A company needs to have a product that people want to buy to profit. That’s where product design comes in – developing a product that meets customer needs and wants through a rigorous testing methodology.
Product design is crucial to the success of your business. It allows you to create innovative and competitive products that competitor brands envy and customers love.
Good product design can be the difference between a successful business and one that flops. This happens not because the idea is poor or unprofitable but because its product design is mediocre.
In this article, we’ll take a look at what product design is and why it’s so important for your business and marketing strategy. This includes ways to power up your product design process through data and experimentation.
What is product design?
Product design is the business process of creating products that provide the most value possible in solving a user’s problem or addressing a specific need in the industry.
According to the 10 principles of good design by Dieter Rams, product design should be innovative, useful, aesthetically pleasing, unobtrusive, understandable, honest, long-lasting, thorough down to the last detail, environmentally friendly, and involves as little design as possible.
The key point to remember is that product design is about problem-solving. Before you create a product design, you must understand the needs of your customer base and use this information to create a solution for your product.
In marketing, product designers identify the customers’ demands, define what problems need to be solved, and develop suitable solutions for said problems.
Why is product design important in business and marketing?
There are thousands of brands worldwide, yet most customers can only name a few.
Why? Because only a few have good product designs.
There is a reason why the design process is lengthy and goes through many rounds of A/B testing before launch. Your product design determines the success or failure of your product and will also influence your company’s reputation.
Essentially, your product design should be attractive to your customers and influence them to purchase your product. These are some other reasons to emphasize the importance of a good product design:
1. A good product design sells itself
Word-of-mouth referrals from satisfied customers are one of the most effective forms of advertising for boosting brand recognition and loyalty as well as driving up sales. It is easy to sell a product your customers believe in. You won’t have to pay for this exposure because your customers will do this for you.
According to a HubSpot study, consumers discuss brands 90 times per week. The study also found that around 71% of people on social media trust online reviews.
This means that if your product design is great and your customers are pleased with it, you’re likely to spend less on advertising but still gain new customers. So, get your customers talking by creating a product design that is impossible to dismiss.
2. Differentiate yourself from competitors
What makes Apple so different from other android brands is its product design. When Steve Jobs introduced the first iPhone in 2007, it revolutionized the smartphone industry. Apple was also the first company to introduce Touch ID and their MacBooks changed how laptops look, perform, and feel.
Your product design should be easily distinguishable by your target market but also functional. Having an easily recognizable product design breeds familiarity within your customer base and creates a strong brand identity.
3. Capture and earn attention easily
The world today is dominated by social media. Customers are bombarded with hundreds of advertisements and sponsorships daily. How can you stand out in an oversaturated market? You have to capture your audience’s attention immediately. Your ability to capture your customers’ attention through your product design is vital in guaranteeing long-term success.
4. Build credibility and loyalty among your customers
Brand loyalty is hard to achieve in today’s digital age. There are thousands of alternatives to products and services hence consumers are spoiled for choice. So how do you retain your customer base? You can do this through exceptional product designs.
A good track record of creative and effective brand designs will help you build credibility and brand loyalty.
5. Earn more referrals and brand advocates
Influencer or social media marketing has evolved and changed the landscape of marketing strategies. Social media influencers and celebrities want to associate themselves with aesthetically pleasing and useful brands.
Great product design can drive brand advocacy. This will improve your brand image, increase brand awareness and drive more traffic to your website.
6. Generate conversions
Businesses fail within a few months because of a lack of new customers. Failure to launch can be attributed to a few factors, one being the lack of an appealing product design.
Your product design must do more than capture the attention of viewers. Understand your potential customers’ motivation and use this as a platform to create an effective product.
Integrating data and experimentation into the product design process
Finding out what your customers want is important. You can use this as a starting point in designing competitive products and services. You can discover customer preferences and user research through research, data, and experimentation.
Here are ways to improve your product designs through data and experimentation:
1. Product vision and strategy
Your product vision asks the most important questions: the what and why. What is the essence of your product or service, and why do you want to create it? Your reason should be to make a well-designed product that will change your customers’ lives. Your product vision should convey your purpose but also align with your brand identity, Answering the what and why gives you direction and keeps you motivated throughout the journey.
On the other hand, your product strategy is how you realize your vision using a specific approach. Your product strategy should address who you’re trying to reach, the problems you’re addressing, how you plan on addressing the problem, and how to monetize your product. Through research, you can accurately create a value proposition and build a business plan once you’ve answered these questions.
2. Research and analysis
Absolute certainty of success is impossible to predict, but you can improve your chances through accurate product research. By conducting extensive product research before the release of your product, you can gauge and understand the likelihood of success.
Product analysis comes in once you’ve done your research. Through product analysis, you will thoroughly examine your product in terms of components, functions, cost, demand, and innovations to integrate.
You can determine whether the product is cost-effective and meets customer expectations through product analysis.
3. Idea generation
The business dictionary defines idea generation as the process of creating, developing, and communicating abstract, concrete, or visual ideas. Without ideas, there is no innovation. Ideas are the building blocks of any business or product. Your product ideas will be formulated based on the consumer’s needs and the strategy you’ve identified during your product research and strategy.
4. You can do idea generation using SWOT analysis
You can generate hundreds of potential product ideas by studying market trends (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats). You could brainstorm with your friends or engage your R&D department. Or you can communicate with distributors, suppliers, and customers or analyze what your competition is doing.
5. Design execution and prototype
This is when your ideas come to life. This is the execution and experimental phase of your product development. Using the data and information you’ve amassed from product vision, strategy, research, analysis, and idea generation, your design team should clearly know what you want to build.
But prototyping is significant if you hope to deliver a good UX design for your customers.
A prototype is the experimental model of your product design. With it, you have an early sample/model of your product that you can test before building the final product. A prototype also ensures that your product is efficient and all the parts work together in the way they should.
6. Testing and validation
Testing and validation make sure that your product works as intended. The last thing you want is to launch a product that isn’t ready for consumer purchase or consumption. You can do testing and validation through Poll the People product testing.
This marketing strategy allows you to compare versions of your product design to see which version performs better or validate a single design with your target audience. Head-to-Head testing and validation allow you to see how users interact with your product and their first impression of the design.
With Poll the People, you will receive the highest-quality feedback from a user panel of over 500,000 users. With expert-built templates, robust audience segmentation and selection, and an easy-to-use results dashboard, you can quickly and easily get feedback on your products without wasting your budget.
7. Product launch and post-launch activities
Once you’ve tested your product and everything works as it should, you can now launch your product. Launching your product is one of the most important steps. You need a production and marketing team in place to help you create hype and garner interest.
But the product design process isn’t over because you have successfully launched your product. Just like Apple releases software updates, you will need to monitor your product and its performance on the market should you need to make changes. Through customer feedback like reviews and marketing metric analysis, you will be able to understand more about your product and the improvements that need to be made.
Product design is more about people and less about technology. It should solve an immediate problem or plug a gap in the market if you want it to be successful.
It is not enough to create something beautiful. You should create something that your customers need and want to buy. Make sure to do in-depth customer and market research to uncover pain points your product can alleviate.
Remember that every bespoke product design process is anchored on well-established data, proven frameworks, and innovative thinking that put customer experience at the center. Never neglect the power of research and experimentation in product design.
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