Design Dharma & Design Karma
This is my second article under the series titled Design Dharam and Design Karam.In this article I am answering one of the questions which was left unanswered in my previous article.
Question: Does design work as an enabler or a differentiator?
Answer: Let us look at the meaning of enabler; an enabler means that which makes you ‘able’ to do things easier, faster and better. If I want to reach the terrace…a ladder is the enabler.
Let us look at the meaning of differentiator; when we have more than one product/service in the same category, then a need arises to have some differentiation in the product/service that helps the consumer select one product/service over the other.
You walk into any Croma or Vijay sales electronic retail shop where 20 to 30 TV sets are displayed; all of them are plasma flat mountable TV sets; all possible brands are displayed there from Sony to T-series. How does a consumer select one product over the other? There could be various factors like the price of the product, brand, picture quality, EMI facility,warranty promise, guaranty, home service etc. etc… that could motivate one to buy one brand over the other.
Let us imagine, before a consumer takes a final decision he/she has shortlisted two plasma TV set brands; both of which are almost identical (prize, size, quality of picture, warrant, etc) except one thing which is the look, one looks much sleeker and aesthetically better looking than the other. Now tell me which one he/she will finally select? Of course the sleek & better-looking TVset!!!
Many times we choose products/services, which are high on aesthetics, even though they were costlier than their competitors. Somehow aesthetics mesmerizes the logical part of your mind and pushes you to buy; I call this type of buying habit a “Aesthetic consumption”. Most of us are victims of aesthetic consumption; to justify our habit (which is not justifiable logically) we invent logical reasons to prove that we have bought the right product/service.
Again you Imagine you are standing in front of two plasma TV sets that are almost same in all the promises that they are delivering, now you have to select one over the other, how do you do that? Don’t worry; you will never face that kind of situation, a designer will already have taken care of creating some differences between the product/service from the other product/service.
For instance even though coffee beans are the same, the preparation method is the same, experientially you do have a different experience having coffee at barista and café coffee day.
Think what would be the cause of these two different experiences? Why are they different from one another?
Yes, the differences that you experience between product/service to another product/service is the role of the design thinking, building a strong differentiator that will help us to build a strong brand which can survive and flourish in the ever so crowded market..
It’s not the enabler verses the differentiator; it’s the combination of both. Design thinking encompasses both aspects, a chair made out of bamboo sticks is a good example of design thinking, if there were no design thinking, bamboo sticks would just serve the purpose of being bamboo sticks, isn't it??? YES!!!
Contemplated by Dharam, Edited by Kimberly
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