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Topic: the situation is worse than you thought
Replies: 10   Last Post: May 4, 2013 11:58 AM

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Jeff Liebermann

Posts: 13
Registered: 9/13/07
Re: the situation is worse than you thought
Posted: May 1, 2013 2:09 AM
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On Wed, 01 May 2013 03:26:22 GMT, benj <> wrote:

>Model 8000 just didn't do it.
>Then he had a STROKE OF GENIUS! Change it to the model 10,000!

Been there, but not by management. The company I worked for was top
heavy with engineers. We produced fairly well engineered but really
ugly radios. Something had to be done. Management hired an
industrial designer, who cleaned up the appearance of the radio by
converting the ugly sheet metal look, to molded plastic and aluminum
castings. However, when it hit the dealers shelves, there was a
problem. Customers that didn't have a clue on how to evaluate the
relative merits of the assorted SSB radio offerings tended to buy the
heaviest radio. So, I was told to add "as much weight as possible" to
the radio. Like any good engineer, I followed the instructions to the
letter and added about 33lbs (15kg) of lead weights to the radio,
converting it from a fly weight, to a boat anchor. Anything worth
doing, is also worth overdoing. Marketing wisely scaled back the
added weight to about 7lb (3kg) and switched from lead to steel plate.
They sent one of the sales people on tour of the local dealers to
retrofit their radios in stock. Sales immediately improved. For my
efforts, I was awarded a similar trip to the east coast, which I used
to interview with a potential client (and competitor). It never
ceases to amaze me why I wasn't fired.

There are plenty of other "tricks" in product design that have a huge
effect on merchandising. The obvious ones are color, weight, size,
and texture. The non-obvious ones are wrapped in the mysteries of
subliminals, motivational research, style, and fashion. All are the
stock and trade of the industrial designer. For example, rounded
corners appeal to women, while squared corners appeal to men.

Drivel: Selecting the model number of a radio was a lengthy process
worthy of keeping marketing out of my hair for weeks. When no
consensus was reached, someone made the capital mistake of asking me
for a suggestion. Since the other radios were called COM 150, COM
500, COM 1500, COM 2500, etc, I proposed COM1c. This was duly
presented to the growing membership of the model number selection
committee. Some members actually liked my idea, until someone noticed
that it spelled COMIC. Again, it never ceases to amaze me why I
wasn't fired.

Jeff Liebermann
150 Felker St #D
Santa Cruz CA 95060
Skype: JeffLiebermann AE6KS 831-336-2558

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