“During studying design many students develop an undefined barrier to marketing”, said a former colleague once. Instead of using the marketing & sales capabilities to promote their design, as they do with engineering to add technology, they want to keep the (mostly) unknown methods of marketing out of their design process. These might harm creativity by referring to customers briefings, market expectation, legal restrictions or other irritating sources. I know for sure, a indepth talk with marketing can be irritating.

Service design and digitization present new challenges to all disciplines and offer new opportunities – in cooperation and in the result. Marketing principles that have been valid for decades are being rethought – in terms of the user. For example, the four classic instruments of the marketing mix are the so-called “four P’s”; Product, Price, Place, Promotion were proposed around 1960 by Jerome McCarthy and have since been used worldwide to translate marketing strategies into action.

David Carter reframed and refreshed this grid 2017:

• EXPERIENCE substitutes PRODUCT: The product is no longer the focus, but the extensive and individual experience. And this does not end with the purchase, but continues as a consumer experience through ever-new interactions with the brand – in the form of products and services.

• EVERYPLACE substitutes PLACE: Multi-optional customers expect to be able to find and buy anytime, anywhere. It is therefore essential to be present in all channels relevant to the customer with coordinated measures.

• EXCHANGE substitutes PRICE: Today’s customers expect more than just a functioning product. They want to understand the value. They need a transparent story and a direct communication. If you can convince them, the value is justified and customers accept the required price.

• EVANGELISM substitutes PROMOTION: The best advertisers are satisfied customers. They are authentic and embedded in the target group, exchange their experiences with a product in their environment and on all relevant channels. Every customer has the potential to become a key influencer of a brand.

In order to meet changing customer expectations, an interdisciplinary team is needed in which each discipline uses its methods to develop the best possible design.

This are some of the key points I presented in my talk at the VDID Newcomers’ Award 2019 in Cologne. Always with the focus on user needs, the VDID Industrial Design Day 2019 on 24th May at the interzum in Cologne addressed the current driving factors in industrial design: the transformation of traditional industries, the development of new brands and the change of user expectation and experience in digital times. The range spanned the modern handicraft factory with innovative product ideas for traditional materials, new design interpretations for market and brand strategies, digitization in the name of benefits, right through to sustainable architectural and future visions.

Find all honored projects here: https://www.vdid.de/newcomer/award.php

Congratulations to all awardees! And I hope you find the interdisciplinary collaboration of design, marketing and engineering as fruitful as we do.

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