About an year ago, I met two artists who opened StudioBlank and carved wood like a bowling pin. They produced a single product: wood massager called Tapi. We discussed how to increase sales and I suggested them to vary its size in order to target different segments. For example, sales representatives might be interested in small-sized Tapi because they want to give something special to their clients.
Recently, I visited StudioBlank’s newly opened shop and found that the two artists did not simply change the size of their product but developed the product line. Now, they make and sell from typical massagers to aroma diffusers, wooden pillows, and special (acupressure) massagers.
Marketers wonder how to develop/extend the product line without sacrificing the consistency among the products. They tend to focus on visual cues such as brands, logos, or colors. However, product designers can use material, the essence of the product, as a vehicle to develop a successful product line.