True brand ideas the result of innovative products

Please forgive my delayed response to the article Try to not get the wires crossed (News Analysis, DW 9 January), but having read the totally one-sided argument, I want to vent myself.

The suggestion that product design is ever a conventional task is the result of the branding ‘issues’ that continually strip development budgets, relegating important areas like users to behind whether the corporate symbol is appropriate to the changing needs of consumers who know no better or care no less.

Do you see how this looks? You are ‘selling cleverness, skill and ability’. Oh please.

A consumer really couldn’t give a monkey’s farthing for whether the brand is this or that. They want the best they might afford and they want it to be useful.

Where is the use in budgetconsuming, short-run branding that consumers will forget within a season?

Can you remember a true brand idea that wasn’t the result of an innovative product design?

Be serious. This is the order of things. Once there is a tangible product, and I mean this in terms of an actual thing as opposed to the virtual concept of a notion of something passing in the wind, then its own inherent properties will define its position within the market.

Naturally, it’s easy to argue that the sequence of events that bring a product to market are not set in any order, but we have lost our way when the brand becomes more important than the item.

I am not against branding, but this verbal spew is the best way of conveying the opposing idea.

One without the other is fragile, the combination should be better. However, if I hear one more brander refer to product design in a secondary way then I promise that I will beat them over the head with my own copy of that ridiculous article.

Oh, and please stop calling it a product – that’s our word, go find your own.

Paul Magee

Product designer


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