On Wed, 01 May 2013 03:26:22 GMT, benj <firstname.lastname@example.org> 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.