James Dyson launched an attack on the role of ‘the marketing men’ last week, claiming that they can get in the way of good design.
Speaking at UK Trade & Investment’s Design UK event in Tokyo, the recently departed chairman of the Design Museum (DW 30 September) cast aspersions on the role of marketers, who rely too much on customer opinion, in Dyson’s view.
‘It’s our job as designers to surprise [the customers],’ Dyson says. ‘Customers don’t know what they want.’
Dyson (pictured) revealed that his marketing department wanted to bin the transparent dust box on his vacuum cleaners, but he ignored the advice and stuck to his belief that people would feel satisfaction from seeing the fruits of their labour.
‘Marketing is a big problem,’ adds Dyson. ‘At Dyson, our engineers visit the stores and work as salesman [to try to understand customers better]. The problem is that the marketing department has another idea.’
‘You have to ignore what the marketing department says. I stop the marketing department from speaking to the engineers at Dyson. It is the only way you can let the engineers get on and design what they want to,’ he adds.