Interface between design and marketing

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Designers don’t just put cosmetics on the skin of a product!” During my interview with a graduate student at Ontario College of Art and Design in 2009, he argued that designers play a key role in developing a new product….

… The primary reason that marketing researchers often limit the role of designers is that they pay far too much attention to the “outcome” of designers’ activities. Many designers who research users, develop and evaluate concepts, and work with business strategists find it difficult to communicate with marketers, since marketers shed little light on the “process” of designers’ activities. …

 

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In actual practice, designers often set the marketing input aside and start a project by looking at advertisements and websites for their client’s and their competitors’ products. They collect images and stories concerning the uniqueness of each product and make fleeting trips to the products’ point of purchase, taking pictures and playing with the products. If the budget allows, they purchase a sample of products for later disassembly and destruction in the studio. Ideas for new features often stem from the designer’s personal experience — including his cultural and social background — and their project research into nature, art, fashion, architecture, entertainment, and other products. …

… At the end of the day, marketing is often presented with three to five realistic finished rendered concepts from which they have to select one for detailing. Often flash will out compete content, since no objective metrics have been presented, so it is little wonder that design is still seen as art rather than as being business driven.

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