Liverpool Daily Post – 17th September 2010
“OVER the past 2 years many businesses have noticed a fall in revenue due to the global recession.
Manufacturing has been particularly hard hit as consumers become more selective about what they are prepared to purchase. In such times people really ask questions of the products they buy, looking for value and quality.
It is interesting to note that design led companies, Apple Computers for instance, are reporting very healthy financial results in the midst of a global recession. The bottom line is that people still want and will buy very good products that give them the feel good factor. Apple’s investment in product development is now paying dividends.
Whilst we know everyone has different financial situations, our clients at 4D Products tend to broadly fall into two camps.
Firstly one of conserving any capital they may have and playing it safe. They would see design as an easy target when trimming expenditure during recession.
Secondly one of realisation that they need to work harder to maintain or grow their market share. This client takes a more proactive approach and aims to drive their own destiny instead of hoping things will improve at some undefined point in the future.
The real purpose of design as part of product development isn’t just to make something look good after everything else has been resolved. Good design is about challenging the way things are done, about understanding the end user and what will motivate them to choose one product above another.
That second group of clients looks to add new features, reduce costs, and refresh the way a product looks or is used. The end result is increased market share – a new product is a new opportunity to shout about your brand and to re-connect with your customers in a different way.
A rise in the amount of private inventors contacting 4D Products with their own product ideas shows how the general public is becoming more interested in product development as a route to financial success. Television shows such as Dragons Den and American Inventor have contributed to this phenomenon, and it is really interesting to see the wide variety of people and businesses who come to us for help.
Iain McCall is a director at product development consultancy 4D Products at Daresbury Innovation Centre. (www.4dproducts.co.uk)”