Radical Product Design

Design-driven innovations are often associated with high risks, but allow in case of success a real competitive edge. Design and appearance of a product create emotions and are therefore harder to measure than technical or cost advantages. Radical designers do not follow existing trends, but create ones, such as Apple once with colored translucent computer cases. The acceptance of such new product designs by customers is difficult to be foreseen. “The market does not always know what he wants,” said Apple CEO Steve Jobs once. Real innovations are therefore proposed to customers rather than that they are reactions to existing requirements. According to a study by Harvard Business School and the School of Politécnica di Design in Milan companies follow typically three possible approaches to design innovation: “launch and observe”, “observe and launch” or “wait and react”. Successful innovators are found more in the category of “observe and launch“. Design innovators following this principle understand their customers and develop their ideas accordingly better than only reacting companies do. Pure reacting companies have a much larger number of variants in their product portfolio, as those who test products on the market first. Design innovators show a more balanced portfolio of products with associated logistical advantages

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