodwill and kindness of the consumers, since denying the disabled the opportunity to buy handicap-friendly products is an unlikely stance. When we see it like that, humanism perhaps is concealing the true identity of this purely marketing strategy for a potential gigantic market.
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SAVE THE WORLD Environmentalisam
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â€œWe must save you, from yourselvesâ€?. I Robot, The Movie
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Kofi Annan, The U.N. Secretary-General, in September 2002, wrote an article in Time Magazine, called Beyond The Horizon. In his article, he stated the following:
â€œThe challenge of living in harmony with the earth is as old as human society itself. That relationship changed fundamentally, a little more than two centuries ago, with the Industrial Revolution. Using the new technology of the steam engine in the 19th century, and the internal combustion engine in the century just ended, society found itself able, to exploit on a massive scale the energy locked in such fossil fuels as coal, oil, and gas. At the same time, dramatic gains in agricultural productivity made possible by mechanized farming, fertilizers and more efficient water use pushed people from farms into factories and cities. The net result was a revolution in living standards that the worlds had never seen or imagined possible. Today we need another revolution â€“ a revolution in our sense of global stewardship. For too long, too many people have believed that natural limits to human wellbeing have been conqueredâ€?.*1
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Not too long ago, there was a time when big corporations tended to fight environmentalists, arguing that many environmental friendly measures were a threat to profitability. But as public concern has grown, there has been an increased interest among many businesses and they have come to realise that industrial reforms can be good for the environment and good for profits too. Efficient use of energy and materials and a reduction in waste can help the environment, and everything that is recycled will reduce the expense of buying raw materials. Actually, a perfectly efficient system does exist, and is as old as the planet. We call it nature. This is a system where there is no waste, and the same materials have been recycled for billions of years.*3
SAVE THE WORLD
About 2.5 billion people have no access to modern energy services, and the power demands of developing countries are expected to rise by 2.5% per year. It is important that these demands are met with other, more alternative energy resources, than the ones currently used, like oil, coal, and gas. Otherwise, global warming will escalate, leading to rising seas, fiercer storms, severe droughts, and other climatic disruptions. Another problem is drinking water. Only 2.5% of the world has fresh water, and only a fraction of that is accessible. This is amazing, if we know that the earth is 70% water. At present, 1.1 billion people lack access to clean drinking water and more than 2.4 billion lack adequate sanitation. By 2025, two-thirds of the worlds population may be living in countries that face serious water shortage – says the U.N. Secretary–General, Kofi Annan.*2
*1Annan, Kofi; Time Magazine (Special Report: How To Save The Earth), Beyond The Horizon; Time Warner Publishing, September 2002; (Pg. 20) *2 Kluger, Jeffrey and Dorfman, Andrea; Time Magazine (Special Report: How To Save The Earth), The Challenges We Face; Published by Time Warner Publishing, September 2002; (Pg. 9—16) *3 Roston, Eric; Time Magazine (Special Report: How To Save The Earth), Green Century: New War On Waste; Published by Time Warner Publishing, September 2002; (Pg. 28—31)
Currently, it takes 14.4 months to replenish what we use from the nature in 12 months. That is a 20% of deficit in crops, animals, and other biomatter we extract the earth each year. The number of people on earth is still rising rapidly, especially in the developing countries of Asia, but the good news is that the growth rate is slowing. The world population has increased by 48% from 1975 to 2000, compared with 64% from 1950 to 1975. If this deceleration continues until 2050, the population is expected to level off at 11 billion.
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BACK TO NATURE Sustainable design
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â€œMan is now in position of creating the total world in which he livesâ€?. Edward Hall
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BACK TO NATURE
The worldâ€™s focus is shifting from Globalization to Regionalization and further to Localization. The increasing cost of energy and transportation has forced the industries to shift their focus from mass production at one location, to batch production at several locations. That solves the problems of logistic support and sale of the product at different places. Scarcity of material has made it imperative to design a product for its reuse and recycle which we call life after the life.
The liberalization of the markets has forced a fierce competition and has forced the industries to localize and to customize their products to penetrate each and every segment of the market including the rural segment. The advancements in the technology have reached a level of saturation, which made it difficult to improve the efficiency, performance, and the quality of the products. Therefore, the industry has shifted from technology to design and is introducing socio-cultural elements, which are equally significant for the product development. In fact, these aspects are being responsible for the success of product in a highly competitive market.
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The efforts made by the corporations, industries, and engineers, so far have been directed mainly towards reduction, reuse, recycle of materials, environment friendly production processes, or green design. All of which are guided primarily by their commercial interests. However, in the future, for making a product to succeed in the competitive market, the focus of design will have to shift to the people and the environment they live in. In the opinion of Cees B. M. van Riel, a classic author on the subject of Corporate Communications, stakeholders will more readily accept a corporate story when they perceive its content as being coherent and attractive. It should contribute to their personal advantage and should especially not arouse any irritation. In his opinion, communication is more effective when a so-called Sustainable Corporate Story can be relied on, as a source of inspiration for all internal and external communication activities. After all, stories are difficult to imitate and they simplify the consistency in all the messages propagated by the organization. That is highly benefitial to the companyâ€™s PR, and it strenghtens its position on the market.
BACK TO NATURE
Today, most companies cannot impose globally their products, without solid understanding of the local culture, demographics, psychographics, and culturegraphics. The best way, is to have one global idea from which everyone can benefit and be satisfied, and then that idea to be adjusted on the local level. In that way it can be applicable to as many subjects as possible, but in a more acceptable manner. After all, design is about understanding other peopleâ€™s needs and addressing them. This demands a systematic view of design, and not necessarily a realization of physical products or services.
*1 Shashank, Mehta; Sustainable Product Design: The Indian context; Published online, by the Japan Design Foundation, 2003; Source: http://jdf.or.jp/eng/index.php3?Mode=article&id=682
For that reason, the products should satisfy the physical and mental needs of the consumer, and as well to incorporate the traditional, social, cultural, and ecological aspects of the region. Products should be produced locally, but in terms of appearance, efficiency, and performance, they should be having a global quality. With that came the new term Glocalization.*1
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*2 van Riel, Cees B. M.; Edited by Brønn, Peggy Simcic and Wiig, Roberta; Corporate Communication: A Strategic Approach to Building Reputation; Defining Corporate Communication; Published by Gyldendal Norsk Forllag AS 202, Reprinted 2003 (Pg. 53—69) *3 Lewis, Hellen and Gertsakis, John with Grant, Tim; Morreli, Nicola; Sweatman, Andrew; DESIGN + ENVIRONMENT: A global guide to designing greener goods, Sustainable Design anf Sustainable Companies; Publisher: Greenleaf Publishing Ltd, 2001 (Pg. 27—29)
BACK TO NATURE
“A corporate story will be most effective when four criteria are met. Firstly, the story should be realistic. This is the case when the stakeholders see the content of the story as typical for the organization and as truly distinguishing with regards to competitors. It should be also typical for the organization as a whole. Secondly, the story should be relevant. The stakeholders should perceive the story as adding value to their daily lives. Thirdly, the communication style used by the organization to communicate the story should be characterized as ‘responsive’. A corporate story is a dynamic entity, developed and redeveloped by the permanent interaction between internal and external stakeholders. A continues dialogue in testing the relevance and the reality of the Sustainable Corporate Story, and the readiness to apply changes resulting from the dialogue will have a positive effect on the attractiveness of the story. The fourth characteristic with which the effectiveness of the corporate story can be improved is the extent to which the story can be characterized as sustainable. A corporate story will only be ‘sustainable’ when it succeeds in finding and maintaining the right balance between the competing demands of all relevant stakeholders and the wishes of the organization itself”.*2 Leading companies such as Xerox, Electrolux, Bosch, BMW, Phillips, Volvo, and AEG, have invested in such processes, systems, production technologies, and design methods. They have decided to invest in this way because they want to position themselves as market leaders and innovators. They want to anticipate the market context rather then to react late. They have a desire to act responsibly and want to change or improve the market image of the whole company. They also desire to influence the direction of the regulations and legislations together in partnership with the government, and to secure their investments. Sustainable companies rely on sustainable products and services to meet the need of the ever more demanding customers.*3 If comparing, Sustainable Design is more than Design for Environment. It means combining the needs of the consumers and companies with environmental conscience, ethical values and social needs.
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Sustainable design often gives an additional immaterial value and creates a win-win situation. Consumers pay less and get more. Companies spend less on manufacture and materials and therefore gain more on profits. All the processes in-between are environmentally friendly. Clearly a positive situation from all the angles. Scarcity of materials has made it imperative to design products for re-use and recycle, for which some use the terms life after the life or cradle to cradle approach. This approach means thinking about the products past and future, by reducing the usage of raw materials for the next product and creating a closed circle of the production. The product distribution should also be taken into account. By reducing the use of materials, simplifying the production, and economizing on transport, we make it more economically feasible for the companies and therefore for the consumers as well.
Environmental awareness in the future industrial development, however, cannot be secured just by trimming current production. That may require a radical change of our pattern of consumption. The designerâ€™s creative and analytical approach, which includes testing many possible solutions, including untraditional ones, has a key contribution to make in achieving this change. However, Sustainable Design is only fully sustainable if it is attractive to consumers, therefore, the consumers should feel as if they are not sacrificing anything by consuming sustainably.
BACK TO NATURE
In most cases, well designed products do not harm the environment, but instead economize on raw materials and simplify the production processes. Process optimization often leads to great savings, both in raw materials and energy. Therefore, the designers should be included in the development process at an early stage in order to address all the parameters that have an environmental impact.
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Sustainable development and environmental design
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â€œThe relationship between man and the cultural dimension is one in wich both man and his environment participate in molding each otherâ€?. Edward Hall
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One research has shown that a reduction in resources of 90% to 95% is required over the next 50 years in order to provide the future generations with the same resources available to us. This means that the most developed countries will need to be using only 5% of the resources they are using now.
Such a dramatic reduction seems impossible, but several studies, institutions, and industrial organizations suggest that this target is not impossible if the several conditions are met. The change should be initiated and supported by the developed countries as a new model of development that can eventually be exported to developing countries. The change should be based not only on technological development, but also in major social and cultural changes that influence production and consumption patterns. The main challenge is to redesign the entire production and consumption process. Developments in technology are providing significant opportunities for changes, but new visions are also needed to achieve more fundamental transfers. This will mean a development of completely new generation of products and services.
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People want the mobility provided by cars, planes, and trains. They want the products delivered to them by various means of transportation. The future development of the transportation system, vehicles, and services, presents an important challenge to society. It’s a good thing that the society is increasingly looking for ways to reduce or eliminate the environmental cost of transportation. In the past decade, global electricity production from renewable sources has been growing much faster than conventional power. Still, it is projected that it will meet only a very small proportion of the world’s energy needs over the next two decades. Most of the world’s energy during this period will continue to be met by fossil fuels. The energy consumption is forecasted to increase less then 2% a year in over the next decade. It is expected to double by 2050. Worldwide, the estimated number of cars increasing is 16 million a year. (The number of people with Internet connection is growing by 100 million a year.)
While the design and cost of cars and other motors have changed radically over the past years, the vast majority of them are still using the internal combustion engine. Some emissions from these engines are green house gases (GHG’s). Others, such as carbon monoxide and particulates, have an impact on the local air quality. Some, such as nitrogen oxides, have impacts at global and local levels. The transport sector accounts for around 25% of the global total of GHG emissions, and road transport is where they are growing most rapidly. In the developing world, the air quality is likely to remain a pressing concern for the foreseeable future. Therefore, a key mobility challenge is to develop and deliver more sustainable solutions. A challenge that some companies are allready trying to address.
The continuing rise in demand for transport can be illustrated by the growth in car use. In 1920, it was around 7 million cars in the world. In 1960, it was some 60 million and in 2000, around 675 million cars. A forecast predicts that the total will be one billion by 2020.
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*1Lord Browne of Madingley.; BP Sustainability Report 2003; Published by BP (Beyond Petrol), Source: www.bp.com
BP, the former British Petroleum, says there are four approaches to reconcile transport demand with environmental concerns. First is to increase the distance traveled per unit of fuel consumed by improving the vehicle and the fuel efficiency. Second is to develop fuels that produce lower levels of emissions. Third is to reduce the overall demand for transport. Fourth approach is to encourage the shift from private to public transport.*1 In my opinion, these are not the perfect solutions, but they are good starting point. Other solutions, like use of super-light polymeric materials has increased the efficiency of the hybrid engines. Electric cars and solar power are still in the developmental stage, but the most sustainable mobility solution that we know to be technically feasible is that of carbon-free or neutral hydrogen used to power a fuel cell propulsion system. Initially this system was developed for the Apollo Space Project. However, there are still many obstacles to overcome before this becomes a mass-market commercial customer proposition. Hydrogen offers great potential as a sustainable, cleaner fuel. It is abundant and, when used in a fuel cell engine, the only emission from the engine is water. There are still many practical and economic obstacles to use it. We can find hydrogen all over the world, since it is the H in H2O (water) and in CH4 (natural gas), but it is always bound to other substances. To use it as a fuel, the hydrogen must be separated. While economically viable production methods exist, hydrogen storage and distribution are still expensive. The Information Technology (IT) is also expected to contribute to a large reduction in environmental impacts, since it allows a better control and coordination of the use of energy and resources The creation of information networks will improve the transportation systems, and vehicle navigation systems can provide the optimal route from point A to B. In other sectors, IT can integrate and optimize both small or large structures such domestic and office systems.
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Environmental impacts occur at all stages of the productâ€™s life cycle. On the other hand, no matter where in the product life cycle the impact lies, most of the impact is bound into the product at the stage of design when materials are selected and product performances determined. International trends are demonstrating that concepts and tools such as Design for Environment (DFE), Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), and Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) are serious factors. They are rapidly becoming key strategies for forward thinking corporations. These strategies will revolutionize how businesses create new products and services, and how consumers and governments will compare, assess, regulate, and purchase everyday goods. At a very practical level, DFE, accompanied by a well thought-out use of LCA, can provide one of the most powerful tools in pursuit of sustainable products. It is at the product planning and design stage, that source reduction, waste minimization, water conservation, and energy efficiency can be implemented and built into products, services, and buildings. The designers environmental role is limited, but in combination with other disciplines, they can emerge as a critical players that ensures a diversity of issues and considerations are successfully built into the products. Products have a function and a purpose, and this must remain a first priority to them.
Sustainability will require an evolutionary change in the way we conceive, design, manufacture, and consume products. This will involve complex interaction between technological innovations and evolving social, economical, and cultural systems. The future challenge for designers is to understand the critical role they play in shaping the future and to use their abilities and skills to move design into a more sustainable future.*2
*2 Lewis, Hellen and Gertsakis, John with Grant, Tim; Morreli, Nicola; Sweatman, Andrew; DESIGN + ENVIRONMENT: A global guide to designing greener goods, Future Scenarios Regarding Sustainable Design; Publisher: Greenleaf Publishing Ltd, 2001 (Pg. 186â€”192)
The concept of industrial technology is helping us to understand how we might be able to reshape modern industrial systems to resemble natural systems, because in natural systems nothing is wasted. The materials and energy that is disposed off by some organisms, are resources for other organisms. The application of this natural system can achieve the same in the industrial systems.
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*3 General reference to: Lewis, Hellen and Gertsakis, John with Grant, Tim; Morreli, Nicola; Sweatman, Andrew; DESIGN + ENVIRONMENT: A global guide to designing greener goods; Greenleaf Publishing Ltd, 2001
However, some of the main drivers behind the DFE have been the national governments, mostly in Northern and Western Europe. They have been sensitive to provide a careful mix of rewards and incentives as well as strictly controlled and enforced environmental laws and targets. Good example is the Dutch government, which through its ECODESIGN initiatives has helped industry to prepare for the inevitable tightening of environmental regulations. This balance has generated a productive tension between the government and the industry, where the government has been seen both to regulate and support business. The LCA is one of the most useful tools in identifying and assessing the environmental aspects and potential impacts associated with a product. Its value lies in the ability to map a productâ€™s environmental impact across its whole life cycle, including the extraction and processing of raw materials, manufacture and use of the product, and its end-of-life options like re-use, remanufacture, recycling, treatment and disposal. The distribution and transportation phase usually occurs between all of the stages and can have a significant impact on productâ€™s life cycle environmental impacts. The market for consumer products has become sensitive to issues of environmental quality. Over the past decade or so, manufacturers have been forced to respond to an increasingly sophisticated focus on the environmental impacts of products and the growing demand for greener goods. Various European countries introduced product oriented policies which enforced measures extending the producers responsibility at eliminating or reducing waste and pollution at all points in the chain.*3 To be ecologically correct means to blend consumerism with environmentalism. That way, two major forms of guilt are resolved at once. It makes environmental anxiety and consumer desire more bearable by encouraging the consumption of products that contribute to a cleaner environment. Ecologically correct (EC), encourages sustainability, brand survival, and guilt-free shopping.
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Terrorism is the last resort of the desperate environmentalists, who say that the ecosystem is on the brink of irreversible destruction. They firmly believe in what they are doing. They donâ€™t see the things they do as an act of terrorism, but as an act of love towards the environment. Another form of direct environmental action that requires more creativity is civil disobedience. It often requires careful planning and detailed preparations to safely carry out protests and achieve high media attention. One of the strongest supporters of civil disobedience is the Adbusters Magazine. As one of theirs Buy Nothing Day anticommercial says, the average North American consumes five times more than a Mexican, ten times more then a Chinese person, and thirty times more than a person from India.*4 However, by choosing not to buy a product, not to enter a store, or not to read an ad, we are still responding to the marketing efforts of organizations.
Emerging in the early 1990â€™s, enviropreneurial marketing (EM) has become the latest form of ecomarketing. EM is a very different method from the previous environmentally based approaches, which mostly ignored the entrepreneurial aspects of environmentalism. This, by contrast, gives a free-market approach to environmentalism. The roles have shifted, and the activist today is not a member of the Green Peace or governmental regulator, but the corporation itself. Environmental imperatives are now market opportunities. Armed with the idea of corporate entrepreneurship, creative marketing, and innovative technologies, enviropreneurs are the last warriors of the ecologically correct society. There is another, faster way, to get to the EC society. At least, this is what a group of environmental extremists, better known as eco-radicals or eco-terrorists believe.
*4 Cha, Tae-Wook; The Harvard Design School Guide To Shopping, Ecologically Correct; Director Koolhaas, Rem, Published by Taschen GmbH, 2001 (Pg. 305â€”319)
A brilliant concept that has turned the meaning of the slogan the more I spend, the more I save. The ideology of ecological correctness is behind almost every aspect of shopping. From the food we eat, to the clothes we wear, and the malls we shop in. EC has rapidly become one of the main organizing devices for the consciousness of consumption, and soon every company that is not EC will see a major loss of profits.
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CLEAN CHOICE Sustainable materials
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â€œThe future is not about thingsâ€?. Christian Mossberg, Mikkel B. Rassmussen
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One advertisment by the Environmental Defense Fund is saying the following: “U.S. consumers and industry dispose of enough aluminium to rebuild the commercial air fleet every three months; enough iron and steel to continuously supply all automakers; enough glass to fill New York’s world trade center every two weeks”.
Materials have impact on the environment during the harvesting or extraction, processing, transportation, and final transformation into a product. The durability of the product and whether or not it can be recycled is also determined by the materials choice. They can be evaluated against several criteria, including their source, methods of processing, additives, energy efficiency, durability, and recyclabilty.
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In the material selection, designers should aim towards choosing as much abundant, non-toxic, non-regulated materials as possible. If toxic materials are required for the manufacturing process, then they need to be generated on-site, rather than having them shipped elsewhere. If possible, natural materials should be chosen over synthetic materials. Most of the needed materials should be coming from the recycling streams rather than through the raw material selection. Minimum use of materials in products, processes, and services should be the general rule in design. Composites that are in common use include reinforced plastics with glass or carbon fibers. That way, a composite has the best properties of each material. Carbon fibers are strong and heat-resistant, but also expensive to use. Glass is cheaper and relatively easy to manufacture, but there are many disadvantages. Glass fibers present a health risk to those working with them. Fiberglass is non-degradable, difficult to recycle and cannot be incinerated because the fibers are left behind in the clinker and can damage the furnace. A better way to reinforce the plastics is the use of natural fibers. Daimler Benz uses them in its vehicles since 1995.
Recycled plastics should be used whenever possible. They are particularly suitable for applications without strict performance criteria like strength, flexibility, and color. Often, their use is for products such as drainage pipes, marker posts, flowerpots, bins and crates. Design strategies for plastics include specified use of plastics that have less impact on environment, lightweighting, and use of recyclable plastics whenever possible.
There are three main sources of waste: industrial, post-consumer industrial waste, and post-consumer domestic waste. Industrial waste, like manufacturing scrap, which is collected and reused in-house, can be relatively clean and uncontaminated. Post-consumer waste, like industrial products that have been used and discarded, is more difficult to recycle because of the presence of contaminants such as dirt, food, paper labels, and others like plastics.
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Timber is a beautiful, natural material. However, it’s harvesting can have a serious impact on the environment. Regular harvesting from old-grown forests may cause a long-term ecological damage. Therefore, harvesting from plantations is recommended. Manufactured wood products such as medium density fiberboard (MDF) and plywood have other environmental problems that are primarily associated with the resins and glues that are used during the production of those materials. The use of some adhesives, like Formaldehyde, is a potential health risk. It is known that these glues might result in the development of cancer for the people that are working with them. Alternatives are developed to replace MDF and plywood. An example is Gridcore™; a recycled fiber material manufactured in honeycomb formation, manufactured from 100% recycled paper and cardboard. It requires no use of resins or adhesives. Glass is ultimately the best recycled material. Crushed recycled glass, called cullet, is now the major raw material for glass manufacturing in Australia. The current recycling rate in Australia is 45%, although glass is technically 100% recyclable. The use of cullet as a raw material reduces the need for mining, which is the greatest environmental disadvantage for using glass. Cullet also melts at lower temperature than the raw materials and therefore wastes less energy. Lower operating temperatures also reduce emissions of pollution to air.
Aluminum processing consumes large amounts of energy and therefore is the major contributor to greenhouse gas generation, but on the other hand, is easily recycled. Aluminum cans are compressed into bricks and transported to processing plants. Then, they are fed into rotary furnaces and the aluminum is heated to 700ºC. The recycling of aluminum reduces the need for mining and processing of raw materials. Also, it requires only 5% of the energy required for virgin material. However, it’s recycling does add to the air pollution through various emissions. Other metal, like scrap steel from packaging, appliances, car bodies, steel food and beverage cans, and other products are fully recyclable and can be remanufactured back.
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Designers should avoid specifying use of materials that are hazardous or that can generate hazardous waste at any stage of their life cycle. This includes materials that are toxic to humans or other living organisms; that are flammable, explosive or corrosive; ozone depleting; and that contribute to global warming.*1
*1Lewis, Hellen and Gertsakis, John with Grant, Tim; Morreli, Nicola; Sweatman, Andrew; DESIGN + ENVIRONMENT: A global guide to designing greener goods; Sustainable Materials; Greenleaf Publishing Ltd, 2001 (Pg. 66 â€“ 76)
Paper is renewable, recyclable, and biodegradable. However, the production and use of paper have significant impacts on the environment. 54% of the wood fiber is derived from natural regeneration forests and the global trend is towards an increasing reliance on plantations of intensively managed natural regeneration forests. Non-wood fibers can also be used for paper products and they may offer environmental benefits. Alternative fibers like kenaf, hemp, reclaimed fabric, and agricultural residues, help the rapid growth of the tree-free paper industry. Kenaf has been used in Africa, the Middle East, and parts of Asia for thousands of years for products like clothing, sacking, and rugs. It also makes good paper. Kenaf grows rapidly and can reach its harvest stage in 5 months; compared to the southern pine, which takes up to 20 or 25 years. Hemp-based paper also offers advantages. It competes well with weeds, and is resistant to most pests. As a result, few pesticides are required for cultivation. Approximately 90% of all non-wood pulp is produced in Asia. The pulping of no-wood fibers uses less energy than the pulping of wood fibers, but it may be more polluting with the current technology.
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Environmentally friendly production
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â€œProduction by masses and for masses, rather than mass-productionâ€?. Mahatma Gandhi
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Sometimes it is necessary to rethink the manufacturing process from scratch. Analyze what the company actually does, how it makes its products and, not least, what the customers expect. If one does not regularly take the time to rethink the products, in the worst case, one risks being left behind by the competition.
Packaging is one of the most visible components of the waste-stream. It has probably received more attention than any other manufactured product in the environmental debate. Due to that, packaging has become one of the most interesting design fields in which designers have the opportunity to demonstrate their abilities in environmental design. Packaging has been designed to contain, protect, and promote a product. Over the past 40 years, packaging has increased rapidly. Trends like self-serve retailing, convenience products, new materials and new methods for food preservation, have resulted in dramatic increase in the amount of packaging generating waste.
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Most packaging is designed for disposal after single use. This contributes to the growing solid waste that must be either recycled or send to landfills for disposal. It is also highly wasteful of energy and resources and unsustainable in the long term. Leakage from landfills can include heavy metals and other toxic materials. They have the potential to contaminate ground water and surface water. Degradation of the organic material can produce methane, which can contribute to global warming. The material choice for a package has implications for the environment at every stage of the product life cycle. The packaging designers should try to minimize waste by avoiding unnecessary packaging, reducing material use, and to design for re-use, recycling, or degradability. They should carefully select materials and avoid the use of metal-based inks.
One of the criticisms constantly directed at the packaging industry is that many products are over-packaged. However, the opportunities to reduce the packaging depend on many factors important for the product. Factors like containment, protection, transport, and marketing. Due to that, there have been three types of packaging defined: primary or consumer packaging, secondary packaging, and transport or distribution packaging. All of them are relevant for certain stages of the productâ€™s use.
Since production of recycled materials has a lower impact on the environment, they should be used whenever possible over virgin materials. Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) was found to be the material with the worst impact on the environment because it causes emissions of vinyl chloride monomer and other carcinogenic substances during production. The Tellus Institute has found that switching from PVC to other materials would be the most important step in reducing toxicity of packaging. One study showed that, apart from PVC, when environmental impacts of each package are compared, the lightest-weight packages were almost always the least harmful for the environment. This gives an indication that lightweight packaging produces less waste than packages manufactured with higher recycling rates. This leads us to the source reduction strategy.
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The primary packaging is the basic packaging containing the product that is kept while the product is consumed; for example, a bottle, a toothpaste tube, or a flour bag. Secondary packaging is the additional packaging that is used to facilitate the self-service sales, or to further advertise or market the product, and tends to be thrown away after the product is opened; for example, a toothpaste box (which is allready going out of use), or sixpack carrier. The distribution packaging is used to ship goods from their point of origin to their destination; for example, cardboard box, a pallet, shrink-wrap, strapping, and polystyrene beads. Most of the elimination opportunities are in the secondary packaging category. In countries with strict waste laws like Germany, toothpaste boxes have been eliminated. The tube has been redesigned to suit this change. The aluminum has been switched to plastic, and the lid has been made larger so the tube can stand up on a flat surface. However, there are cases like in USA or Australia, where flour is sold in simple paper bags, and the same paper bag is packed inside a cardboard box and therefore creating not only more waste, but higher expenses for the manufacturer. Menâ€™s shirts are another example of over-packaging. They are folded around cardboard, held together with pins, packed in a strong plastic box, and given to the customer in a plastic shopping bag. Opportunities to reduce waste and save money also exist in the distribution packaging as well. For example, using a spray-on resin to reduce waste and secure unitized loads without the need for further packaging can eliminate stretch wrap. This is a hydrogen-bonding polymer applied in liquid spray form, which locks the boxes together in a horizontal direction. Lifting the boxes vertically can easily break the bond. The polymer does not damage the boxes or leave any residue.
Reusable packaging is starting to show signs of resurgence in use. The waste hierarchy places re-use above recycling because the product is not thrown away after a single use.
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However, there can be some downsides of the re-usable packaging. For example, the re-usable bottles tend to be heavier than single-use bottles; therefore they consume more raw materials in the manufacture and more energy in transport. The washing process requires hot water and therefore energy, as well as detergents to meet the health standards.
Transport packaging offers more opportunities for re-use. Approximately, there are 25 billion corrugated boxes, that have been used for transport, were produced in 1990, in the USA. Corrugated cardboard is potentially recyclable, but recycling also consumes resources and energy. One study conducted in the US, after comparing the amount of materials used per million shipments found that a re-usable plastic box generates 98.5% less waste then single-use corrugated box. There are certain conditions under which re-usable containers work well. Those conditions are when there are short distribution distances, frequent deliveries, a small number of parties involved, and company-owned or dedicated distribution vehicles. The containers can be made from a variety of materials, like cardboards, plastic, wood, steel, and fiberboard, and can be designed with features that facilitate shipping, handling, and storage. These include collapsibility, when the walls of the container are designed to fold down when collapsed; nestability, when empty containers can be placed inside one another; and stackability, when tops and bottom are designed to lock into one another to allow for greater stacking height.At a system-wide level, manufacturers need to understand the existing recycling infrastructure much better, so they can improve their existing systems.
One study in Munich in Germany compared the environmental impacts of refillable and single-use containers for milk. The study found that the energy break-even point for milk delivery occurs between 18â€”25 trips per bottle, and between 100â€”200 km of travel. More trips or shorter distances mean that refillable containers are better. This means that re-use strategies should be carefully designed to ensure that environmental impacts are minimized and controlled.
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*1 Lewis, Hellen and Gertsakis, John with Grant, Tim; Morreli, Nicola; Sweatman, Andrew; DESIGN + ENVIRONMENT: A global guide to designing greener goods; Environmental Issues Regarding Packaging Design; Greenleaf Publishing Ltd, 2001 (Pg. 110â€”128) *2 General reference to: Calver, Giles; What is packaging design?; RotoVision SA, Switzelrand, 2004
Designers also will need to gain a good understanding of which materials are collected and how they are reprocessed. This can influence the choice of the primary material as well as the choice for components such as caps and labels. Current trends need to be considered since they are likely to impact on waste and recyclabilty. Increased consumption of pre-prepared meals, take-away food, and single-serve packs lead to more packaging. Multi-layer films technology that increases shelf life also has implications on recyclabilty.*1 On the other hand, the need to differentiate one product from another is also as important and must not be forgotten. One of the primary factors when designing is to consider the packaging layouts, and to create hierarchy of information. Some people like shopping, while others hate it. Some are good at assimilating information and making purchasing decisions, while other may lack confidence in their ability to judge products against each other. All these people look to the packaging to help them. It is important to know which factors will affect their decision, and then prioritize them. However, it is not easy to achieve a powerful and distinctive product proposition. In the past, a product needed to have a Unique Selling Proposition (USP). In recent times new theories that evolved are based on the products Emotional Selling Proposition (ESP). The greater awareness designers have of the target market and of its rational and emotional needs, the greater is the chance to design solution that strikes a resonance with the consumers. There are times when you look at a piece of packaging, feel it in your hands, and absorb feelings of quality, exclusivity, refinement, and luxury. Designers often employ finishes and effects such as foil blocking, varnishes, laminates, debossing and embossing, and die-cutting or laser cutting. This is used to manipulate consumersâ€™ perceptions or to engage to their senses so that what they see and feel communicates the right message.*2 Electronic and electrical products (EEPs) include a vast variety of goods. Often the most significant environmental impact of these products from a life cycle perspective is the energy they consume during their use.
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The environmental impacts of materials used in EEPs need to be considered at different stages of the productâ€™s life cycle â€“from the manufacturing to use, and then final disposal. LCA studies have shown on many occasions that the largest impact an electrical or electronic product has on the environment is during its use. This is especially true for products that use energy and other resources during its operation, such as hot water systems, heaters, cooking equipment, fridges, lights, air conditioners, and washing and drying machines. They collectively use 95% of the energy in an average house. However, products that do not consume significant amount of energy during their use, such as mobile phones, often have environmental impact during manufacture. This is due to the energy-intensive operations required to make certain components.
Upgradeable design is suitable for short-life electronic products that are undergoing rapid change or for products that are composed of separate units. The difficulty with the modular design is the ability to predict change that can be incorporated into the design, and this is particularly evident with longer-life products. Modular systems can provide a common platform on which successive generations can be built. Modularity can also result in long-term savings to the consumer.
Weight reduction is a critical objective in the design of any product. It reduces the cost of manufacture, saves resources and energy, and there is less material to be recycled or disposed at the end of a productâ€™s life. A long-time trend in the electronics marketplace is the system miniaturization. This is very evident in the computer industry, mobile phones, digital cameras and video equipment. The waste from EEPs includes metals, plastics, glass, composites and other materials. Some of this waste can also be hazardous, and puts an additional burden on waste management facilities. Understanding why products are discarded in the first place is important in developing strategies for product life extension. Defect or wear-out and product obsolescence are the two key reasons for the discarding of the products.
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*3 Lewis, Hellen and Gertsakis, John with Grant, Tim; Morreli, Nicola; Sweatman, Andrew; DESIGN + ENVIRONMENT: A global guide to designing greener goods; Electronic and Electrical Products and their impact on the Environment; Greenleaf Publishing Ltd, 2001 (Pg. 164â€”177)
Recycling of materials such as metals has been an established operation for a period of time. However, as the use of plastics becomes more popular in EEPs, there is a growing interest in how best to recycle these materials. Remanufacturing is the restoration of used products and components to a condition that has performance characteristics similar to those of new products. It results in product life extension and promotes the re-use of components and materials. Remanufacturing is widely used for commercial products such as photocopiers, but is rarely used for domestic electrical and electronic products. This is due to the decentralized and unpredictable market and supply for used goods, the rapid change in technology associated with some products; high transport costs; and customer prejudice against rebuilt products. Due to the minimal effect of styling, remanufacturing of domestic products is mostly concentrated in the area of power tools, vacuum cleaners, garden and leisure equipment.*3 People are spending 90% of their time indoors. New illness such as sick building syndrome is being blamed for significant losses in employer health and productivity. Many companies are working to reduce the components in furniture that emit toxins, odours, and suspected carcinogens. Serious health hazards are associated with the application of solvents, dyes, paints, and finishes that contain chemicals such as formaldehyde and VOCs. Furniture design eco-issues can be divided into two areas. The first area is product-specific and relates to the ecodesign objectives. They need to be addressed wherever possible, and are desirable in the design of the product itself. The second critical area is system-wide. It concerns the development and implementation of corporate strategies and services that can exploit most of the product ecodesign features that can be found in the product. Such strategies might include the development and implementation of the companyâ€™s environmental policy and a product stewardship approach that may incorporate product take-back and leasing services. Both areas reflect an explicit life cycle or cradle-to-grave approach and aim to minimize the environmental impacts, from materials selection and production through to distribution, use, re-use, recycling, and ultimate disposal.
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This life-cycle approach permits the design process to help ensure that environmental problems seemingly addressed in one component do not negatively affect the environmental performance of another component.
During the production stage, environmental impacts can be minimized through careful selection and specification of materials and processes. This will involve the design team working closely with the production staff and suppliers. There are several ways to maximize the efficiency impacts during the production stage. Some of them can include: reducing the number of components and assemblies; eliminating and minimizing offcuts, by-products, and other materials; minimizing the variety of materials; integrating functions and simplifying assemblies; selecting low-impact materials and cleaner production methods that eliminate or notably reduce any toxic or hazardous inputs; eliminating the use of solvent-based adhesives, coatings, and finishes; eliminating the use of coatings and finishes that contain heavy metals. The designer should specify the use of durable materials and avoid colors or designs that may go out of fashion quickly. Design for upgradeability has long been a key issue in the design of the IT equipment.
Material quantities should be minimized without compromising function, quality, aesthetics, or applicable standards, also, environmentally improved materials should be used whenever possible. These could include materials with recycled content, materials that are made without any toxic or hazardous substance, and materials derived from renewable sources. They should be produced through processes that are not highly energy intensive and they should be commonly recycled and supported by collection systems and product take-back sources and schemes. They also must not be ozone depleting, nor to contribute to the sick building syndrome or other indoor air-quality problems. In addition, reduced diversity of material type can facilitate more viable end-of-life recycling. Wood-based materials should be sourced from sustainably managed plantations and certified accordingly. Materials containing toxic or hazardous substances should be avoided, with particular attention to the reduced levels of urea formaldehyde.
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*4 Lewis, Hellen and Gertsakis, John with Grant, Tim; Morreli, Nicola; Sweatman, Andrew; DESIGN + ENVIRONMENT: A global guide to designing greener goods; Environmental Issues Regarding Furniture Design and Manufacturing; Greenleaf Publishing Ltd, 2001 (Pg. 148â€”158)
Design for disassembly will enable materials to be more easily removed for repair or refurbishment, and more easily separated, identified, and sorted for recycling. Minimizing the number of separate components can do this. Also, by avoiding glues, metal clamps and screws in favour of the push, hook, and click assembly methods. As well as, by making fasteners from a material compatible with the parts connected, or by designing interconnecting points and joints, so that they are easily accessible for the opening, loosening or separating of components by hand. Designing the product as a series of easily accessible blocks or modules and using in-mould identification symbols for plastic resins. It is also desirable to minimize the number of different materials used and make it easy to locate non-recyclable parts that can be quickly removed and discarded. Locating parts with highest value in easily accessible places, and ensuring that assembly and disassembly can take place with simple tools. Re-usable products tend to have lower impacts on the environment than single use products. Life cycle environmental impacts need to be considered in the design process to minimize the impacts that might arise via re-use such as collection, disassembly, and assembly. Design for re-use requires that the product is strong enough to withstand repeated service, repair, handling, assembly, and disassembly. The re-usable components should be designed with same idea in mind. Designers should ensure that any components or materials that cannot be re-used, refurbished, or recycled, be treated and discarded safely in compliance with the relevant regulations. Potentially problematic components should be labeled with identification for safe disposal, decontamination, degassing, or general substance identification. This information should be provided to the end-users, as well as to the facility managers, including contact details for safe disposal and further processing.*4 When it comes to textiles, many people confuse natural with environmentally friendly. They assume that natural fibers such as cotton and wool are superior to synthetic fibers. This is far from the truth.
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The environmental impacts of textiles are being considered by a growing number of textile manufacturers, designers, and specifiers. Most of the attention is focused on the impacts associated with growing or manufacturing of fibers and with dyeing and finishing processes. Cotton farming relies on chemicals that pollute the environment and deplete soils. Wool processing uses detergents and solvents to clean the raw wool and uses toxic chemicals in dyeing and finishing. Synthetic fibers are not perfect either. These are manufactured from petrochemicals that have impacts associated with oil and gas extraction, refining, and processing. Also, more energy is required to process them than natural fibers. The textile industry as a whole consumes large amounts of water and produces equally large amount of polluted wastewater. To understand the environmental impact of textiles we need to examine their complete life cycle. This includes the growing and processing of the fiber, manufacturing the yarn, maintaining the product during use and its disposal or recycling. Natural fiber comes either from plant or animal sources. Although these fibers are sustainable by the fact that they are natural and renewable, the farming and manufacturing industries associated with them are not. The cotton growing industry is a major consumer of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides. Around 10% of the worldâ€™s pesticides, and 25% of the worldâ€™s insecticides, are used on cotton. Demand for organic cotton arose in the early 1990â€™s. It first started as a response to an emerging eco-fashion trend, but later this demand declined due to supply problems, higher costs, consumer price resistance, and marketing barriers. New development strategies in the apparel industry are now stimulating renewed demand for organic cotton. These developments include a shift by companies to blending small percentages of organic cotton into conventional cotton products. Blending supports organic farmers without adding significantly to the cost.
Wool has always been wrongly regarded as a natural environmentally sound product. Sheep farming has contributed to land degradation in countries such as Australia.
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The processing of raw wool involves removing grease, dried sweat, skin flakes, dirt and plant matter. The cleaning process creates heavily polluted wastewater with trace elements of pesticides, used on sheep to control lice and flies. In recent years, these activities have shifted from developed countries to the developing countries, where environmental controls are less rigorous. When compressing, a modern plant with two scouring lines can produce the pollution equivalent of a small city of 60,000 people. The search for more environmentally friendly textiles has led some designers and consumers back to hemp. Today, hemp is used to manufacture jeans, shirts, underwear, hats, and shoes. Adidas even launched a sports shoe made from hemp in 1995, calling it Adidas Hemp. The aim was to use the popularity of marijuana and hemp to capture the youth market. After the complaints from the US government that Adidas was using the name to capitalize on the drug culture, the name was changed. However, I wonder why there was no complaint to Coca Cola, which is also known as Coke â€“ a term also used for Cocaine, which was the basic ingredient of the drink in its early days, until 1929.
There are other natural fibers as well, like linen, ramie, kapok, sisal, jute, and alpaca fiber. Linen is manufactured from the flax plant. However, there are some problems with flax production, like retting, which is the separation of fibers from the plant stalk. This process requires enzymes and water. The environmental impact is that it increases biochemical oxygen demand, and the eutrophication of waterways. Similar problems are experienced with the retting of jute. Fibers such as sisal and coir from coconuts are used for woven floor coverings. Half-synthetic fibres, or regenerated cellulose fibers include viscose, cupro, acetate, and triacetate. The cellulose is extracted from wood, and this process produces considerable amounts of sulphur compound emissions and polluted water. Some companies are now able to produce solvent-spun fibers in a closed system without the sulphur compounds.
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Designers need to be aware of the environmental impacts of the textiles. The industry has still a long way to go before becoming truly sustainable. Then again, designers can influence manufacturers in a number of ways. At least, they can educate their clients or employers, as well as the consumers, about the environmental choices they have made.*6
One of the most fundamental environmental issues associated with the clothing industry is the ever-changing fashion. This is for the reason that most clothes do not wear out; they are just replaced by new designs each season. The choice of components such as zips and buttons can also have an impact. Most buttons are manufactured from plastics, but alternatives are starting to emerge. The most significant impact of clothing on environment is during its use, through maintaince activities such as washing, dry cleaning, and ironing. For example, the dry cleaning process involves the use of perchlorethane, a toxic chemical. Therefore the designer should specify washable fabrics, to avoid dry cleaning. Computerized pattern layout and cutting has reduced the amount of fabric scrap generated during the making of garments and other textile products. The remaining waste should be collected and recycled, where facilities exists. Another recycled textile on the market is EcoFleece®. It is manufactured from polyethylene terephthlate (PET) soft-drink bottles. The bottles are collected, granulated, extruded into polyester filament and spun into a fiber. After several finishing processes, the fiber is made in knitted, woven, and non-woven fabrics.
*5 Lewis, Hellen and Gertsakis, John with Grant, Tim; Morreli, Nicola; Sweatman, Andrew; DESIGN + ENVIRONMENT: A global guide to designing greener goods; Environmental Issues Regarding Textiles; Greenleaf Publishing Ltd, 2001 (Pg. 130—137) *6 Lewis, Hellen and Gertsakis, John with Grant, Tim; Morreli, Nicola; Sweatman, Andrew; DESIGN + ENVIRONMENT: A global guide to designing greener goods; Clothing Industry Environmental Issues; Greenleaf Publishing Ltd, 2001 (Pg. 141—147)
Petrochemical fibers are manufactured either from gas or from oil. The production of these fibers uses a small fraction of the total oil and gas consumed for energy, but is still linked to the airborne emissions of volatile organic compounds. The main waste from the dyeing process is the contaminated water. The designers can reduce the environmental impacts of dyeing by avoiding very dark shades and some colors, such as red and scarlet. These colors require a large amount of rinsing to remove the unfixed components. Most medium to heavy shades requires a long dye cycle that consumes large amounts of energy, water, chemicals, and salt.*5
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BUY BUY The art of shopping
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“People spend money when and where they feel good”. Walt Disney
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Shopping is everything and everything is shopping. And that has become the defining activity of public life. The growth and the acceptance of the market economy as the dominant global standard has made shopping the most significant form of modern life.
In the book The Harvard Design School of Shopping, the Rem koolhaas said: “Shopping is arguably the last remaining form of public activity. Through a battery of increasingly predatory forms, shopping has infiltrated, colonized, and even replaced, almost every aspect of urban life”. According to research made by the Harvard Design School; “shops outnumber churches, synagogues, and temples by 3.6 times, primary and secondary schools by 10.3 times, universities by 252.9 times, hospitals, clinics, and museums by 242.1 times. In the United Kingdom, they outnumber the churches 8.7 times and the universities by 2,174 times. In Japan, shops outnumber museums by 1,429 times, while in Singapore; by 6,770 times”.
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Compared to schools, universities, and churches, where participation is secured by continuous enrolment, or hospitals, where attendance is ensured by basic human need, shopping has no guaranteed frequency or density of use. Shopping is dependant on external factors, such as the economy, trends, or even the weather. Peopleâ€™s attendance can fluctuate drastically from month to month, or also from hour to hour. However, shopping is continually being reinvented, reformulated, and reshaped to keep up with the changes in the society. Shopping has found the means to expand itself by closely monitoring and exploiting the conditions of the environment where it exists out of shear desperation to survive. Mechanical inventions, like air conditioning, escalators and lifts allowed for the first stage of expansion in modern shopping environments. However, shopping recently has reached its limits of physical expansion. The possibility of expanding through mechanical enhancement has been exhausted. Air conditioning has its limits in deep interior spaces, and the escalator has already exploited every possibility to connect levels into continues planes. Shopping has become the victim of itsâ€™ own success. The size, which is the very factor that allowed such forms as the shopping malls to eradicate the smaller retailers â€“ also caused their decline.
Another noticeable development has been the redefinition of the institutions as a result of privatization. The civic and social structures that have supported institutions such as museums, airports, schools, churches, and even the city are slowly dismantled. Since there was nobody willing, or able to support these institutions some, in order to survive, have turned to commercialization.
Shoppers have become intimidated by the shear size of these shopping spaces. The immensity of size of these new forms also made other forms of shopping out of use and replaced them with homogenous and undifferentiated fields of shopping. This limited range of possibilities exhausted the interest of the public.
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*1Leong, Sze Tsung; The Harvard Design School Guide To Shopping; ...And Then There Was Shopping; Director: Koolhaas, Rem;, Published by Taschen GmbH, 2001 (Pg. 129â€”135)
They have encountered the same conditions as the retailers; the instabilities of the market, the loss of consumer interest, and the threat of obsolescence; it was logical move for them to borrow its methods to survive. As a result, some institutions turned to shopping. In this way, shopping has now found a way to expand by colonizing the institutions. The way shopping behaves almost resembles an intelligent parasite. It lives on one host until it completely dries it up, and then it moves on to a different one. During that process, it evolves and adapts to the new challenges that appear. In many cases, it has determined, sustained, and defined what it means to be an institution or even a city. As much as we may want to deny it, shopping has become the very thing that defines urban or public life. To sustain consumer activity, a vast network of information technology has been launched. This technology is designed to understand, in as much detail as possible, all the factors that influence people to shop. Our movements, incomes, purchasing patternsâ€Ś everything has been coded and analyzed through credit cards, smart cards, Internet spyware, and other tracking devices, in hopes of increasing purchasing activity. All the possible information that marketers can gather about the general population can help them to create better targets and better strategies and entice new consumers. Shopping is spreading into virtually all areas of our lives. Everything and everybody is under constant surveillance.*1 Remember that next time you go shopping.
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BUY BUY 163
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NO ESCAPE Controlled shopping
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â€œI have never worked a day in my life without selling. If I believe in something, I sell it, and I sell it hardâ€?. Estee Lauder
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Controlled shopping is best described by the captive markets, prime demographics, tired and easily influenced travelers, and detailed tracking. They are an ideal laboratory in which shopping can function in its perfect state. Yes. I am talking about airports.
Airport shopping is the next major step in the evolution of shopping. They ventured into shopping largely as an emergency survival tactic. Churches, museums, schools, libraries, hospitals, and the military have also gone into the business, but the airports have created the ultimate retail scene. On one hand, airport shopping has solved most of their problems created by the decreased role of government funding; the airlines unwillingness to pay for airport operations, and the cap on airport charges imposed as airports privatized. It has been the cheapest way to finance new runways, additional gates, and other improvements sought by the airlines. On the other hand, it offers the perfect condition for shopping. Not to mention the fact, that if you fly, you must have money. The airport is an environment controlled like a laboratory experiment: in that it capitalizes on captivity, disorientation and euphoria, perpetual motion, familiarity, on-call customization, and exposure and visibility.
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Airports have the unique opportunity to study the spending habits of the travelers. An interesting system that is in use at Heathrow airport in London is the quick-change window display. Due to the readily available data on the travelers’ destination, they can change the showcase accordingly. For example, luxury leather goods might be offered if there are passengers for Tokyo, or brightly colored sandals in large sizes if there are travelers to Nigeria. The sophisticated surveillance system also helps to observe the behavioral habits of the consumers. It has been registered that families flying on holiday will establish base-camp one through passport control, with the parents taking turns to look after the children while the other goes shopping. BAA, the British company that runs airports worldwide can offer to its retailers, extremely detailed information regarding their potential customers. They can tell them how many people are passing through at any one point, and also from what countries or cities they are traveling to, or from. That can give a very good indication to the retailers on how much they are likely to spend and what products they will want. In this way, they are creating an environment in which the retailer knows every customer.*1
*1Leong, Sze Tsung; The Harvard Design School Guide To Shopping; Captivity; Director: Koolhaas, Rem;, Published by Taschen GmbH, 2001 (Pg. 175—192)
The post-passport imprisonment imposed by the airport security not only provides for passengers’ well being, but also delineates zones where people can’t escape. Helplessness and boredom can be excellent for exploitation. Why do you think we need to be at the airport two hours in advance for international flights? This is the perfect situation, because the travelers become willing subjects. In this case, even the airline delays are sometimes welcomed. According to some psychographic studies, airports provide the greatest captive audience of impulse buyers in the world. This is brought on as a result of the side effects of the excitement of travel, the confusion of the exchange rates, and the wish to make the trip worth it. It is clear that in this situation the judgment of the consumers is very often suspended. Another advantageous factor is that airports provide a steady flow of new and different consumers.
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BEHAVE Consumer behaviour
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“Good taste is the first refuge of the non-creative”. Prof. Marshal McLuhan
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The basic marketing principle is to satisfy people’s needs. In order to satisfy people’s needs, you will need to identify those needs. To identify the needs, first you need to understand why people behave the way they do. Otherwise, you don’t have a marketing concept.
A person who identifies a need, desire, makes a purchase, and then disposes the product – is thought of as a consumer. However, in many cases, different people can be involved in this process. The purchaser and the user of the product might be different persons. The first step in the research is to define the general problem that needs to be addressed and the objectives that need to be pursued. There can be a variety of problems that can be explored. It can be consumer phenomenon that is of scientific or public policy interest, such as how consumers process nutritional information on public packages. Or, on the other hand, the problem may be directly related to a marketing manager’s desire to improve the performance of a particular brand in the marketplace.
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The researcherâ€™s next step is to identify the specific components of the research task. These may include the characteristics of the consumer population, of interest and the environmental context of the problem. One way to classify the approaches to consumer behavior relies on the distinctions between exploratory and conclusive research. Exploratory research provides insights into a problem where the phenomenon is not yet well defined. The research process is relatively flexible and unstructured and may include relatively few consumers. This type of research is often used as a precursor to the design of conclusive research. The conclusive research is used to test the specific hypotheses. The needed information is clearly defined, and the sample consumer population is intended to be representative of some larger group. The findings here are often used as input to decision making. Next is the marketing strategy. A targeted marketing strategy defines both the market and the tactics used to reach that market. To appreciate the centrality of the consumer behavior data in process, we must to consider the steps a company might go through after it decides to produce and market a new product.
After identifying the appropriate bases for segmentation, we can define and describe the market segments. This is developing the market segment profiles for the different groups by describing their unique characteristics and desires. Within each segment of interest, the company wants to know how consumers perceive the brands that are already available.
The first step is to define the relevant market. In this step, the market is broadly defined in terms of product form, or category. Second step is the analysis of the characteristics and the wants of the potential customers. In this analysis, the company utilizes the demographic, psychographic, and culturographic information. After that we need to identify the bases for the market segmentation. For the company, this process involves the identification of the characteristics that could isolate smaller markets existing within the larger market.
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Therefore, we analyze the competitors’ position. This identifies the determinant attributes of these brands, or product features that influence the consumers’ choices. Further more, we must to evaluate the market segments since the potential revenue must meet the cost of developing a new product. On the basis of this analysis, the segments are identified and the company decides which segment(s) to target. Effective market segmentation creates segments whose members are similar to one another in one or more characteristics and different from members of other segments. A company may choose to focus on only one segment, or on several, or it may ignore differences among segments by pursuing a mass-market strategy. After selecting a target market, the company decides upon the specific marketing mix, or the combination of variables over which marketers have control and which are usually know as the Four P’s – product, place of sale, price, and promotion. Careful decisions must be made about the new brand’s position and how its image will be communicated in terms of pricing, naming, packaging, advertising, and so on.
Humans are social animals. We all belong to groups. Our desire to fit in or to identify with desirable individuals or groups is the primary motivation for many of the purchases and activities we make. Groups that can influence the consumer are called reference groups. These influences are informational, utilitarian, and value-expressive. Informational influence is when the individual seeks information about various brands of the product from an association of professionals or independent group of experts; or when information is obtained from those who work with the product as a profession. Or perhaps the individual will seek brand-related knowledge and/or experience from friends, neighbors, relatives, or work associates who have reliable information about the brand. Sometimes observing a seal of approval of an independent testing agency, or an observation of what experts do, also can influence his or her choice of brand.
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Utilitarian influence is when the individual’s decision to purchase a particular brand is to satisfy the expectations of other people, like work associates, family members, friends, or others. Value-expressive influence is when the individual feels that the purchase of – or use of – a particular brand will enhance the image others have of him or her. Or, the individual identifies himself with the person that the advertisement shows using the product. Also, there are several types of power of influence over other people. For example, the capacity to alter the actions of other, to the degree that can make someone else to do something whether they do it willingly or not, is called social power. When a person imitates the qualities of another person or a group, and is using that as a guide to forming consumption preferences, that is called referent power. A person can have power simply because he or she knows something others would like to know. Editors of trade publications often possesses power due to their ability to compile or disseminate information that can make or break individual designers or companies. Products rated as Must Haves are listed on an editorial spread as the product that the fashion editor has determined are the items the fashion-conscious customer will need for the season. It is evident that the fashion editor is more influential in selling trends than the manufacturer’s place advertisement. This is called the information power, since people with this power are able to influence consumers’ opinion by virtue of their assumed access to the truth.
Sometimes people are granted power by virtue of social agreements. For example, the power given to policemen, professors, or medical staff, is called the legitimate power, and it usually is connected with a uniform. When people possess a specific knowledge, or skills, they are called experts. Experts, who are able to evaluate products in an objective and informed way, often influence consumers. This is called expert power.
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*1Solomon, Michael R. and Rabolt, Nancy J.; Consumer Behaviour: In Fashion; Pearson Education Inc., New Jersey; 2004 Solomon, Michael R.; Consumer Behaviour: Buying, Having, and Being; Published by Allyn and Bacon â€“ Division of Paramount Publishing; 1994/2004
When a person, or group has the means to provide positive reinforcement, that entity will have power over a consumer to the extent that this reinforcement is valued or desired. Social approval or acceptance is often what is exchanged in return for molding oneâ€™s behavior to a group or buying the expected products. There is one short-term power, that is not producing permanent attitudinal or behavioural change, called coercive power, and can be found in playing on fear, intimidation in personal selling, and sometimes with campaigns that emphasize the negative consequences that might occur if people do not use the product. However, there is theory based on the relationship between the product adoption and the class structure. This theory is called Trickle-Down and it was proposed in 1904 by Georg Simmel. According to this theory, there are two conflicting forces that drive the fashion change. Dominant styles originate with the upper classes and trickle down to those bellow. The lower classes, try to adopt the status symbols of the groups above them, as an attempt to climb up the ladder of social mobility. People in the upper class are constantly looking bellow them on the ladder to ensure that they are not imitated. They respond to the attempts of lower classes to impersonate them by abandoning the fashion and adopting even newer fashions. In this way, the machine that drives fashion is created. Two other significant theories are the Trickle-Across (when each social group has its own fashion innovators) and Trickle-Up (when the movement starts from the lower classes toward the upper classes, like in the case of the jeans, which were first worn by the coal miners during the gold rush in USA).*1 The way that a request for compliance is phrased or structured can really make a difference. One of the well-known sales tactics is the foot-in-thedoor technique, which is frequently used by the traveling salespeople. Here, the consumer is first asked a small request and then is persuaded to do something bigger. This term is adapted from door-to-door selling.
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Experienced salespeople know that they are more likely to make a sale if they first convince the customer to let them in the house. Once a person has agreed to a small request, it is more difficult to refuse a larger one. Subconsciously, the customer has legitimized the salespersonâ€™s presence by entering into a dialogue. He or she is no longer a threatening stranger at the door. Other variations of this strategy include the low-ball technique, where a person is asked for a small favor and is informed after agreeing to it that it will be very costly, or a door-in-the-face technique, where a person is first asked to do something extreme, which is usually refused, and then is asked to do something smaller. In each of these cases, people tend to go along with the smaller request, possibly because they feel guilty about denying the larger one. Another type of influence happens when people shop in groups. People, who shop in groups with at least one other person, tend to change their shopping behavior and make more unplanned purchases, buy more, and cover more areas of a store. Therefore, it is advisable for the retailers to encourage group-shopping activities. In many cases, group members show a greater willingness to consider riskier alternatives following group decision with no discussion. This is known as the risky shift change.
It is an interesting fact, that 80% of all the buying decisions are influenced by someoneâ€™s direct recommendation. Information obtained from those we know or talk with, directly tends to be more reliable and trustworthy than the information that is received through more formal channels. Unlike the advertisement, social pressure to conform to these recommendations often backs this information. This is called word-of-mouth communication (WOM). However, this can be a two-edged sword that can cut both ways for the marketers. Informal discussions among the consumers can make or break a product or a store. The negative word-of-mouth is stronger than the positive one.
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The best way to achieve a positive WOM is when you manage to provide something extra for the client, which is more than he had expected. When the situation is status quo – or the client gets what he expected, then the purchase has been satisfactory, but not extraordinary. Bad WOM happens when the client receives less than what he expected. When a consumer makes a purchase, he responds to a problem. The consumer realizes that he wants to make a purchase, and he goes through a series of steps in order to make it. These steps can be described as problem recognition, information search, evaluation of alternatives, and product choice. After the decision is made, to make a purchase, the quality of that decision affects the final step in the process – the future outcome. There are two ways of recognition – a need recognition and opportunity recognition. Need recognition can occur if the person runs out of a product, when a certain product does not adequately satisfy the needs, or when new needs are created. The opportunity recognition occurs when a consumer is exposed to different or better-quality products. This shift often occurs because the person’s circumstances have somehow changed. For example, when an individual goes to college or gets a new job. A variety of purchases are made to adapt to the new environment.
Sometimes, marketers attempt to create primary and secondary demands. Primary demands are when consumers are encouraged to use a product or service regardless of the brand they choose. For example, when microwave ovens were first introduced, consumers were persuaded that this was an essential item (creation of a need in the early stages of the product’s life cycle). Secondary demands are when consumers are prompted to prefer a specific brand over others. This can occur only if the primary demand already exists. When it comes to informational search, the assumption of rational search is not always supported. The amount of external search for most products is very small.
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Product categorizations can also affect consumersâ€™ expectations regarding the places they can locate a desired product. Sometimes products do not clearly fit into the categories, and the consumersâ€™ ability to find them or make sense of them may be affected. To be able to effectively recommend new decision criteria, the marketer must convey three pieces of information. It should point out that there are differences among the aspects of the brands. It should supply the consumer with a decision-making rule. And it should convey a rule that can be easily integrated with how the person has made this decision in the past. Otherwise, the recommendation is likely to be ignored due to the amount of mental work required. Eventually, the assumption of a price-quality relationship is one of the most pervasive market beliefs. Do higher prices really mean higher quality? Certain consumers do in fact consider price to be the only relevant product attribute. Experts also consider that the price is also used to give an informational value, especially for products that are know to have wide quality variations in the marketplace. In most cases, people do get what they are paying for, but the price-quality relationship is not always justified*2.
The evaluative criteria are usually set by brands that are strongly associated with a category. If a product is really good example of a category, than it becomes more familiar to the consumers. If the brand is less stronger than its major competitor, than perhaps it is better to be less than prototypical. Products that are moderately unusual within their category may stimulate more information processing and even positive evaluations.
*2 Solomon, Michael R.; Consumer Behaviour: Buying, Having, and Being; Published by Allyn and Bacon â€“ Division of Paramount Publishing; 1994/2004
For example, lower-income shoppers, who have more to lose by making a bad purchase, actually search less prior to buying than to more affluent people. This statistic is surprising, since the additional information would most likely to benefit the consumer. This tendency is less prevalent when consumers consider the purchase of symbolic items, such as clothing. In those cases, people usually do a fair amount of research, although most of it involves seeking opinion of peers. This is due to the dire social consequences if the wrong choice is made.
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Perception and interpretation
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â€œHappines is not an ideal of reason but of imaginationâ€?. Imannuel Kant
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Consumers are never far from advertising, store design, billboards, flyers, or packaging. Each time some stimuli’s are paying attention, and others are turned off. When consumers make a decision on purchase, this is due a response to these stimuli. Perception is the process by which the stimuli’s are selected, organized, and interpreted. Interpretation is the meaning that people assign to these sensory stimuli.
Sensation is the direct response of our sensory receptors such as eyes, ears, nose, mouth, and fingers. The sensory inputs can even evoke historic imagery, in which events that actually occurred are recalled. When the result is an entirely new imaginary experience, this is called fantastic imagery. These responses are an important part of the hedonic consumption. The data that we receive from our sensory systems determines how we respond to products. Visual communication is heavily applied in advertisement, store design, and packaging. Various meanings are communicated through the product’s size, styling, brightness, and the distinctiveness’ from competitors.
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Smell can stir emotions or create a calming feeling. It can invoke memories or relieve stress. Some of our responses to scents result from associations with other experiences. For example, a baby-powder scent is frequently used in fragrances, since itâ€™s smell connotes comfort, warmth, and gratification. Fragrances are very large industry. It has been estimated that Americans alone spend over $6 billion a year on womenâ€™s perfume. The fragnance market is extremely competitive. About 30 to 40 new scents are introduced each year. It costs an average of $50 to $90 million to introduce a new fragrance on the market. Home fragrance products, like potpourri, room sprays and atomizers, drawer liners, sachets, and scented candles, bring in about $250 million a year. A large Japanese construction company has patented a computerized system for environmental fragrancing. The system delivers fragrances to large buildings through the ventilation ducts and is intended to combat sick building syndrome â€“ a problem in many energy efficient structures whose windows are sealed to save fuel. In a test conducted by the company, the error rate of keypunch operators dropped by almost 50% after the exposure to a lemon scent and almost 80% after exposure to lavender.
One of the most potent aspects of the visual channels is the colour. Colours are rich in symbolic value and cultural meanings, and they make a central aspect of many marketing strategies. Some colour combinations come to be so strongly associated with a corporation that the company may even be granted exclusive use of these colours. In different seasons, or years, certain colours appear to be fashionable and to show up repeatedly in clothing, home furnishing, cars, and so on. These colours tend to be replaced by other colours as fast as they come over the next season or year. It is obvious that many consumers are affected by these trends. Few people realize the extent to which these hot colours result from deliberate choices made by a small group of people. Several trade groups and consulting firms engage in the practice of colour forecasting, in which a set of experts attempts to estimate what colours will best reflect a season in one year, or a period of years.
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Other research showed that the sales have increased when the fragrancing system was introduced in certain stores. The system is in use in several buildings in Japan, including an entertainment complex, casinos, airport terminals, and interiors of airplanes and trains.
Sound can also affect people’s feelings and behaviour. Research has showed that the background music can influence mood. Other research – on the speaking rate in the background – showed that it could influence an attitude change and the message comprehension. The Muzak Corporation estimates that 80 million people hear its recordings every day. This functional music is played in stores, shopping malls, and offices to either relax or stimulate consumers. One research, has showed that workers tend to slow down during midmorning and mid afternoon; so Muzak uses a system it calls stimulus progression, in which the tempo increases during those slack times. Muzak has also been linked to reductions in absenteeism among factory workers, and even the milk and egg output of cows and chickens has been reported to increase under its influence. Another interesting technique is time compression. Broadcasters, to manipulate perceptions of sound, use it as a way to pack more information into a limited time by speeding up an announcer’s voice in commercials. This effect is not detectable by most people. In fact, some tests indicate that consumers prefer a transmission rate that is slightly faster than the normal speaking rate. One explanation for this positive effect is that the listener uses a person’s rate as an indicator of self-confidence. People seem to think that fast talkers must know what they are talking about. Another explanation is that the listener is given less time to elaborate the information, and accepts it more easily. Touch can be found in some cultures to be friendly and positive, and in others as too personal and negative. However, one study has shown that for example, the diners that were touched by waitpeople gave bigger tips, and food demonstrators in a supermarket who lightly touched customers had better luck in getting shoppers to try a new snack product and to redeem coupons for the brand.
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The taste receptors obviously contribute to our experiences. Specialized companies called flavour houses are trying to develop new tastes to please the changing palates of consumers. Their work has been especially important as consumers continue to demand good-tasting foods that are also low in calories and fat. A threshold is the lowest intensity of a stimulus that can be registered on a sensory channel. The absolute threshold refers to the minimum amount of stimulation that can be detected on a sensory channel. The absolute threshold is very important when designing a marketing stimulus. A billboard might have the most entertaining copy ever written, but this can be wasted if the print is too small for passing motorists to see it from the highway. When a sensory system detects changes of differences between two stimuli, this is called a differential threshold. For example, a commercial that is intentionally produced in black-and-white might be noticed on a colour TV because this decrease in the intensity of the colour differs from the program that preceded it. If this is viewed on black-and-white TV it might be ignored since it would not be seen as different.
When the stimulus is below the level of the consumersâ€™ awareness, this is called subliminal perception. While most marketers are concerned with creating advertisement above the consumersâ€™ threshold, many consumers believed that many of the messages contain subliminal elements. There have been some researches, but is not determined how and if, subliminal messages work. Due to their exposure to far more information than they are willing, or capable of processing, the consumers are often in a state of sensory overload.
The minimum change in a stimulus that can be detected is known as just noticeable difference or JND. Many companies choose to update their packages periodically, making small changes that will not necessarily be noticed at the time. When a product icon is updated, the manufacturer does not want the people to lose their identification with a familiar symbol.
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The brain’s capacity to process information is limited, so consumers are very selective about what they pay attention to. The process of perceptual selectivity means that people react to only a small portion of stimuli to which they are exposed.
The degree to which people notice a stimulus that is within range of their sensory receptors is called exposure. Consumers can concentrate on some stimuli, can be unaware of others, and can even completely ignore some messages. One factor that determines how much exposure to a particular stimulus a person can accept is the experience. The perceptual filters that are based on consumers’ past experiences can influence what we decide to process. Consumers are more likely to be aware of a stimulus that is related to their needs. These needs may be conscious or unconscious. This factor is called perceptual vigilance. The degree to which consumers continue to notice a stimulus over time is the factor known as adaptation. The process of adaptation occurs when consumers no longer pay attention to a stimulus because it is so familiar. Consumer can become habituated and might require stronger doses of a stimulus for it to continue to be noticed – almost like with a drug addiction. For example, if on your regular way to work you notice a new billboard message, after a few days it will become a part of the passing scenery and will not be registered. People often differ in terms of the stimuli they perceive. The eventual assignment of meanings to these stimuli also varies. Two people can see or hear the same thing, but they can interpret it quite differently. When a stimulus is not clearly perceived, a stimulus ambiguity can occur. In such cases, consumers tend to project their own wishes and desires to assign meaning. In some cases, ambiguity can be used in advertisement to generate controversy or interest. People do not perceive stimuli in isolation. They tend to view them in terms of relationships with other events, sensations, or images. Principals that describe how the stimuli is perceived and organized are based on work in Gestalt psychology – a school of thought that maintains that people derive meanings from the totality of a set of stimuli.
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The effectiveness of an advertisement is overstated. Advertisers simply do not know enough about people to manipulate them. In reality, advertising is successful when trying to sell good products if it is then followed by the repetitive buying, and unsuccessful when selling poor ones. No matter how good the advertisement is; you can fool the people only once. If the product is not satisfactory, they will not make a second purchase. In marketing, tension refers to the unpleasant state that exists, if a personâ€™s consumption needs are unfulfilled. A person may be irritable if he hasnâ€™t eaten, or may be unhappy or angry if he cannot afford that new car he wants. Tension reduction is probably the basic mechanism leading human behaviour. When consumers are intent on doing what they can to satisfy a need, they will be motivated to pay attention and process any information felt to be relevant in achieving their goals. If the information is not relevant, a person may not bother to pay any attention. The degree of the involvement can range from absolute lack of interest at one end, to obsession at the other. At the low end, consumption is characterized by inertia, when decisions are made out of habit.
The German word gestalt roughly means whole, pattern, or configuration. The importance of a gestalt is underscored when consumerâ€™s interpretation of stimuli are affected by aesthetic, symbolic, or sensory qualities. For example, every marketing message has three basic components: an object, sign or symbol, and an interpretant. The product that is the focus of the message is the object, for example: Marlboro cigarettes. The sensory imagery that represents the intended meanings of the object is the sign or the symbol, in this case: the Marlboro cowboy. And the derived meaning is the interpretant: American, individualistic, rugged. Motivation refers to processes that cause people to satisfy their needs. Once a need has been activated, a state of tension occurs that drives the consumer to attempt to reduce or eliminate the need. A need is a basic biological motive, while a want represents one way that society has taught us that the need can be satisfied. Products are designed to meet existing needs, and advertisement can help to communicate their availability.
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On the high end we can expect to find the type of passionate intensity which is reserved for people and objects with great meaning to the individual. Many sales promotions are created to increase this involvement. Message-response involvement, is refering to the processing of marketing communications. Television is relatively a low-involvement medium that requires a passive viewer who exerts relatively little control over content, mostly via the remote control. In contrast, print is a high-involvement medium, since the reader is actively involved in processing the information and is able to pause and reflect on certain parts of the content. The visual aspects of an advert are more likely to grab a consumer’s attention. In fact, an eye-movement study indicates that about 90% of viewers look at the dominant picture in an advert before they bother to view the copy. Under the assumptions that sex sells, many campaigns feature heavy doses of erotic suggestions that range from subtle hints to blatant erotic displays. It is not surprisingly that female nudity in print ads generates negative feelings among female consumers, while men’s reactions are more positive. Ironically, a provocative picture can be too effective. It can attract so much attention that it hinders processing and recall of the ad’s content. Therefore, sexual appeal appears to be ineffective when it is used merely as a trick to grab attention.
People are born with a need for certain elements to maintain life, such as food, water, air, and shelter. These are the biogenic needs. Other needs are acquired in the process of becoming a member of a culture. These needs are called psychogenic, and they reflect the need for status, power, affiliation, and so on. Utilitarian needs imply when consumers emphasize the objective and tangible attributes of products, such as the amount of fat, calories and proteins in certain food, durability of certain products, or the amount of gigabytes in the computers’ hard drives. There are also hedonic needs that are subjective and experimental, and consumers rely on them to meet their needs for excitement, self-confidence, fantasy, and so on.
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The psychologist, Abraham Maslow has formulated a hierarchy of needs with specified levels of motives. He believes that the order, or development is fixed, and that a certain level must be attained before the next is activated. On the first level on the hierarchy comes, physiological needs like water, sleep, and food. After these are satisfied, comes the need for safety, like security, shelter, and protection. The need to belong is next, like love, friendship, and acceptance by others. This is followed by the needs of the ego – like prestige, status, and accomplishment. The final level is self-actualization like self-fulfilment or enriching experiences.*1
*1Reference to: Solomon, Michael R. and Rabolt, Nancy J.; Consumer Behaviour: In Fashion; Pearson Education Inc., New Jersey; 2004 Solomon, Michael R.; Consumer Behaviour: Buying, Having, and Being; Published by Allyn and Bacon –Division of Paramount Publishing; 1994/2004
Other important needs that are relevant to consumer behaviour include the need for affiliation, the need for power, and the need for uniqueness. The need for affiliation is about being in the company of other people. This need is relevant to products and services that are used in groups and alleviate loneliness, such as team sports, bars, and shopping malls. The need for power is about controlling one’s environment. This refers to products and services that allow consumers to fell that they have mastery over their surroundings. This is most prominent with hotels, resorts, and restaurants that promise to respond to the customers’ every wish. The need for uniqueness is asserting ones individual identity. This is relevant for products that pledge to accentuate the consumer’s distinctive qualities.
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Market segmentation and target groups
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...â€?fundamentally style is a precision about how we will liveâ€?. Bruce Mau
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When creating market segmentations, we are segmenting various types of lifestyles. Each of the chosen target groups has it’s own way of life that needs to be characterized. Bruce Mau, in his book Lifestyle, wrote the following: …”That’s what style is. It’s producing life. Rather then accepting that life is something we generate. We use our capacities. And that all boils down to style. Style may be presented as theory, serendipity, or happenstance. But fundamentally style is a precision about how we will live”.*1
The use of market segmentation strategies means targeting a brand only to specific groups or consumers rather then to everybody – even if it means that other consumers will not be interested or may even deliberately avoid that brand. This process involves the identification of characteristics that could isolate smaller markets existing within larger markets.
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And after that, as separate groups of influence, different kinds of families can be separated â€“ traditional, modern, sandwich-generation family, boomerang-kids family, and families with pet(s). There is also a segmentation of the family life circle, which is important factor in determination of the right approach afterwards. Under 35 years old are rated as: bachelor I, young couple, full nest I, full nest II. From 35 to 64 years old: bachelor II, childless couple, delayed full nest, full nest III.Over 64 years old: bachelor III, Older couples. And this completes the identification bases. The next step that follows is defining and describing each of the segments separately and the development of market segment profiles. Data about consumers helps marketers to define the market and to identify threats and opportunities that will affect consumersâ€™ receptivity to the product or the service.
The industry is increasingly coming to realize that that ethnical behaviour is also good business in the long run. The trust and satisfaction of consumers translates into years of loyalty from customers whose needs have been met. There are different groups that can be identified as targets. The four major groups that represent the personality approach are: male, female, androgen, and children. After that the segmentation continues within the different groups of influence â€“ social classes, ethnic-religious groups, handicapped persons, homosexual communities, age groups, regional groups, generation Y, X and students, as well as groups by shopping orientations.
*1Mau, Bruce; Lifestyle, Styling Life; Published by Phaidon; 2000 (Pg. 27)
While consumer can be described in many ways, the segmentation process is valid only when the consumers within the segment are similar to one another in terms of product needs. These needs are different from consumers in other segments. Also when important differences among segments can be identified and the segment is large enough to be profitable, the consumers in the segment can be reached by an appropriate marketing mix, and then the consumers in the segment will respond in the desired way to the marketing mix designed for them.
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The identification of consumers’ motives is an important step in ensuring that a product will meet the appropriate needs. The Male: The most pervasive theme is power and control over others. Other themes include instrumentality like manipulating people for the good of an organization, and competition. This bias may diminish in coming years, as more marketing researches begin to stress such factors as emotions and aesthetics in purchase decisions. Many products also are sex-typed; they take on masculine or feminine attributes, and consumers often associate them with one sex or another. The deeper male voice is perceived as more authoritative and credible. That is perhaps the reason that about 90% of all narrators in commercials are male.
While the traditional conception of the ideal male as a tough, aggressive, muscular man who enjoys manly sports and activities is not dead; society’s definition of the male role is evolving. Men are allowed to be more compassionate and to have close friendships with other men. In contrast to the depiction of macho men who do not show feelings, some marketers are promoting men’s sensitive side. An emphasis on male bonding has been the centrepiece of many ad campaigns, especially for beer companies. A useful piece of information about single men is that over half are under the age of thirty-five and they are apt to spend more on cars and restaurants than the average consumer. Another very important male group was introduced to the market – the metrosexual’s. According to the writter Mark Simpson, who introduced the word into our everyday vocabulary, “The typical metrosexual is a young man with money to spend, living in or within easy reach of a metropolis – because that’s where all the best shops, clubs, gyms, and hairdressers are. (…) He has clearly taken himself as his own love object and pleasure as his sexual preference”.
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The Female: Modern women now play a greater role in decisions regarding traditional purchases, for example, women now buy 40% of the condoms sold. Many attempts to target the vast female working market tend to depict all workingwomen in glamorous, executive positions. This portrayal ignores the fact that the majority of workingwomen do not have such jobs and that many work because they have to, rather than for self-fulfilment. This diversity means that all the women should not be expected to respond to marketing campaigns that stress the glamour or the professional achievement of the working life. Adult women can be segmented into four groups: Housewives who do not plan to work outside of the home; Housewives planning to work at some point. (Woman in this group may be staying at home only temporarily. Usually until small children grow old enough to enter school. These women are not to be grouped with women who have voluntarily chosen a domestic lifestyle); Career-oriented workingwomen who value professional success; and women who work primarily because they need money.
However, a new term was introduced recently – the über-sexual. These are men who embrace the positive aspects of their masculinity or M-ness (e.g., confidence, leadership, passion, compassion) without giving in to the stereotypes that give guys a bad name e.g., disrespect toward women, emotional emptiness, complete ignorance of anything cultural outside of sports, beer, burgers, and athletic shoes). The difference between the übersexuals, and metrosexuals, according to J. Walter Thompson (ad agency that launched the survey) is that the first are more concerned with intellectual discussions, art, and culture, compared to his counterpart who is mostly fashion obsessed. Though, they have many similarities, there are certain differences between them*3.
*2 Reference from: www.askyahoo.com; Link: http://ask.yahoo.com/ask/20040308.html; Copyright by Yahoo Inc; 2004 *3 Schyzer, Hugo; A reflection in the übersexuals; Link: http://hugobov.tvpepad.com/hugo_schwyzer/2005/10/im_underslept_t.html
Boiled down to its essence, the term refers to a single man who loves to indulge and pamper himself. Another definition is that he is an urban male with a strong aesthetic sense who spends a great deal of time and money on his appearance and lifestyle*2.
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Women are now as likely as men to be central characters in television commercials. Still, while males increasingly are depicted as spouses and parents, women are more likely than man to be seen in domestic settings. Some modern ads now feature role-reversal, where women occupy traditional menâ€™s roles. In other cases, women are portrayed in romantic situations, but they tend to be more sexually dominant. Ironically, present advertisement is freer to emphasize traditional female traits now that sexual equality is becoming more of an ad-accepted fact. Useful information about single women is that half of the single women are over 65. Women usually are more likely to own a home and spend more money on housing-related items and furniture.
Androgyny: Androgyny refers to the possession of both masculine and feminine traits. Researchers make distinction between sex-typed people, who are stereotypically masculine and feminine and androgynous people. This mixture of characteristics allows them to function well in variety of social situations. Differences in sex-role orientation can influence responses to marketing stimuli, although evidence for the strength of this factor is unclear. For example, research evidence that indicates that females are more likely to undergo more elaborative processing of message content, so they tend to be more sensitive to specific pieces of information when forming a judgment, while males are more influenced by overall themes. In addition, women appear to be more sensitive to gender role relationship then are man. Sex-typed people in general are more concerned with ensuring that their behaviour is consistent with their cultureâ€™s definition of gender appropriateness. Children: Children often play important roles in family consumer decisionmaking. They are gaining responsibility as consumers in their own right. Kids have become a major force in persuading their parents to clean up their act when it comes to the environment. One study showed that one-third of parents changed their shopping habits due to their children.
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For example, to be more environmentally conscious because of the information they received from their children. Children continue to support the toy and candy industries, of course, but now they also buy or influence the purchase of many other products as well. They learn about consumption by watching their parentsâ€™ behaviour and they imitate it. Marketers who package adult products in child versions facilitate this modelling. Itâ€™s no secret that kids watch a lot of television. As a result, they are constantly bombarded with messages about consumption. This information is contained in commercials and in the shows themselves. Pre-school children may not have the ability to make any distinctions between TV programming and commercials. According to the cultivation theory, the media teaches people about a cultureâ€™s values and myths. Kids are exposed to idealized images of what it is to be an adult. Since children over the age of six do about a quarter of their television viewing during prime time, they are affected by programs and commercials targeted to adults. For example, young girls exposed to lipstick commercial learn to associate lipstick with beauty. By the age of three, most children categorize driving a truck as masculine, and cleaning and cooking as feminine.
While marketer interest in kids has a lot to do with what they are able to buy now, in many cases they are even more interested in what they will spend later. Some forward-looking companies are devising strategies to cement bonds with their future markets. Kids tend to accept what they see on television as real, and they do not necessarily understand the persuasive intent of commercials-that they are paid advertisements. By the information-processing capability, the children can be basically segmented in three groups.
Kids are not as likely to realize that something they see on television is not real, and as a result they are more vulnerable to persuasive messages. Therefore, they are a dream target to some marketers because they are brand conscious and are not price sensitive.
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The first group is made of children with six years of age and under. For this group, a limited approach is required. Do not employ storage and retrieval strategies.Children from the second group are six to twelve years of age. For this group, a cued approach is required. You can employ strategies but only when prompted. The third group, twelve and above, a strategic approach is required. Older children spontaneously employ storage and retrieval strategies. As a sub-group, there are the children between eight to fourteen. It is estimated that this age range spend or influence their parents to spend, about 140$ billion a year in the USA. The children in this sub-group are called the Tweens. They are characterized as being between childhood and adolescence. The teens are an age segment that is strongly targeted by some marketers. This term refers to kids aged nine to sixteen, who are in that uneasy period between childhood and adolescence. They are seeking ways to mark their transition from childhood, often by mildly rebelling against parental control. This group also tends to form brand preferences that differ from their parents.
I have now, for the larger part, covered the personal marketing approach. Now I will focus on the group approach. Social classes: The term social class is now used more generally to describe the overall tank of people in a society. People who are grouped within the same social class are approximately equal in terms of their social standing in the community. They work in roughly similar occupations, and they tend to have similar lifestyles by virtue of their income levels and common tastes. These people tend to socialize with one another and share many ideas and values regarding the way life should be lived. The place one occupies in society in the social structure is not only important because it indicates how much money is spent; but it also influences how it is spent. When we think about a personâ€™s social class, there are a number of pieces of information we may consider.
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Two major ones are occupation and income, and the third very important factor is educational attainment, which is strongly related to income and occupation. The interesting thing is that wealth is by no means distributed evenly across the classes. A survey has showed that the top fifth of the population controls about 75% of all assets. A study by the sociologist Max Weber showed that the rankings people develop are not one-dimensional. Some involve prestige or social honour, what he called – status groups, some rankings focus on power, and some revolve around wealth and property.
The people rated with A are the wealthiest consumers, the ones that are called old money, people who have had been wealthy for a long time, and they don’t need to prove that they are. The groups A minus/B plus, however are the newer social elite, drawn from current professionals. They are very different group and very important for marketers, because they feel the urge of proving their wealth. They are also the most easily manipulated. The groups rated with B are the middle class, average pay people, living on the better side of the town, with proper behaviour. The groups that are rated B minus/C plus are the working class people. The ones with average workers pay, who lead working class life style, and the ones who are just bellow poverty – whatever the income, school, background and job. Their behaviour is judged as crude and trashy. The C group people come at the end. They are on welfare, visibly poverty-stricken, usually out of work or have the dirtiest jobs – bums and common criminals. A similar segmentation has been used also in the United States, when W. Lloyd Warner made the earliest social class description in 1941.
Most groups exhibit a structure, or status hierarchy. One interesting way of segmentation I’ve met was in Turkey while working for one large construction company that was building satellite settlements. They have been using the following structure for social hierarchy – A; A minus/B plus; B; B minus/C plus, and C.
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I will return to the group rated A and the group rated A minus with some more descriptions about their characteristics. It is a mistake to assume that everyone with a high income should be placed into the same market segment. As noted earlier social class involves more than absolute income; it is also a way of life, and affluent consumersâ€™ interests and spending priorities are significantly affected by such factors as where they got their money, how they got it, and how long they have had it. The mere presence of wealth is not sufficient to achieve social prominence. Old money consumers tend to make distinctions among themselves in terms of ancestry and lineage rather than wealth. This group is not interested in prominent displays of wealth. They can afford not to be.
Several surveys of upper-affluent people show that the wealthy downplay the importance of material goals and status. Less than 10% think owning a luxury car, antiques, or art is important. Only 7% believe that a belonging to a prestigious club is worthwhile. In addition to that, almost three quarters describe them selves as economical, claiming to shop at stores where a particular brand is cheapest. Although many people do in fact become self-made millionaires, they often encounter one problem after they have become wealthy and have changed their social status. The problem is that they do not know how to be rich. Consumers that have achieved extreme wealth and relatively recently become members of upper social class are known as the nouveaux rich, a term that is sometimes used in a derogatory manner to describe newcomers to the world of wealth. Many of the nouveaux riche are plagued by status anxiety. They monitor the cultural environment to ensure that they are doing the right thing, wearing the right clothes, being seen at the right places. Advertising directed to this group often plays on these insecurities by emphasizing the importance of looking the part. Ethnic-religious groups: Ethnic and religious identity is often a significant component of a consumerâ€™s self-concept.
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An ethnic subculture consists of a self-perpetuating group of consumers who held together by common cultural ties that is identified both by its members and by others as being a distinguishable category. Membership in these groups often is predictive of such consumer variables as level and type of media exposure, food preferences, the wearing of distinctive apparel, political behaviour, leisure activities and even willingness to try new products. Many subcultures have powerful stereotypes associated with them. Members of a subgroups are assumed to possess certain traits, even through these assumptions often are erroneous. Marketers have used ethnic symbolism in the past as shorthand to connote certain product attributes. The subcultures involved often were minorities and the images employed were crude and unflattering. Today we must overcome the differences and provide equal approach to all the subgroups. That will result with much higher response on the market.
Homosexual communities: There is a worldwide tendency to describe this market segment as highly desirable. Homosexual communities exist in very large numbers worldwide, and consist of many consumers who are affluent, highly educated and brand loyal. One survey in the US found that their average income is to be almost three times the national average. Estimates among academics and marketing experts range that there are between 11 million and 23 million homosexuals in the US. Nearly 60% have a college education, which is compared with 18% national population. It has been estimated that this market spends from $250 billion to $350 billion a year.
Handicapped persons: A very large number of people have a physical disability. This number increases as the population ages. This group has been ignored in the marketplace mostly because of the discomfort other people feel when they are in contact with them. This is clearly the fault of the general public, who have made little effort to integrate these people into society. There are more than 100 million handicapped people worldwide, and many marketers have overlooked that fact.
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Another study showed that readers of gay publications are twelve times more likely to hold a professional jobs, twice as likely to own a vacation home, and eight times more likely to own a notebook computer compared to heterosexuals. Age groups: The era in which a consumer is born creates for that person a cultural bond with the millions of others born during the same time period. An age cohort consists of people of similar ages who have undergone similar experience. Important fact is that consumers tend to feel comfortable with others of their own age or background. Because consumers within an age group confront crucial life changes at roughly same time, the values and symbolism used to appeal to them can evoke powerful feelings of nostalgia. Adults over thirty are particularly susceptible to this phenomenon. Product sales can be dramatically affected by linking the brand to vivid memories and experiences, especially for items that are associated with childhood or adolescence.
One study uncovered evidence that consumers tend to focus on the popular songs the enjoyed during the period in which they first reached maturity. The same musical preferences carried forward into later life. The study found that the imprinting period for musical tastes peaks at around age 24 for most of the people. The popular songs at that age tend to be preferred in later years as well. Another survey in the USA. showed that consumers aged 35 to 44 spend the most on housing, cars, and entertainment. In addition, consumers aged 45 to 54 spend the most of any age category on food (30% above average), apparel (38% above average), and retirement programs (57% above average). Many couples postponed getting married and having children because of the new emphasis on careers for women. These consumers now are having babies in their late twenties and early thirties, resulting in fewer children per family. Couples in the 25 to 34 age group account for 22% of all married couples, but for 35% of married couples with children.
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In fact, market research confirms the popular wisdom that age is more a state of mind than of body. A person’s mental outlook and activity level has a lot more to do with his or her longevity and quality of life than does chronological age, or the actual number of years lived. Perceived age can be measured on several dimensions, including feel-age or how old a person feels, and look-age or how old person looks. The older the consumers’ get, the younger they feel, relative to actual age. For this reason, many marketers emphasize product benefits rather than age appropriateness in marketing campaigns, since many consumers will not relate to products targeted to their chronological age.
Many consumer products will encounter a more sympathetic reception from the elderly if packages are redesigned to be sensitive to physical limitations. While aesthetically appealing, packages are often uncomfortable and difficult to manage, especially for those who are frail or arthritic. Also, many serving sizes are not geared to smaller families, widows, and other people living alone. Seniors have difficulty with pull-tab cans and push-open milk cartons. Packages need to be easier to read and should be made lighter and smaller. Finally, designers need to pay attention to contrasting colours. A slight yellowing of the lens, as one age makes it harder to see background colours on packages. Discerning between blues, greens and violets becomes especially difficult. The closer identifying type colours are to the packages or advertisement’s background colour, the less visibility and attention they will command.
Understanding the psychological needs of the elderly is especially acute in the housing industry. Although developers frequently emphasize the term retirement in promotions for housing communities, in one survey, only 5 percent of retirees said they would like to live only among people of their own age. The ads also tend to emphasize total leisure and older people’s vulnerability, and this are the two points that damage the elderly consumer’s self-esteem. Promotions emphasizing on active, full life in a secure environment are more effective.
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The elderly watch 60% more television than average households and prefer programs that provide news and current events as a way to keep up. They also tend to listen to radio news at all times of the day and are above the norm in readership of news magazines. In one survey, one-third of the consumers over the age of 55 reported that they deliberately did not buy a product, because of the way an elderly person was stereotyped in the products advertising. In general, the elderly have been shown to respond positively to ads that provide an abundance of information. Unlike other age groups, these consumers usually are not amused, or persuaded, by imagery-oriented advertising. A more successful strategy involves the construction of advertising that depicts the aged as well-integrated, contributing members of society, with emphasis on them expanding their horizons rather than clinging precariously in life.
Basic guidelines regarding effective advertising to the elderly is to keep language simple, to use clear, bright pictures, to use action to attract attention, to speak clearly, and keep the word count low. Also to use single sales message, and emphasize brand extension to tap consumerâ€™s familiarity and to avoid extraneous stimuli like excessive pictures and graphics because that can detract from the message. Regional groups: There are differences from city to city, and not even to mention the differences from city to the villages and other smaller towns. The people may speak the same language, yet you may have difficulty understanding some thing they say. Often there are rivalries between sport teams from two different cities and sometimes even serious intolerance due to various competitive reasons. People tend to think positively about their hometowns, and a product strongly identified with the aura is likely to strike a responsive chord. The primary objective about being a regional brand is to make the consumer think â€“ This product is mine.
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Generation Y, X, and students: Many exciting things happen as individuals leave the role of a child and prepare to assume the role of an adult. These changes create many uncertainties about self. The need to belong and to find oneâ€™s unique identity as a person becomes extremely important. At this age, choices of activities, friends and looks often are crucial to social acceptance. Teens actively search for cues from their peers and from advertising for the right way to look and behave. Advertising geared to teens is typically action oriented and depicts a group of in teens using the product. Teens use products to express their identities, to explore the world and their newfound freedoms in it, and also to rebel against the authority of their parents and other socializing agents.
Generation Y are those born between 1977 and 1994, which are the younger siblings of Generation X. They make up over 20% of the population and the proportion of people in this age is expected to increase at twice the rate of the rest of the population over the next decade. They also tend to be from an ethnically diverse generation, and they tend to be more socially aware. The alcohol consumption, drug usage, pregnancy, and homicide rates are in decline in this group.
Consumers in this age subculture have a number of needs, some of which include experimentation, belonging, independence, responsibility, and approval from others. Product usage is a significant medium to express these needs. Because they are so interested in many different products and have the resources to obtain them, many marketers avidly court the teen market. Much of this money goes toward feel-good products: cosmetics, posters and fast food. For example, people aged 15â€”25 are a major market for the movie industry, so movie producers pay close attention to the behaviour off this segment. Most teens are preoccupied with their appearance and body image and are avid consumers of beauty products, clothing, and other appearance-related items. Marketers view teens as consumers-in-training, since brand loyalty creates a barrier-to-entry for other brands that were not chosen during these pivotal years.
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The cohort of consumers that have been born between 1966 and 1976 is called the Generation X. This group used to include many people, both in and out of faculties, whose tastes and priorities were beginning to be felt in fashion, poplar culture, politics and marketing. Mostly known for their laziness and alienation. Although the income of this age cohort used to be below expectations, they still constituted a formidable market segment â€“ partly because so many were still living at home and had more discretionary income. However, recent studies showed changes. Now, 60% of them own houses, 70% are already starting their own businesses, and many of them seem to be determined to have stable families. Many students are away from home for the first time, and they must make many buying decisions that used to be made for them by parents, such as the purchase of some routine personal-care products or of cleaning supplies. Marketers are usually attracted by this lack of experience since students can be more easily influenced than someone who has developed brand preferences. Nevertheless, students pose a special challenge for marketers, since they are hard to reach via conventional media. Students watch less television than other people, and when they watch, they are much more likely to do so after midnight. Students also do not read newspapers as much as other people. Shopping orientations: Same like products, stores have very clearly defined images. Others tend to blend into the street. They may not have anything distinctive about them and may be overlooked for this reason. This personality, or store image, is composed of many different factors. Store features, coupled with such consumer characteristics as shopping orientation, help to predict which shopping outlets people will prefer. VARIETY
Some of the important dimensions of a storeâ€™s profile are itâ€™s location, the merchandise suitability, the knowledge, and the congeniality of the sales staff. Consumers evaluate stores in terms of both their specific attributes and a global evaluation, or gestalt.
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This overall feeling may have more to do with such intangibles as interior design and the types of people one finds in the store than with such aspects as return policies or credit availability. As a result, some stores are likely to consistently be in consumer’s evoked sets, while others will never be considered. Because a store’s gestalt is now recognized to be a very important aspect of the retailing mix, attention is increasingly paid to atmospherics, or the conscious designing of space and its various dimensions that evokes certain effects in buyers. These dimensions include colours, scents and sounds. Light colours impart a feeling of spaciousness and serenity, and signs in bright colours create excitements. In one effective application, fashion designer Norma Kamali replaced fluorescent lights with pink ones in department store dressing rooms. The light had the effect of flattering the face and banishing wrinkles, making female customers more willing to try on and buy the company’s bathing suits.
It has been estimated that about 2 out of every 3 supermarket purchases are decided in the aisles. The proportion of unplanned purchases is even higher for some product categories. It is estimated that 85% of candy and gum, almost 70% of cosmetics and 75% of oral hygiene purchases are unplanned. 70% of the consumers do not bother to bring shopping lists. Unplanned buying usually occurs when a person is unfamiliar with a store’s layout or perhaps when under some time pressure. Or a person may be reminded to buy something by seeing it on a store shelf. About 1/3 of unplanned buying has been attributed to the recognition of new needs while within the store. Impulse buying occurs when the person experiences a sudden urge that he or she cannot resist.
Not only can the visual effects influence the people. For example, patrons of country music bars drink more when the music is slower. According to one researcher, Hard drinkers prefer listening to slower paced, walling, lonesome, self-pitying music. Similarly, music can affect eating habits. Another study found that diners who listened to loud, fast music ate more food. In contrast, those who listen Mozart or Brahms ate less and more slowly.
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For this reason, the so-called impulsive items such as candy and gum are suitably placed near the checkout. Similarly, many supermarkets have installed wider aisles to encourage browsing, and the widest tend to contain products with the highest margin. Low mark-up items that are purchased regularly tend to be stacked high in narrower aisles, to allow shopping carts to speed through the shop. However, shopping behaviour changes when people do it in groups. For example people who shop with at least one other person tend to make more unplanned purchases, buy more, and cover more areas of a store than those who go alone. For this reasons retailer would be well advised to encourage group-shopping activities. In many cases, group members show a greater willingness to consider riskier alternatives following group discussions than they would if each member made his or her own decision with no discussion.
Family: It is very important to know the familiesâ€™ characteristics before creating a product that will be aimed towards mass consumption. There are various types of families and there should be different approach for each of them. This is a selection and segmentation of the types that are the most common. Traditional: In traditional families, and especially those with low educational levels, women are primarily responsible for family financial management â€“ the man makes it, and the woman spends it. Each spouse specializes in certain activities. The pattern is different among families where spouses remain to more modern sex-role norms. These couples believe that there should be more shared participation in the family maintenance activities. Marketers recognize that families and other households units still tend to function according to the traditional pattern of mom, dad and kids. For example, the kitchen, where the food and household products are often shown, is usually dominated by a mother figure (not necessarily a woman), which dispenses love and food and maintains the home
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The den is reserved for a father figure who is the source of wise counsel and advice. Bedrooms are usually used as personal space (often by children) where comforting reassurances are given and problems from confidential nature are resolved. Modern family: The under 25 years of age, married couples age groups are declining. Consumers between 35 and 44 were responsible for the largest increase in the number of households. People are waiting longer to get married. Average age of marriage is now 24 for women and 26 for men. This trend has implications for business ranging from catering to cutlery. Also there are more divorces, and now there are many families in which the kids are living with one parent, or perhaps in some cases one kid is with the mother and the other one with the father. Sandwich generation: In many cases adults are being forced to take care for parents as well as children. In fact, an average is seventeen years caring for children, but eighteen years assisting aged parents. Middle-aged people have been termed the sandwich generation, because they must attend to those above and below them in age. Boomerang kids: In addition to dealing with live-in parents, many adults are surprised to find that their children are living with them longer or are moving back in. These returnees have been termed boomerang kids by demographers. The number of children between 18 and 34 living at home has grown by 1/3 in the last period of years. If this trend continues, it will affect a variety of markets as boomerang kids spend less on housing and staples and more on discretionary purchases like entertainment.
Families with pet(s): Many people are extremely attached to pets. Even to the point where domestic animals might be considered as a part of the family. The inclusion of pets as family members creates many marketing opportunities ranging from bejewelled leashes, pet clothes, accessories, to professional dog walkers.
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Decisions: It is interesting to mention something about the decisions that are made in the family. Traditionally, one or other spouse usually made some buying decisions, termed autocratic decisions. Men, for instance, often had sole responsibility for selecting a car, while most decorating choices fell to women. Other decisions, such as vacation destinations, were made jointly. These decisions are known as syncratic decisions. There are four main factors that appear to determinate the degree to which decisions will be made jointly, or by one or the other spouse. First factor are the sex-role stereotypes. These are couples who believe in traditional sexrole stereotypes tend to make individual decisions for sex-typed products. These products are separated as masculine or feminine. Second factor is called the spousal resource. The spouse that contributes more resources to the family has the greater influence. The third factor is the experience. Individual decisions are made more frequently when the couple has gained experience as a decision-making unit. Socio-economic status comes as the fourth factor. Joint decisions are made more by middle-class families than in either higher- or lower-class families. In terms of family decision-making, the synoptic ideal calls for the husband and wife to take a common view and act as joint decision makers. According to this ideal, they would very thoughtfully weigh alternatives, assign one another well-defined roles, and calmly make mutually beneficial consumer decisions. The couple would act rationally, analytically and use as much information as possible to maximize joint utility. In reality, however, spousal decision-making is often characterized by the use of influence or methods that are likely to reduce conflict â€“ a couple reaches rather than makes a decision. This process has been described as muddling through. VARIETY
Family life-circle: Family needs and expenditures can change over time. Therefore, the concept of the family life-circle has been widely used by marketers. This form of classification combines trends in income and family composition with changes in demands placed upon this income.
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The market segments are constant subject to change due to various factors. Also, there are much more sub-groups to consider, and for a more serious projects, additional research should be concluded. But these are the basic models that we might face. Out of this, we can to choose what segments we think that will be better influenced by the strategy that we are preparing. After selecting the target market, we can decide upon the specific marketing mix. Careful decisions must be made about the new brandâ€™s position and how its image will be communicated in terms of pricing, naming, packaging and advertising, and so on.
Young bachelors and newly weds have the most modern sex-role attitudes, are the most likely to engage in exercise, to go out to bars, concerts, movies and restaurants, and to go out dancing; and consume more alcohol. Families with young children are more likely to consume health foods such as fruit, juice and yogurt, compared to those made up of single parents and older children who buy more junk foods.*4
*4 Reference to: Solomon, Michael R.; Consumer Behaviour: Buying, Having, and Being; Published by Allyn and Bacon â€“Division of Paramount Publishing; 1994/2004
A distinction is made between consumption needs of people in Full Nest I category, where the youngest child is less than six, the Full Nest II category, where the younger child is older than six, the Full Nest III category, where the youngest child is older than six and the parents are middle-aged, and the Delayed Full Nest, where the parents are middle-aged but the youngest child is younger than six.
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MARK-E-THING Contemporary markething
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â€œThe secret of all effective originality in advertising is not creation of new and tricky words and pictures, but one of putting familiar words and pictures into new relationshipsâ€?. Leo Burnett
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Since the 1950’s, many firms have embraced the marketing concept. However, the tough business climate of the 1990’s suggested that merely satisfying customers is not enough.
An organizational philosophy indicates the types of activities the organization values. There are three key philosophies that deserve mention – production philosophy, selling philosophy, and marketing philosophy. A production philosophy only exists when an organization emphasizes the production function. The activities in this case are related to improving production efficiency or producing sophisticated products and services. Marketing plays a secondary role, since the organization thinks that the best-produced products are easy to be marketed. High-technologies companies usually follow this philosophy.
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How can organizations completely satisfy their customers? The answer is by continuously providing exceptional value. The so-called customer value is defined by what a customer gets for what he pays. A customer value perspective means constantly looking for ways to give to customers more for less. This can also be viewed as improving the productsâ€™ quality. Since quality can also be defined by the totality of features and characteristics of a product or service that bear on its ability to satisfy stated or implied needs. However, it is important to realize that a customer value perspective does not always mean offering additional features or services. Some consumers want to pay less and desire fewer features or services. To keep loyal customers requires no acquisition costs, compared to getting a new customer. The longer an organization keeps a customer, the more base profit is earned from continuous purchase, since loyal customers tend to buy more from the same firm over time. The conventional wisdom is that it costs at least five times as much to serve a new customer as an existing one. The customer loyalty concept consists of earning high levels of customer loyalty that leads to increased sales growth and higher profitability. The best route for earning customer loyalty is to completely satisfy and delight the customer. Only providing exceptional values can do this.*1
A marketing philosophy suggests that the organization focuses on satisfying the needs of the customers. Satisfying customer needs requires integrated and coordinated efforts throughout the organization. This applies to the people in the marketing area as well as to those in production, personnel, accounting, finance, and other functions. These organizations should focus on long-term success.
*1Reicheld, Frederick F.; The Loyalty Effect: The Hidden Force Behind Growth, Profit, and Lasting Value; Harvard Business School Press; 1996 (Pg. 39â€”50)
A selling philosophy has a greater influence wherever the selling function is most valued. The general assumption here is that any product can be sold if there is enough selling effort. In this case, the selling effort excludes other marketing activities. Marketing becomes limited to the job to sell whatever the organization decides to produce.
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*2 Thomson, Kevin; Edited by Simcic, Peggy Brønn and Wiig, Roberta; Corporate Communication: A Strategic Approach To Building Reputation, Marketing To The Invisible Audience; Publisher: Gyldendal Norsk Forllag AS, 2002, Reprinted 2003 (Pg. 199 —211)
Investing in the company’s employee’s as the walking and talking part of the brand makes a perfect sense. When this works well, this is called the brand ambassador effect. Brand ambassadors believe that they work to their maximum potential, that they are committed to staying with their company, that they share the best practices, and that they innovate within their organization. If employees are not living the brand, they will create a negative impact on the customers. Lack of internal commitment not only affects their propensity to buy, but they will also stop recommending the brand to others. When either external or internal customers are shown the basic respect of being listened to, they become more committed to either buy or recommend. This is why internal marketing acknowledges that employees are as important as consumers and treats them that way by listening to their needs and responding accordingly. The very best work will come from people who provide great thinking and great creativity, not from unsatisfied and unhappy employees*2.
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BRAND NEW Branding
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â€œQuality is remembered long after the price is forgottenâ€?. Gucci Family Motto
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Brand as a term derivates from the practice of indelibly marketing or stamping property â€“ usually with a hot iron. Cattle or sheep would be marked in this way, but it was equally a means of signaling disgrace. The origins of the term in its contemporary sense are relatively new. Today, brand image is 90% of what the manufacturers want to sell.
The most recognizable feature of a brand is a name, logo, symbol, or trademark that refers to a products origin. A person, corporation, or institution can own the rights to the brand name. It can be employed as a means to distinguished their product or service from others.
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It takes time to establish a brand value. The invention of new brand overnight with subsequent rapid marketing is unlikely to be a success. Brands with strong images are products of a successful relationship between the producer and the consumer. These brands require economic investment, marketing, and corporate nurturing. Only the most recognizable brands can become the market standard. This position can be maintained by establishing loyalty and ubiquity. Sometimes a loss of popularity can result due to social or political shifts, even to the successful brands. Therefore, it can be dangerous to attempt to reposition brands that trade on heritage or national pride.
Successful brand imaging is central to the success of a product. The relationship between the product, marketing, and branding has almost become one and the same. The design of the product is actually a vehicle for brand value, rather than the other way around. If in the past brands existed to sell the product, now products are developed as a means of extending and consolidating the brand. Every brand must have a vision and added value. When it comes to fashion, more and more people realize that wearing is communicating. During the 80â€™s, brand logos were enormous.
Promotion of branded items can often be focused on the lifestyle attributes of the product, like health, beauty, or social status. Goods and their messages are contributing to the establishment of popular concepts of self-identity and individualism. The advent of the shopping trolley and self-service meant that the shoppers would select their goods without the direct intervention of the sales assistant. This means that the eye-appeal of a product or package is more important now than in the past, when most of the purchases were made over-the-counter. Once in the store, the package needs to do the work of the shopkeeper and the sale. When people are faced with an array of choices, the well-known brand name is a constant upon which the shopper would rely.
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People liked uniform clothes, and identifying oneself within a social group was important. Nowadays people look for an individual, more personal look. A particular mark of distinction is the designers’ signature on the brand. Signature and editioned goods are promoted as an alternative to the mass market. They target closely identified audiences and lifestyles. The signature value is such that it can represent a contract between the named designer and the consumer, and serve as an endorsement of the goods on sale. The signature is part of the identity of a product or brand. For companies brand image and brand values are priceless. The most complex role for the brands in the consumer’s life is the symbolic role brands represent. They are often used as a signal or measure of personality. They are one of the bases on which we assess other people on first meeting – by the car they drive or the clothes they wear. This means that we are consuming products and services on a symbolic level as well. Irrespective the nature of the product, the kind of target market, or the serviced offered – all brands depend upon trust, familiarity, and difference. A brand is a badge of trust – a promise to the consumer of something beyond the generic product. Instead of reading every package and comparing every price in the shop, we simply look for the brand that we want. This brand preference is actually a complex gestalt reflecting many different factors like advertisement, past experiences, and word-ofmouth. Because of the roles that brands play in our lives, we can make a cognitive short cut and choose quickly what we like. This is based on the identification of the source, the quality assurance, and the risk reduction. A successful brand is ultimately a question of authenticity. It needs to be a transparent reflection of the company’s values behind it. In times when products, buildings, machines, and even ideas can be copied, the only unique elements that a company has are its people. They constitute the soul of the brand. The first step to creating brand authenticity is ensuring that its core values are clear and have been fully internalized by those who work within the company. If the company employees fail to present themselves well, the brand fails as well
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A time is coming when consumers will be facing online decisions in which their choices increase, but where direct, tangible access to the products from which they can choose will increase. People can buy tomatoes that they will not be able to squeeze or choose them by colour before clicking them into the baskets. In situations like this the importance of the brands as a guarantee for the quality will only increase our dependence on them and their importance to us.*1
*1General reference to: Pavitt, Jane; Brand. New; V&A Publications â€“London, 2000
The most obvious aspects of brand strategy is the advertising. Advertising is often seen as an alchemic process, taking our emotional weaknesses and fashioning them into demands and desires for goods. Advertising makes use of already established codes of status, desire, fear, and need. It relies upon a vocabulary of emotional triggers that can be commonly understood. Art, nature, and classical music can be reliable indicators of the mood of certain ad and product, together with the use of humour, celebrities, real people, and other well-known narrative strategies. Then again, the range of responses to ads cannot be determined. Some experts say that advertisement is a weaker force than we imagine. We may enjoy the ad, admire it, laugh at it, discuss it, but still not buy the product. However, by choosing not to buy a product, not to enter a store, or not to read an ad, you are still responding to the marketing efforts of organizations.
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THINK BIG Corporate branding
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“Both the organization and its products and services have images, and it is important that both are carefully nurtured and protected”. Peggy Simcic Brønn
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Today, every organization is responsible for its actions and for what it stands for. Also, it is often the actions of the managers that can cause public scrutiny. Itâ€™s rarely a case when the product gets the organization in trouble. In many cases the products are not an issue at all. In fact, customers continue purchasing from the company while itâ€™s under attack by other interest groups. However, organizational actions can impact on customer responses in the long term. The organization and its products and services have images, and it is important to protect and nurture them both.
Corporate branding is one of todayâ€™s most fashionable management trends. With it, the companies assume a responsibility that goes beyond a narrow business goal of making as much profit as possible, as fast as possible. Corporate branding puts the focus on the company behind the product as the object of branding. In that way it gives additional value to the offered product, while competing in highly competitive markets.
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There are two main issues regarding the corporate branding phenomenon â€“ one is, turning the company itself into a brand, and the other is, creating a political company. Brand building activities aimed at special stakeholder groups can include government relations, community relations, financial relations, etc. Organizations may have specialists who use a broad range of communication options such as brochures, annual reports, lobbying, personal communications and so on, to deal with these stakeholders groups. Corporate advertisement is a term given to paid-for messages placed by the organization telling about the organization, not necessarily the products. Cause related marketing, image advertising, and advocacy or issues advertising, might be included in this type of advertisement. Examples of image advertising are usually ads that announce plant openings, new identities, innovations, etc. This area can also encompass sports, broadcasting, various events, and music sponsoring. Advocacy advertisement is a way for organizations to communicate their position on public issues that are connected with their business activities. This usually includes taking a position on social or business issues, resolving misunderstandings, or countering a negative editorial.
In that the non-profit organization gets financial support and the organization is seen as being endorsed by the non-profit organization. This relationship works both ways. Not only that it can act as a good PR (Public Relations) move for the organization; it can also cut back some taxes.
Cause-Related Marketing (CRM) is a growing area in corporate branding. In this case, companies communicate their association with non-profit groups or causes, through a variety of media, including labeling on packaging, affinity/co-branded credit cards, licensing agreements, sponsorship, advertising, or sales promotion. Sales promotion may include assistance in raising donations, purchase-triggered donations, etc. This helps in associating the organizationâ€™s name with a good cause or a popular topic.
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*1Brønn, Peggy Simcic; Edited by Simcic, Peggy Brønn and Wiig, Roberta; Corporate Communication: A Strategic Approach To Building Reputation, Corporate Communication and the Corporate Brand; Publisher: Gyldendal Norsk Forllag AS, 2002, Reprinted 2003 (Pg. 91—106)
Some experts argue that organization with a corporate religion can have a better chance of getting into – what is referred to as – brand heaven. Brand heaven is place where the product itself has lost its importance and the company and its values have become the focus. Harley-Davidson is believed to be the ultimate dweller in brand heaven. This is a company that probably has the most loyal customers on the planet. The customers have a much higher belief in the company than they do in its products – it is known that some of the customers have even tattooed the name of the company on various parts of their bodies. This is a case where the organizational values have become the added value.*1 A strong corporate brand may take on several forms, like: branded identity, endorsed identity, monolithic brand identity, and co-branding. Branded identity is when a company operates through a series of brands that function independently of each other and independently of the group brand. Branded identity means the central control of a range of product brands. In this case, the company is not communicated as a part of the product, and identical products may therefore be presented to many different groups as different brands. The strong point of this form lies in the flexibility. When a branded identity is designed carefully, its strength is that it appeals to a certain target group at a certain time and that it can be equipped with strong, complex symbols that match the individual market. If the company chooses to tone down a certain product brand, or if a brand is involved in a scandal, the damage is isolated and does not effect the whole organization. This can be positive for the company itself and its other brands, since they are unknown to the consumer and they can maintain business as usual. The weakness is that a company with a branded identity is so well hidden, that it does not utilize the many advantages that may lie in attaching itself to the reputation of mother and daughter companies.
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Endorsed brand identity is when an organization has a group of activities or companies that it endorses with a group name and a common identity. All of the companies can function independently with separate strategies and goals, and at the same time, still to be supported by the mother companyâ€™s strong brand identity. The strength lies in the mutual nature of the relationship. A company can share the goodwill of the other family members presented in the market, but if one part of the brand is injured, so are the others.
The latest brand strategy is called Co-Branding. This is a case where two strong brands join forces to create mutual awareness in a single campaign. The weakness is the same as in the endorsed brand strategy, although to a lesser degree of increased vulnerability. Usually if one brand is exposed to criticism, the other brand gets automatically affected. The trend seems to be going from brand identity and endorsed brand identity to the monolithic brand identity, and in some cases, on to co-branding between already strong corporate brands. This trend, characterized by the desire to gather and concentrate, can be rooted in the constant threat of change facing the corporate identity. Todayâ€™s competition is characterized by globalization, mergers, privatization, new modes of communication and collaboration, and demands for faster product development. The companies that are able to live up to the requirements for excellence, will win.
Monolithic brand identity is the use of one name and one visual style for all of the companyâ€™s products and activities. Some of the best examples can be seen with the airlines and the oil businesses. One feature of the monolithic strategy is durability. The identity has to stay simple, easy to remember, and easy to recognize. The strength of this strategy is when the company decides to move into a new business area. The brand will still be recognizable even if the new products or services are much different from the present. One simple message is stronger then several different ones. The weakness however, is that one small disturbance can shake even an established, strong brand. But that is can be the strength as well.
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Corporate branding can be essentially about the prevailing classic market mechanism that ensures success to the best and cheapest product, and replaces it with a more modern market function, which is about symbols as a means. The most successful brands are established worldwide. Therefore, they are also known as global brands. There are three main types of global brands – Master brands, Prestige brands, and Glocal brands – with two additional alternative groups. With Master brands like Nike, McDonalds, Nokia, Visa, Levi’s and CocaCola their categories are clearly defined. Their appeal is usually based on a powerful proposition or myth. The universality of the myth and the way that is proposed are central to the appeal, rather then the globalness itself. These brands have usually transcended their national origins, and they try to preserve a more neutral position in the countries where they are presented. They usually have a display role. Innovation is what keeps this brands young and relevant, and it is central to their success and appeal. The affinity towards these brands is usually based on authority (like trust, or innovation leader), approval (acceptability), and identification (nostalgia or personification).
Prestige brands like Jaguar, Armani, Rolex, and Ferrari, are known to offer best-in-class quality. The quality beliefs about these brands are usually rooted in a cultural myth that provides credibility and authority. Ferrari’s quality perceptions are underpinned by beliefs of Italian design and performance engineering excellence. These brands are always presented in strong display categories with high aspirational values. The affinity with these brands is based on authority and approval. Glocal brands, like Dove, Danone, and Nescafé, may be marketed globally, but they are usually viewed as local offerings. These brands are usually in weak display categories, but there can be exceptions.
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The aspirational role of these brands is usually weak. However, it can be more pronounced in the developing countries. The affinity towards these brands is based on authority and identification. To round off. Tribal and Super brands, are the two other brand groups. Tribal brands have a strong display role and provide an alternative to – or complement – the Master brands. Increasingly they are the brand class choice for younger, and more sophisticated Western and Asian consumers. Especially in the fashion-oriented categories. As they mature, some of these brands may become the prestige brands of tomorrow.
For certain types of brands, localization is needed. In this case, a marketer might check in what category does the brands fit. Does it have a display value? What is the nature of the local culture? How aspirational is the brand’s positioning? Can a consistency be made between the brand values and local values? After that, decisions must be made about the product. To what degree can the product be localized? What is the relationship between localization and economy of scale? Are there local tastes and needs to be taken into account? Glocal brands require the highest degree of localization and Prestige brands the least. Often the localization for the Prestige brands should be so minimal that it should not be more than just translation of the message. Master and Super brands have a natural tendency to stay global, and at the same time, they manifest a desire to have a local character. Consumers do not want to feel that they are a part of some large homogenized audience, and they also don’t want these brands to lose their global feel.
The Super brands are usually available on an international basis. They differentiate themselves from Master brands by being more category than myth driven. These brands can be found in different categories. Some of them appear to be in transition to Master brands status. A recent example for a former Super brand, Nokia, to made its way to Master brand status.
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*2 Baker, Malcom and Sterenberg, Greet; Market Leader –The Journal Of The Marketing Society, International Branding: Resolving the Global-Local Dillema; World Advertising Research Center Ltd. – UK; Winter 2002, Issue 19
The need for localization is also related to category. Categories with high display value or with highly aspirational character require less localization. On the other hand, food, food retail, household cleaning and personal care products, nearly always need more localization. There is a clear, but in some cases complicated connection with the local market. Some cultures require a higher degree of localization because of their specific values and traditions. There are four groups of cultures – Cultural Individualist, Global Individualists, Global Sensitives, and Cultural Sensitives. Countries like France, Australia, and USA, combine a great deal of cultural pride with strong individualistic values. From a branding perspective, this means that they require both localization and individual connection with the local customers. They can be identified as Cultural Individualists. There are also countries with a relatively low interest or pride in their own culture, and correspondingly, openness to the world. These countries are the Scandinavian nations, the Netherlands, and Belgium. The need for localization is low, but there is a high need for consumer connections at an individual and personified level. Countries like Argentina, Zimbabwe, and Chile are open to the world in a collectivist way – making connections through global brands is often more important than pride in their own culture. These countries fall in the Global Sensitives category. Brands here require medium need to localize. Mostly it’s a case of translation rather than adaptation to local culture. Countries like Mexico and India, where consumers expect global brands to understand and respect their culture, are in the Cultural Sensitives category. Global brands usually benefit if consumers see them as part of their local communities. Consumers respond very positively to outreach initiatives into the local community. They are more likely to favour companies with such programs then the others. This can also be used to reinforce the basic brand positioning.*2
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THINK BIG 231
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BIG AND POWERFUL Corporate identity
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â€œCorporate identity is the leading strategy for all corporate instruments towards a convincing, harmonious, and consistent internal and external representation of the companyâ€?. Brigit Kutschinski
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BIG AND POWERFUL
Why is it important for a company to create for itself â€“ a homogenous image? If a company wants to be able to mark out itself as different, against the profusion of information and competition in the market place, if it wants to gain the confidence and sympathy of the public and it employees, then a strong image is a must. The need for a corporate strategy is clear, and this is where corporate identity comes in.
Parallel to individual self-identity, corporate identity is the substantial logic of corporate appearance, words and action of corporate behavior, corporate design, and corporate communication. The corporate personality is the centre and the basis of the corporate identity. Its precondition is the companyâ€™s knowledge of itself, its current state, its history, its aims and objectives, its functions, and the social aspect. The self-realization channels of the corporate personality are its behavior, appearance, and communication.
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Corporate communication implies all kinds of communication in the broadest sense. Communication can take place between a transmitter – in this case the company, and the receiver – which may be the consumers, the stakeholders, the shareholders, the media, or the general public. The corporate identity is the leading strategy for all corporate instruments towards a persuasive, agreeable, and reliable internal and external representation of the company. The corporate identity is the self-portrait of a company, and the corporate image describes the company’s identity. The main vehicles of communication for a company, are its products. The company transmits a message in the form of a product. The consumer is the receiver of this message. Products express experience and qualities, act as status symbols and determine the company’s image. The success of a product depends on whether, and to what extent the company will succeed to build a common repertory through the product design. Therefore, a product must be planned and designed with intended centers of interest in mind, while still in its development stage. A company should understand the design of its products as an expression of its own uniqueness and character.*1
BIG AND POWERFUL
The corporate design is the total of all visual communications; from the logo, the typeface, imagery, to colors; from products, systems, services, packaging and advertising guidelines, to car labeling; and from information systems to the environmental manifestation of the corporate personality.
*1Kutschinski, Brigit; Semantic Visions in Design –Proceedings from the symposium of design research and semiotics, Product Semantics in the Context of Corporate Identity; Publication of the University of Industrial Arts –Helsinki, Finland; 1990
The corporate behavior is a decisive and effective instrument. A company is more represented by what it does, than what it says. A company’s behavior reflects the company’s aim and objectives.
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THE MESSAGE Corporate communications
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â€œThe average customer thinks of the average brand maybe eight minutes a year, but the average internal customer thinks of their organization eight hours every dayâ€?. Patty Overstreet Miller
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Every organization, sooner or later, should answer the question Who are we? This often is followed by Who would we like to be? And this is what the organizational identity focuses on.
The organizational identity is a collection of characteristics that form the essence, or the organizational core of an organization. The characteristics should contain; continuity – to have been applicable to the organization for a period of time; centrality – to be evenly spread over all branches of the organization; and distinguishing ability – to be unique. Only then they can be seen as realistic. However, there have been several questions raised regarding these criteria, by various authors. Sometimes the criticism centers on who should be tracking the characteristics: an external or internal researcher, or members of the organization? Another question is raised on how the characteristics should be collected – through interviews, through analysis of written material, or through questionnaires?
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Traditionally, marketing communication has been a process of developing and sending out brand messages to create or increase sales or transactions. However, companies are more profitable if they focus on building quality, instead of focusing just on sales. This does not mean that sales and transactions should be ignored. Without sales, an organization will go out of business. Transactions should be seen as a series of events that can build or strengthen a brand relationship. When an organization makes a sale, it is interacting with a customer, and each interaction is a test: a test of the product, or whether or not the company has performed well.
Still, a good reputation is not a goal in itself. It is a means to secure a favorable starting position to enter into commercial relations with groups upon which an organization is dependent. This can be achieved by performing well and by respecting the surroundings in the broad sense of the word. Many studies have shown that an attitude of an organization’s employees with regards to external groups is of overriding importance. Communication and symbols play an important role, but the behavior of the organizational members is crucial. Advertisement, publicity, sponsoring, and especially excellent products and services are the most important attributes to realize a positive reputation. Or in the words or Cees B. M. van Riel, “After all, reputation is in essence no more and no less than a collection of positive and negative impressions from primary (personal experience), secondary (being informed about the organization by a like-minded person), and tertiary (paid-for and non-paid-for publicity) sources, which are stored in memory by the laws on information processing”.*1
*1 van Riel, Cees B. M.; Edited by Simcic, Peggy Brønn and Wiig, Roberta; Corporate Communication: A Strategic Approach To Building Reputation, Defining Corporate Communication; Gyldendal Norsk Forllag AS, 2002, Reprinted 2003 (Pg. 53—69)
Reputation, together with image and prestige, are the words that are regularly used to describe a positive or negative overall impression about people or organizations. Due to the large number of people who are interested in reputation rankings, there are several surveys which do this on an annual basis. Some of the most popular are the Fortune’s 500, or the Fortune’s Top 10 Most Admired Businesses in US, and the Financial Times’ Most Respected Businesses in Europe.
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Organizations also need to build relationships with many other individuals and groups different from their customers. These groups who may or may not be customers, but who are failing to recognize them can be critical. This is where corporate communication activities often engage in action. It is important that the organization and its products send consistent messages in a controlled fashion. The real challenge is to build a relationship with all parties, directly or indirectly. The basic principle of branding is that it transforms goods and services into something larger than the product it self. The essence of a brand is a promise, and that promise is what generates sales. When products fail to deliver on the promise, customers become dissatisfied, and the result is a weakening brand relationship. The consumers trust is based on whether the company does what it says it will do. Trust anchors an organization’s reputation. Image can be created, but a good reputation is a perception of how good a brand is, and that comes from repeated good experiences with its products or services. It takes time and a series of interactions between the company, its customers, and other stakeholders to build trust. The opposite is that a trust can be lost much faster than it can be gained. There are several factors that influence to what extent a customer can trusts an organization. The most important things in creating trust in commercial relationship is the customer’s satisfaction: the consistency of what is said and done by the company, company’s accessibility, its responsiveness, the customer focus, and the likeability of the company.
Customers don’t want to be manipulated into buying something they don’t need or want. If an organization tries to do that, it risks several things in addition to its good name. First, the manipulated customers will be less satisfied and make a return or demand special handling, which increases the operating costs. Second, they also might become negative spokespersons for the brand. Third, they might not make a repetitive purchase. In the one-time-only transactions, the total investment of getting that first sale to the customer is lost.
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Organizations have stakeholders. Stakeholders are any group that can affect or be affected by an organization. Also, every major stakeholder group can affect a certain aspect of the organization and therefore should be taken into consideration when creating and sending brand messages. The most important group of stakeholders is the organizationâ€™s customers. The next important group is its employees. The other groups, whose importance may vary, are the suppliers, the distribution channel members, the media, the marketing communication agencies, government regulators, and special interest groups. All of them create the so-called stakeholders map. Some corporations even count terrorist groups as stakeholders. As unpleasant it is to admit this; from a standpoint of strategic management, it must be done. Strategies must be formulated on to how to deal with terrorists, and to consider whether or not they could substantially affect the operations of the business.
Customers often perceive the employees with whom they come in contact, as the company itself. Some executives, especially in the service industry, believe that employees, rather then customers, should be an organizationâ€™s number one priority. It is all about providing excellent service to customers. If the employee doesnâ€™t know their job well; feels that they are not treated fairly by the company; does not feel part of the team; does not find meaning in their job, they will not provide a good service. How employees treat customers delivers a highly influential message.
When it comes to stakeholder management, there are at least three levels on which an organization needs to understand how to manage the relationship with the stakeholders. First, it needs to have a clear view as to the perceived stakes. Second, it needs to understand the organizational processes required in managing this relationship and whether this processes complies with the rational stakeholder map. And thirdly, it needs to understand whether the required set of transactions or bargains fit with the stakeholder map and the organizational processes.
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The media stakeholders are important for several reasons. Reporters are always looking for expert opinions and explanations to help them write stories. The companies that provide good media relationships will be the one they call first. Also, they can run publicity releases the companies send them. Another advantage of having a good media relationships is that when a problem occurs for the company, they are more likely to be open-minded. Special interest groups are groups of people who organize around a specific political or social issue. They can be a friend to the organisation and help it on various issues, or they can be enemies and organize brand boycotts or actively working to block companyâ€™s proposals, and often are the source of negative information by word of mouth. Therefore, they are important to consider. The communities in which companies are located, or have offices, stores and plants, are also stakeholders. They not only supply employees but also vote on city and county laws and regulations that can affect the business operations. And that can make them a serious group to be considered, even if they are indirectly connected with the business policy. Since everything an organization does sends a message. The larger the organization, the more people involved â€“ the greater is the opportunity for message inconsistency. Once the sources are known, the communication managers can design strategies and tactics to control or influence the messages so that they are strategically consistent. Brand messages can be determined and identified by four sources â€“ planned, product, service, and unplanned messages.
Planned messages are typically the marketing communication and public relations messages delivered by advertising, sales promotions, personal sales, merchandising materials, press releases, events, sponsorships, packaging, and annual reports. They usually promote the brand or the company, and objectives are to create brand awareness and to position the brand on the market. They also encourage buying, sampling, and the requesting of additional information.
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Unplanned messages include brand – or company-related – news stories, gossip, rumours, actions of special interest groups, comments by the trade and competitors, findings by government agencies or research institutions, and word-of-mouth. Companies can hope that unplanned messages are positive and consistent since they come from outside sources and cannot be controlled. Employees are an important communication source, and their views are highly credible to people they know, as well as to reporters who interview them, particularly in a crisis situation. It is almost impossible to prevent employees from talking about their work experiences, but there are methods on how to handle the internal marketing of the company.*2
Service messages come from contacts with service representatives, receptionists, secretaries, delivery people, and all other representatives of an organization. Service messages are identified as personal, and this is what makes them especially strong. Customers can be more affected by talking to a salesperson or customer-service representative than just by seeing an ad for the company.
*2 Duncan, Tom; Edited by Simcic, Peggy Brønn and Wiig, Roberta; Corporate Communication: A Strategic Approach To Building Reputation, From Integral Marketing Communication to Integrating Communication; Publisher: Gyldendal Norsk Forllag AS, 2002, Reprinted 2003 (Pg. 213—232)
Product messages include all messages sent by a product’s design, performance, pricing, and distribution. They operate on the principle that if it looks good it must be good. Designers have a major role in creating solid product messages. But, although product design is important, the products’ performance is even more important when it comes to sending brand messages. Because there are a variety of brand choices for most product categories, the price also sends a message. It can position the brand high, or low. Also, it is generally considered that the more brands there are on sale, the greater the discounts are and the more ordinary the brand is. However, the price cannot determine the message by itself. Without knowing more about the brand, consumers cannot determine if the price is equivalent to quality or overpriced, or is the product a bargain or cheap.
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NEXT IN LINE The new corporate designer
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â€œMost clients are corporate people protecting their own mortgages. They mistakenly see ideas as a risk rather than advancement to their careersâ€?. Paul Arden
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Usually, when mentioning Corporate, many designers feel they are using a dirty word. They donâ€™t want to be associated with it, and they even have a repulsive feeling towards it. They usually connect it with something evil.
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People usually perceive corporations as evil, or deceptive dominant institutions that are ruining our lives. Even if itâ€™s true that some organizations take actions that can be described as quite bad, many others are making our lives better. They do that by providing us with the necessary products, services or goods, jobs for thousands of people, sponsoring good cause projects, and by supporting various communities. Even so, some people argue that we are not talking about few bad apples, and that all corporations are evil, but some hide their actions better then others. The bottom line is that corporations are not charities and their primary objective is to make a profit; large, legal, sustained returns for the people who own the business. Mostly, the bad things happen when they try to increase their profits by illegal, or in most cases, immoral ways. Exploiting people, or causing harm to the environment are examples of negative actions by some corporations*1.
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They prepare their students for future thinking and research-and-development in variety of areas. Students there are developing conceptual skills instead of rendering skills, and that has set them on the most wanted list on the worlds largest companies. The entry-level position for these graduates is directly into middle management, and the Institute has a 100% placement of its students*2.
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There are few examples or art oriented (industrial) designers that have succeeded and become famous, and we all know their names. The rest of the designers, (the conceptualists’) are mostly unknown (except in smaller circles of professionals), but we feel their presence in our everyday lives, which cannot be said for the later. These designers are discarding the artistic image for themselves, and they are orienting towards analytical tools and working methods from various other disciplines. Currently, they are being referred to as the new designers. And this is an emerging trend for new generations of designers, who believe that there is something more out there for them. Design is an ever-evolving field and change is inevitable. Designers with a greater holistic knowledge, who are also business orientated are emerging in the industry. One good example of this is the Institute of Design (ID) in Chicago, USA.
*1 Achbar, Mark; Abbot, Jennifer and Bakan, Joel; The Corporation, A Dcoumentary; 2003 *2 Institute of Design, Chicago IL; Link: www.id.iit.edu
In my opinion, there are two types of corporate designers. Some that are art focused, and others that are business or concept oriented. The majority of the first type of designers have no real idea of how things really work. Most of them believe in the mighty power of creativity. Translated: They believe in their own good taste, personal opinion, and their technical and graphical skills – which is good, but not good enough. Also, when they design something, they create a sort of magic that makes people want to buy certain products. These designers actually work on styling and re-design mostly, and they are usually based in the lower chain of the company. Their opinions can rarely influence any change in the company’s policy and they mostly comply with tight briefs. In other words, they are simply executioners of somebody else’s concepts and ideas.
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*3 Ann, Elaine; The Top 10 Myths & Truts about Design in China; Published online by www.core77.com; Link: http://www.core77. com/reactor/08.04_china.asp; 2005
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For example, no Arts & Crafts based design school can even closely compare with this. That clearly says something about what type of education is required for designers today. And with China’s arrival on the design scene, the styling and re-design part of the job (which majority of designers are doing today) will move there since the costs are 8 times lower than what designers in the US are charging. Lately, this has become a nightmare for most of the designers in the UK and USA. Clients who are in the business of supplying distribution channels with loads of different products - who are mainly looking for product re-packaging with quick turn around time – might find product sketching and rendering skills in China already very sophisticated and cost-effective. China has more than 400 design schools to date, and in the past few years, there have been many international design conferences, lectures and workshops organized in China, attracting speakers from all over the world. That means that their skills in design are rapidly increasing in short term*3. However, as a countermove to that, the rest of the design world will need to engage in more strategic levels of design. And that is innovation – the real process of problem solving. Then again, there are some authors that say that problem solving is not the right word to describe designers work, and there are others that claim that design is nothing more than a good taste (whatever that means for them). I believe that design is about solving problems, but first is about understanding them. I like to see designers as people who can find solutions where other people cant. Design leaders in this field, can explain in business language to the company, how design can help the company to reach its objectives. A new way of communicating which has not been common in industry in the past. Designers needed to pass the information through a number of people, mostly marketing managers, who reported to their presidents, who reported to the CEO’s, and before the information reached upper management, was mostly lost in translation. Now, designers can lead the companies and help them win. One of the best examples when design becomes the company leading strategy is Nissan.
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Another excellent example is Apple. By hiring Jonathan Ive as a design consultant, they reinvented themselves from a company in decline, to a leading company, both in product concepts and design. In many cases, young designers like to be in this profession because they feel that they can change the world. Make it better and more beautiful. And many of them believe that it is possible to create utopias and societies where everything can function well, perform well, and look good too. However, the people that hire them are profit oriented. And when designers are hired, they are hired to increase the profits of their employers by creating all those things they wantâ€Śwell, at least to a certain degree. And that is the cold reality. Design is to make profit, and if making profit requires beautiful, functional, and meaningful products and services, than designers are the right people for the job. Because of this, design has become a war. War to win the consumerâ€™s loyalty. With the huge investments required developing products and brands, strategies are employed that could rival many military operations. For one victorious product, other must fall. The competitors have become enemies, and behind every popular brand there are armies of designers, marketing experts, sales persons, scientists, and even philosophers. Business today, along with the design, is executed as a military strategy. The sooner the designers accept that, the sooner their positions in the hierarchy of the organizations will change. In spite of this, many designers donâ€™t want to accept this to be true. And who can blame them not wanting to be identified with a corporation, knowing the negative publicity many corporations recieved in the past. But I do believe, that if new generations of designers participate more in the middle- and upper-management in these organizations, than they can truly make things better. Or, like Karim Rashid says, perhaps even change the world.
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*4 Siegel, RitaSue; Taking Marketing to Market, Short Film; Presented online by Aquent; Link: http://www.ritasue.com/video. html?id=hp; 2004
Eighteen months after changing its policy, from a debt-ridden basket case as described by Time Magazine, Nissan has transformed itself to a profitable global car company*4.
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THE DIFFERENCE Design as corporate strategy
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â€œDesign is the only thing that differentiates one product from another in the marketplaceâ€?. Norio Ohga
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The Chairman of Sony Corporation, Norio Ohga once said, “At Sony, we assume all products of our competitors will have basically the same technology, price, performance, and features. Design is the only thing that differentiates one product from another in the marketplace”.
Can good design create a better image for the company? Can design help people feel good about where they work? What has design got to do with the company’s environment? Usually people say, This is a good company. They make great products. Sell them everywhere in the world. Everyone is using theirs products/services. Everyone wants to work there. It’s a great company to invest in.
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When people say: Everyone wants to work there, we are also talking about design at some point. It’s not always the pay that people look at when applying for a job. It’s the values of the company that they are looking at. Design helps these values to become visible*1. Design is now recognized as a major business strategy for competitive success. Businesses and business schools are making genuine efforts to learn more about design and to incorporate sophisticated design thinking in their operations. Governmental institutions, organizations, and NGO’s are also discovering the value of design thinking. In universities around the world, design educators and design researchers are finding new audiences and new opportunities for leadership. To see the multiple values of design clearly, we need to view design through the lens of quality. Quality for products is almost always associated with craftsmanship.
When people say: They make great products, and they sell them everywhere in the world, that is also a matter of design. It’s not enough to create a good product. Lots of companies do that. You need to have a great product, and convince your customers that you do have it. Price is not always the criteria that people follow when they are choosing over two products. People observe products in details, together with the other services that companies offer along with their products. Careful product design, with an overview of user-experience, and good knowledge of your target group can help the company to achieve its sales goals.
*1Pilditch, James; Design as Corporate Strategy, Design Management and Corporate Policy; Published by the University of Industrial Arts – Helsinki, Finland; 1990 (Pg. 33—37)
When people say: It’s a good company, that means that they have heard of it, or they know it and recognize it. This shows that the design of the corporate identity helped the company to get recognized. Research shows that, people think that the companies that they have heard of are better then the companies they haven’t heard of. The same research shows that people think that companies they have heard of make better products than the ones they haven’t heard of. The importance of visual communications at this level is greatly evident.
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*2 Reference to: Owen, Charles L.; Design, Advanced Planning and Product Development (1998) and Design Education and Research for the 21st Century (1988); Institute of Design, Chicago IL; Source: www.id.iit.edu
The craftmanship is based around the production, or how well the product was made and manufactured, and the quality is a universally recognized requisite for the business success. From the design perspective, quality as craftsmanship is achieved through attention to issues of engineering design and manufacturing. Initially, the idea about craftsmanship appeared because all products were not to an equal standard made. When it comes to this level, well-designed products were easier to manufacture well. When companies responded to the need for better quality control, this idea has broadened and reached another level. This level is the detail design. Here design contributed to performance, human factors, and appearance. This has been initiated by the growing awareness of the competitive advantages of well-detailed products. This trend continues, and another level of quality has emerged as a hallmark for competitiveness – the concept design. Consumers percieve concepts that are holistic and thorough, as better and bigger value. Also, well designed products are harder to get copied by the competitors. It is essential to know the competition. If we are to be succesful in the market place – we not only need to satisfy our consumers, but be better than anyone else*2. The industry today can make almost everything that consumer’s desire. We can’t have everything, but we are getting closer; and design is the force that pushes the boundaries.
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THE DIFFERENCE 255
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THE END Last words
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“Creative people should be sales people because design is a function of selling”. Duan Coetzee
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The book Beyond Design represents a contemporary overview of the design process. This overview is focused on the knowledge required today, from the new generation of designers, by the global competition.
This book has been the result of extensive research based on the trends in the design industry, and (mostly) all direct or indirect disciplines that are directly or indirectly connected with it. I wanted to give as much as possible, open view on how things function in the industry in general. This is book does not offer an art overview on the design. This book is about the other side of the design process â€“ the scientific side, which has been neglected by many designers in the past.
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Design is not only styling or re-packaging, and it has nothing to do with having good taste. Design in general has mostly been associated with the visual features of the products. Or like Dieter Rams once said, most think of design in terms of putting lipstick on a gorilla. Lets put aside the artistic skills of the designers. What other knowledge they must have? How can designers become more efficient, and produce maximum results, and when it comes to, generate maximum profits?
Designers are in constant interaction with other fields of expertise, even if you look at that at the most basic level. It’s not really clear where design starts and when does it end. Ultimately, that is based on the individual’s education or competence. The level of knowledge can expand endlessly, and you can trace all of it to other disciplines. Even when it comes to the choice of colours, or form, you can trace that to the basic art disciplines like sculpture, or drawing and painting. Designers are not inventing anything really; they are just good managing the knowledge that they have. This book can be useful to designers, both students and professionals, as well as to marketers, managers, businessmen, social scientists, and others interested in the development, planning, and problem-solving in today’s global marketplace.
Nothing neither starts, neither ends with design. So, what comes before and after? It is particularly that knowledge, which most of the designers lack. And only by gaining a greater understanding of all processes involved, we can move the design field from its executioner’s position, towards a creative corporate strategy. But the most important is to be understood that, design cannot be observed as an isolated entity. Design is an important part of today’s global culture. It’s a reflection of our being and our surroundings. The society creates the design – designers just shape it. It’s a designer job to read the signals from the society and to translate them into products, services, systems, and forms. I believe that only by having holistic knowledge, designers can achieve maximum results. With this book I have tried to collect some of that knowledge.
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PERSONAL Something about me
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“Imagine a world where all clients were wonderful, where we could produce whatever we felt like with no restrictions, with everybody having freedom to produce all their fantasies unfettered by tedious clients. What would we do? We would react against it, saying, ‘Isn’t that boring. How can we be dull? Let’s do it badly, let’s make it ugly, and let’s make it really cheaply.’ That’s the nature of the creative person. All creative people need something to rebel against, it’s what gives their lives excitement, and it’s creative people who make the clients’ lives exciting”. Paul Arden
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When it comes to design education, I believe that’s a life long process. After twelve years of design education, I still get to learn new things everyday. Another thing is that, I just couldn’t stay within the constraints of only one design field, so everytime I completed the studies in one department, I shifted to another one – preferably in a different country as well.
My name is Gjoko Muratovski. I was born in Skopje, Macedonia on 2nd September, 1979. I have started my design education in 1994 in my country, in the National School of Applied Arts in the department of Interior and Furniture Design. the department of Interior and Furniture Design. The system of study was identical to the system of the former Yugoslavia.
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After 4 years of learning the basics in arts and design, I have been accepted to join a special training program in Furniture Design and Manufacturing, organized by the Taiwanese Government; for which I have been awarded full scholarship. The idea of the program was to train a group of supervisors who will be controling the manufacturing processes in the furniture factories they wanted to open in East Europe. The training consisted of two sub-programs, based in Taiwan. There, I had the oportunity to be trained by the finest Taiwanese designers, trained in Japan, USA, and Germany. Later on, I had an internship in one American corporation, Restonic International, whose Asia and Pacific headquarters were based in Taipei.
After the training in Taiwan, I went to a private school in Italy, to complete my knowledge in Interior Design and to develop a personal design style, for which I had special tutoring. The school was a member of ADI – Italian Association of Industrial Design, and BEDA – Bureu of European Designers Association. There I have received an Advanced Level Certificate in Design. My project there, has been a mixture of contemporary interior, within classic architecture. After the studies in Italy, I have been invited to apply for BA studies in Industrial Design in the National Academy of Arts in Bulgaria. I knew that the system of design study in Bulgaria has not moved much from the former Soviet philosophy of design, and I was curious to learn something about it. Their design was mostly based on mass production and it was focused on one general and wide target group instead of individual and smaller target groups. That made it different from the Western approach in design, but not less interesting as a philosophy. After I passed the exams, I have been awarded a full scholarship and I spent the following 4 years mostly there. I have been a coordinator for few projects there, including the “Improvment of the life quality standards for handicaped persons” project, supported by the Bulgarian Parliament. In the meantime, I was working on an international project from the Culture 2000 programme of the EC, on the promotion of the traditional architecture in the Balkan’s region, mostly Greece, Turkey, Bulgaria and Macedonia.
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Later that year, I have been awarded another full scholarship from the International Summer Academy of Arts in Salzburg, Austria to participate in the class of one of the Top 10 Japanese Architects, Shuhei Endo. The course was called - Architecture; Fluid Design. That was very interesting experience for me, especially because of the unique approach towards the design process that Endo had. His way of work was based on concentration and meditation, with solid understanding of the nature and the environment. In Austria we worked on a conceptual contemporary building for promotional purposes, which should be located on the property of the Arenberg Castle in Salzburg. The project was sponsored by the American-Austrian Foundation. The concepts were published in a book called “Salztecture”, and presented in Osaka, New York, Sazlburg, and Vienna. After my graduation from the National Academy of Arts in Bulgaria, I have been accepted for the MDes programme from the Bergen National Academy of Arts in Norway, in the department of Visual Communications. As a part of my studies, I have been on an exchange with the MA Graphic Design department of the Camberwell College of Arts, London. During my stay in London, I did an internship in the SkyLab Media studio, who’s clients range from Vogue, Prada, Nike, and Paramount Pictures. My internship included postproduction and photography.
For now, I can say that I wanted to achieve as much as possible global design experience. One ranging from Western individual design approach, to Asian serial manufacturing and former Soviet mass production, to Scandinavian social design - inspired by the environment. By combining the international experience, I believe that I have developed my personal style, and achieved a global overview of the design proces. For the future, I plan to continue upgrading my knowledge as well.
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Chronological order of the Curriculum Vitae (till 2006) — Education Bergen National Academy of the Arts (2004—2006) Visual Communications Design (MDes) Bergen, Norway University of Arts, London (2005) Graphic Design (MA) Erasmus Exchange Programme London, UK
International Summer Academy of Fine Arts (2003) Architecture: Fluid Design (Certificate) Class of Shuhei Endo – Japan Salzburg, Austria National Academy of Arts (2000—2004) Industrial Design (BA) Sofia, Bulgaria
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I like to see them as different points of view. There isn’t a single design style or direction that I don’t like or don’t respect. I always try to find the National Academy of Arts (2003—2004) beauty in every style and try to understand the time and the circumstances Professional qualification for I.D. teacher (Certificate) under which they were made. After all design is also a way of expression. Sofia, Bulgaria In my opinion, designers should not be judged by their own taste, but by School ofof Design & Photography – Scoula Art.e (2000) the understanding the principles of how something was created. Design Interior & Furniture Design (Advanced Level Certificate) is not the same as styling and even less is good taste. The great American Florence, Italy architect, Frank Lloyd Approved by: Wright, once said: Good taste is basically a matter BEDA (Bureauunless of Eurpoean Designerson Association) of ignorance, seldom, by accident, good terms with knowledge of IDA (Italian Association for Industrial Design) the poetic principle. I make no Restonic attemptIntl. hereCorporation to create (2000) an encyclopedic enumeration of some Marketing, Sales and Management (In-house Training) kind; ratherUSA thisBranch bookOffice is designed, to present a survey of the main lines of in Taipei, Taiwan the design development, and influential factors that may and will determine TrainingThis Centre (2000) the future Central of theVocational design process. book represents a contemporary Furniture Design & Manufacturing (Certificate) overview, starting from design in general and going to design as a corporate Government Funded Training Programme strategy. This relates to the tendencies of the integrated design approaches Taipei, Taiwan in the industry today and the knowledge that lies behind. Employment Training Administration (1999)
Furniture Manufacturing (Certificate) Design as itself is Design not an& exclusive process. Nothing starts or ends with Funded Training Programme it, but is inGovernment the middle of everything. The process of work spans through Taichung, Taiwan several different disciplines, and each discipline can influence directly or indirectly the final School outcome. Even the details can influence the final National of Applied Artstiniest (1994—1998) & Furniture Design (Diploma) design – forInterior example, a flaw in the design brief or the marketing strategy. Skopje, Similarly like the Macedonia Butterfly Effect theory – A term that some meteorologists began using when trying to explain the unpredictability of the weather. The theory is that, if a butterfly chances to flap his wings in Beijing in March, — Experience then by August, hurricane patterns in the Atlantic would be completely Health & Wellness Exhibition Design (2006) different. The future of theExpo: design lies in the multidisciplinary teams and Clients: LPG Systems; Syneron ;City Spa ;Vital Beauty Centre in the exchange and understanding of the knowledge between them. If Skopje, Macedonia designers can manipulate with this sum of knowledge, design in the future FLOWinstitute (2006)of the things, but will become the main link will not just be in the middle Consulting in this newDesign system of work. Copenhagen, Denmark
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TU Fantoft (2005—2006) Corporate Identity & Logistics Bergen, Norway Ancient Observatory Kokino (2005—2007) Creative Director (World Cultural Heritage Site) Macedonia SkyLab Media (2005)
Photograpydesign, Internship When it comes to Postproduction books and about a huge divide exists London, UK between highly specialized scholarly texts, design articles, and Vital Beauty Spa (2004—2006) Design & coffee-table Marketing Consultant beautiful but expensive books. The later maybe do Skopje, Macedonia not have much to say, but are lovely to look at. I have always YOUTH EYE (2004—2005) wanted a book, which combines three. Technical Expert (Culture 2000;the EU Commission) Dumfries & Galloway, Scotland National Academy of Arts (2002—2003) International Project Coordinator Sofia, Bulgaria APARE France (2003) Project coordinator for “Culture 2000; EU Commission” Skopje, Macedonia Home For Handicapped Children and Youth (2003) Design and Architecture analysis of the location Bulgarian Parliament and The National Academy of Arts Lukovit, Bulgaria
International Institute For Traditional Architecture (2002) Art/Design Consultant for “Balkan Architecture” Project Veria, Greece Cristiana Salai Studio (2001—2002) Interior Design and Architecture (Colaboration) Joinville, Brazil
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I like to see them as different points of view. There isn’t a single design Restonicthat Intl.ICorporation (2000) style or direction don’t like or don’t respect. I always try to find the Customer Consultant ;Furniture Retal; Design beauty in every style and try to understand the time and the circumstances USA Branch Office in Taipei, Taiwan under which they were made. After all design is also a way of expression. National Architecture School In my opinion, designers should not (1999) be judged by their own taste, but by Interior Design Commissioned the understanding of the principlesProject of how something was created. Design Skopje, Macedonia is not the same as styling and even less is good taste. The great American architect, Frank Lloyd Wright, once said: Good taste is basically a matter Zines Metalworks Factory (1998—1999) Furniture; Interiors; (In-House) of ignorance, seldom, unlessExteriors by accident, on good terms with knowledge of Skopje, Macedonia the poetic principle. I make no attempt here to create an encyclopedic enumeration of some — Awards kind; rather this book is designed, to present a survey of the main lines of the design development, and influential “The Best of Exhibition Design” factors 2006 that may and will determine the future Health of the& Welness design Expo process. This book represents a contemporary Skopje, Macedonia overview, starting from design in general and going to design as a corporate strategy. This relates to Student the tendencies of the integrated design approaches International Scholarship (2006) in the industry today and –the knowledge that lies behind. Ministry of Culture Macedonia
International Student Scholarship (2005) Design as itself is not an exclusive process. Nothing starts or ends with of Culture – Macedonia The process of work spans through it, but is inMinistry the middle of everything. several different disciplines, and each discipline can influence directly or “The Best Use Of Technology Award” Shortlisted (2004) indirectly the final outcome. Even Sponsored by Volkswagen AGthe tiniest details can influence the final Motives Magazine – UK design – forInterior example, a flaw in the design brief or the marketing strategy. Similarly like the Butterfly Effect theory – A term that some meteorologists Graphic Design MA Exchange Programme (2005) began usingErasmus when Exchange trying toScholarship explain the unpredictability of the weather. The theory is that, if a butterfly chances University of Arts, London – UK to flap his wings in Beijing in March, Bergen National Academy of Artsin– Norway then by August, hurricane patterns the Atlantic would be completely different. The future of the design lies in the multidisciplinary teams and Visual Communication MA Programme (2004 - 2006) in the exchange and understanding of the knowledge between them. If Ministry of Education and Research Scholarship – Norway designers can manipulate with this sum of knowledge, design in the future International Studentof Scholarship (2004) will not just be in the middle the things, but will become the main link Culture – Macedonia in this newMinistry systemofof work.
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Architecture; Fluid Design Course (2003) Full Scholarship International Summer Academy of Fine Arts – Austria KulturKontakt –Austria American–Austrian Foundation Industrial Design BA Programme (2000—2004) Full Scholarship National Academy of Arts – Bulgaria Ministry of Education – Bulgaria
When it comes to Furniture books about design, a huge divide exists Design & Manufacturing Training (1999—2000) Full Scholarship scholarly texts, design articles, and between highly specialized Ministry of Foreign Affairs – Taiwan beautiful but expensive coffee-table books. The later maybe do not have much to say, but are lovely to look at. I have always — Exhibitions wanted a book, which combines the three. Substans (2006) Master’s of Design Exhibition; Promotion of the book “Beyond Design” Bergen National Academy of the Arts Bergen, Norway Project: Children’s Block (2004) Municipality of Bergen Bergen, Norway Academic Drawings Exhibition (2004) National Academy of Arts Sofia, Bulgaria Paris Design Awards (2004) Project Exhibition in LeCab Organized by Interior Motives Magazine, UK Paris, France
Salztecture, Book by Shuhei Endo (2003) Post-Futuristic Project: Presentation and comments Book published in: Vienna, Salzburg, Osaka, and New York
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I like to see them as different points of view. There isn’t a single design Salzetcture (2003) style or direction thatExhibition I don’t like or don’t respect. I always try to find the Project Exhibition beauty in every style and try to understand the time and the circumstances American–Austrian Foundation under which they were Salzburg, Austriamade. After all design is also a way of expression. In my opinion, designers should not be judged by their own taste, but by Balkan Perspective (2003) of how something was created. Design the understanding of the principles Photo Exhibition is not the same as styling and even less is good taste. The great American Sponsored by “DRIVE-THRU” Studios architect, Frank Chicago,Lloyd USA Wright, once said: Good taste is basically a matter of ignorance, seldom, unless by accident, on good terms with knowledge of Balkan Architecture, Exhibitions and Book (2003) the poetic principle. Drawings and Photographs the European no Organized attempt by here to createCommission an encyclopedic Macedonia, Bulgaria, Turkey, Greece and France
I make enumeration of some kind; rather this book is designed, to present a survey of the main lines of the design development, and influential Architecture and Lighting (2002)factors that may and will determine the future Product of theExhibition design process. This book represents a contemporary Organizedfrom by PHILIPS overview, starting designLighting in general and going to design as a corporate Sofia, Bulgaria strategy. This relates to the tendencies of the integrated design approaches in the industry and Exhibition the knowledge Youngtoday Designers (2001) that lies behind. Product Exhibition
Union of Artists Design as itself is Bulgarian not an exclusive process. Nothing starts or ends with Bulgaria of everything. The process of work spans through it, but is inSofia, the middle several different disciplines, and each discipline can influence directly or indirectly the final outcome. Even the tiniest details can influence the final design – for example, a flaw in the design brief or the marketing strategy. Similarly like the Butterfly Effect theory – A term that some meteorologists began using when trying to explain the unpredictability of the weather. The theory is that, if a butterfly chances to flap his wings in Beijing in March, then by August, hurricane patterns in the Atlantic would be completely different. The future of the design lies in the multidisciplinary teams and in the exchange and understanding of the knowledge between them. If designers can manipulate with this sum of knowledge, design in the future will not just be in the middle of the things, but will become the main link in this new system of work.
3/7/06 11:27:53 AM
When it comes to books about design, a huge divide exists between highly specialized scholarly texts, design articles, and beautiful but expensive coffee-table books. The later maybe do not have much to say, but are lovely to look at. I have always wanted a book, which combines the three.
3/7/06 11:27:53 AM