Re: New Design leaders....

January 11th, 2011, 12:00 pm

dnsdesign
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i'd disagree that P&G has really come all that far. Given their resources, market share, and product development cycle--i'd characterize their behavior as change resistant. sure they employ design agencies to do that research (i used to work for one), and develop products around the insights gained, but then they shelf them...and continue to visually update what they've been doing for years. as a company they seem very risk averse, and not interested in pioneering--until it's an inevitability in the marketplace.

Re: New Design leaders....

January 11th, 2011, 7:25 pm

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The_Boogey_Man
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What about fashion brands?

Pringle.
Burberry
Mulberry

All were stuffy British brands rarely seen on the backs of anyone under the age of 60, now revitalised and very cool.
I'd be interested to know whether the transformation of the perception of those brands stems from a vision in the board room, or a reactionary shift of strategy due to the nature of fashion and the recycling of trends.

I've noticed Google taking a different approach to their usual engineer focus http://www.google.com/tv/
Maybe a little early, but will be interesting to see if a similar approach continues in future products.

Re: New Design leaders....

January 11th, 2011, 8:39 pm

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yo
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via fashion, both. When it comes to an old brand like Burberry, yes trend was go their way, but their were dozens of vintage brands that could have capitalized on it, it takes a visionary team to see the wave coming and prepare... kind of like surfing maybe.

Look at brands like Abercrombie and Fitch. Do you know what they were before their current reincarnation? It is all very intentional.

Re: New Design leaders....

January 11th, 2011, 8:45 pm

looselyspeaking
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The_Boogey_Man wrote:
I've noticed Google taking a different approach to their usual engineer focus http://www.google.com/tv/
Maybe a little early, but will be interesting to see if a similar approach continues in future products.
Google doesn't really 'do' hardware outside of their server farms. The quality of their design is always going to rise and fall with their partners (see HTC). And with different partners for different products, there isn't ever going to be a coherent google design identity either.

Re: New Design leaders....

January 12th, 2011, 5:52 am

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The_Boogey_Man
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Google doesn't really 'do' hardware outside of their server farms. The quality of their design is always going to rise and fall with their partners (see HTC). And with different partners for different products, there isn't ever going to be a coherent google design identity either.
I'm talking more about the design direction concerning their web apps. If you compare a lot of their latest products like Google TV vs. Google Buzz which was more engineer lead. Though you're right when it comes to hardware, where they usually play an OS role and it's out of their hands. I don't think Google are at the stage to be listed with those on the OP. Though one to watch.
Look at brands like Abercrombie and Fitch. Do you know what they were before their current reincarnation? It is all very intentional.
Can't help not think of Malcolm Gladwell's Tipping Point and the Hush Puppy case study. I still question whether the likes of Apple today and Braun of the 80's can be bunched with the fashion brands mentioned.

Considering that many of these revitalised fashion brands are driven by a surge of popularity not bought on or expected by the company, which are then successfully 'surfed' (which takes great talent and skill). It all seems rather reactionary and marketing led when compared with the design-led philosophies of Apple/Braun etc.

Like you say, there are fashion brands who drive their own surge of popularity from day 1, though there are also many which start as 'accidents', and it'd be interesting to see out of the fashion brands mentioned whether their success stems from a random trend, or a trend manufactured by the brand its self.

Re: New Design leaders....

January 12th, 2011, 8:00 am

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I'd disagree on Dell as well.. they have hired an army of designers, top talent, but appear to be still operating like the used too. I remember hearing about them deeply cutting members from their design teams when times get hard in 08, and find it hard to believe that's changed.

Would be interesting to hear about how P & G previously was not designled - It strikes me as a savey brand/design led company from it's inception too, not really changing. Google too.

I would like to add Addias as a company that changed and embraced design (and branding). From what I've read, they were started by athlete "Adi" Dassler who found success at first by producing high quality shoes with lots of feedback from athletes, but then they started falling out of favor when Nike and other footwear companies came on the market. By developing an integrated design-brand effort, embracing the styling heritage and new lifestyle side of sports shoes (RunDMC!), as well as building their credibility back up with grass roots sponsorships and endorsements, they came back as a strong design-led company.

Might add MoleSkin as a company that has risen from the ashes by design too.

Re: New Design leaders....

January 12th, 2011, 8:01 am

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Image
Peter Schreyer will be the next Design Director at Kia Motors.

this looks like a company design change in the works... He has worked at Audi for more than 25 years, and created the original Audi TT. link

Re: New Design leaders....

January 12th, 2011, 9:17 am

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Travisimo wrote:Image
Peter Schreyer will be the next Design Director at Kia Motors.

this looks like a company design change in the works... He has worked at Audi for more than 25 years, and created the original Audi TT. link
Hmm, I guess I'll start following this guy and following the Audi logo less.
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Re: New Design leaders....

January 12th, 2011, 12:46 pm

engio
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Cameron wrote:
Travisimo wrote:Image
Peter Schreyer will be the next Design Director at Kia Motors.

this looks like a company design change in the works... He has worked at Audi for more than 25 years, and created the original Audi TT. link
Hmm, I guess I'll start following this guy and following the Audi logo less.
Article published in 2006. Explains a few things actually..

Re: New Design leaders....

January 23rd, 2011, 10:03 pm

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sorry I am a bit late to reply here..

rkuchinsky wrote:
Got any more examples? I have yet to really see of be aware of any P&G packaging or CPG that stands out. If it were to new companies, I'd nominate Method, which I think has really changed the market. But P&G? I can't see it.

Kleenex does some special boxes, but AFAIK, they've done that for some time. I'd agree that they have made many strides in products like Swiffer (That's P&G I think), but can't really see them as a Design Leader in total. Maybe some growth in the market, perhaps, but as a new Braun, new direction as a LG, Samsung, Kia, I dunno...

R
Nothing in CPG stands out...OUCH that hurts. :D

I think the big question here is how do you define design leaders? Is it interesting esthetics? Is it creating the best solution for the consumer? What is it that you are considering a design leader?

I ask this because when looking at CPG brands like Method that are quite polarizing and look cool, but are they leaders? I don't really think so. They do not lead their category as well as their user base being very small. So my question is how are they leaders? They did change the way we look at soap, but leader, I don't really buy that.

I mentioned P&G because in my eyes they have become leaders in understanding their consumer and creating brands, products, and packaging best fit their consumer needs. Is this work sexy? No. But it does solve consumer problems and isn't that what ID is.

You have hit on a couple product being the Swiffer (a brand that has it's own aisle at Target) and Braun, but there are many more from the Bounce with their dryer bar, to the Cascade with their dish washer pods to creating a campaign to provide girls in third world countries with tampons so they wound not miss school and get their degree.

With Swiffer they saw a need not only for them to create a cleaning solution, but knew if they could sell you cleaning solution, a mop, and pad for that mop that you had to buy from them then they would increase not only profits, but create brand loyalty. It also added a connivence aspect and took the hassle away from a normal mop that needed to be cleaned, normally stored outside or in the garage.

This is much the same with the brand Fabrese. Before this brand was created we had air freshener but they found a way for us to believe that if you spray this product on fabric not only does it make the fabric smell better, but it makes the fabric clean. Wether it does this or not I have no idea, but the point is that they are creating an experience that changed the consumers feelings and emotions. They then saw the opportunity to then take this product to other occasions such as sport locker rooms with athletic clothes, as well as branch the brand off into other product categories such as air fresheners and candles. This is now a billion dollar brand.

My point is that P&G may not make you sexy flashy products, but they are studying peoples behaviors and emotions. They are designing experiences and I feel that is the most important part of ID, because with out it you have a pointless product. Not to mention that they have more Billion dollar brands than any other CPG company.

Here is a great article about how they started their design organization.

http://www.fastcompany.com/magazine/95/design-qa.html
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Re: New Design leaders....

January 23rd, 2011, 10:21 pm

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I would respectfully disagree with PackageID. We aren't talking about just overall 'leaders,' we're talking about design leaders. To me, that means companies that lead their category in terms of design and branding. It's not about market share. If we were talking overall leaders or revenue leaders, then I'd agree, but if we're talking design leaders, that means a company that uses design and aesthetics as a primary focus and pillar of their brand's success.

P&G knows marketing IMO, but I wouldn't call them a design leader. Hiring Continuum to come up with the awesome swiffer idea doesn't make P&G a design leader in my eyes, although I agree the swiffer is an amazing product design. We use one in my home, but without the refillable wipes (we substitute microfiber rags). I would also categorize FeBreze as a marketing/chemical technology success, not necessarily a design success.
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Re: New Design leaders....

January 24th, 2011, 2:44 am

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[pedantry] I'm pretty sure IDEO " designed" the Swiffer [/pedantry]


Users + Technology = functional design interaction design?
Technology + Biz = process/ manufacturing design?
Biz + Users = Brand design, Style, ID?

So where in the above does "Design" (as seen by Kuchinsky) fit ? Is it an elaboration of Brand, that embraces ID, and style? The automotive centrism here suggests you guys might be hung up on some kind of ID orthodoxy, mixed with ideas around individuals and corporate vision.

Re: New Design leaders....

January 24th, 2011, 2:59 am

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Done some recent work with Polaroid and I can say that they are very actively pursuing design and creativity as a cornerstone of their brand.
Polaroid: A great design legacy. Iconic company
Lady Gaga: Fcuking brilliant musican. Pop icon.
Ammunition: Very strong design company. One of the best.

Put them together it makes Polaroid look pathetic and selling out. Lady Gaga looks like any other celeb, trying to 'do' design & brand, and Ammunition are made to look like a bunch of cynical pimps. It's an unholy union putting none of them in a good light.

I think Edwin Land would be turning in his grave.

Re: New Design leaders....

January 24th, 2011, 8:00 am

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+1 for Fiskars. They do amazing work. Very consistent too.

HP definitely peaked in the late '90's early '00's, but I still think they are doing good work and trying to pave their own way.

Vulture: Polaroid is a great example of needing to not let your marketing show through. They might have the right attitude about design, but they are trying too hard.

Re: New Design leaders....

January 24th, 2011, 10:33 am

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Cameron wrote:I would respectfully disagree with PackageID. We aren't talking about just overall 'leaders,' we're talking about design leaders. To me, that means companies that lead their category in terms of design and branding. It's not about market share. If we were talking overall leaders or revenue leaders, then I'd agree, but if we're talking design leaders, that means a company that uses design and aesthetics as a primary focus and pillar of their brand's success.

P&G knows marketing IMO, but I wouldn't call them a design leader. Hiring Continuum to come up with the awesome swiffer idea doesn't make P&G a design leader in my eyes, although I agree the swiffer is an amazing product design. We use one in my home, but without the refillable wipes (we substitute microfiber rags). I would also categorize FeBreze as a marketing/chemical technology success, not necessarily a design success.

+1 exactly what I was trying to say.
I ask this because when looking at CPG brands like Method that are quite polarizing and look cool, but are they leaders? I don't really think so. They do not lead their category as well as their user base being very small. So my question is how are they leaders? They did change the way we look at soap, but leader, I don't really buy that.
Method is a design leader because they changed the way we look at soap. Same way Apple is a design leader because they changed the way we look at computers, phones, tablets....
Users + Technology = functional design interaction design?
Technology + Biz = process/ manufacturing design?
Biz + Users = Brand design, Style, ID?

So where in the above does "Design" (as seen by Kuchinsky) fit ? Is it an elaboration of Brand, that embraces ID, and style? The automotive centrism here suggests you guys might be hung up on some kind of ID orthodoxy, mixed with ideas around individuals and corporate vision.
We are talking about design. Yes, that includes brand, ID, style, interaction, business, technology, etc. Being a leader is about having that corporate vision and focus. It's not about market share, pure profits, or just doing a lot of random stuff and some of the stuff being good. Really, I don't think it's that hard to qualify if you look the examples in the OP and ask yourself if the new suggestions fit.

R
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