Customer-centric product design has a number of advantages. By developing products to please customers, brands can build loyalty and brand advocacy, decrease long-term marketing expenditure, and successfully differentiate products from those offered by competitors. How can a brand design with the customer in mind? Be sure to take the following into consideration.

Do “deep” market research

When it comes to market research
The more in-depth research, the better. The idea is to go “deep” to understand how customers behave in their own environments, and to understand what they do, not what they say they do. For example, when Sirius was developing a satellite radio, they conducted deep research to understand satellite-radio listeners. They studied how these listeners accessorized their cars, as well as how they used satellite radio on road trips and how they used them when commuting. Although they talked with consumers extensively about music and radio, the researchers never actually mentioned that they were designing a radio. The idea was to get a full picture of consumer behavior to design the best consumer focused product.

Base decisions on “informed intuition”

Many great products started out as a single flash of creative brilliance—an intuition of what consumers want and why. That spontaneous, creative, and intuitive part of the design process is incredibly important, but intuition alone isn’t enough. You need to balance intuition with reliable information about consumers, or what product experts call “informed intuition.” Product design expert Steve McCallion explains, “Informed intuition is a systematic way of filling up your decision-making process with a deep understanding of whom you’re designing for, so you make smart decisions as opposed to guesses.”

It’s not about understanding the average user; it’s about understanding the influencer

Many companies adopt a product-centric design approach around the average consumer. The importance of extensive market research, or truly understanding how your average consumer acts and what he or she wants simply cannot be understated. However, there is more to the story. The most successful brands design with consumer influencers in mind, or the people who drive the market. This means targeting design efforts to key, influential players in your field. These influencers will typically have influence over potential buyers. If they like your product, it will bolster the reputation of your product and your brand. Remember, if you stop at understanding the average user, you will probably just get an average result.

Take customer feedback seriously

Designing with the customer in mind goes well beyond the initial development phase. Once a product has been launched, it is crucial to take customer feedback seriously and implement feedback into subsequent product updates and redesigns. Remember that product updates and redesigns are an incredibly effective way to breathe fresh life into an old product. When changes to already-existing products reflect the changes consumers want, your brand is bound to improve brand loyalty and advocacy.

Pivot International is a product design, development, and manufacturing firm with extensive experience in the medtech industry. If you are interested in engineering a new product or updating an existing product, contact us at 1-877-206-5001 or request your free consultation today.