Design as a marketing tool for capital goods
At first glance, it really seems that it is more important to produce a mobile phone with a stylish design to create an emotional response in potential customers than to create a CNC milling machine with an appealing design. But if one defines industrial design as an innovation factor and marketing tool, then this question becomes obsolete. It may be that the machine will end up rather dirty in a factory hall or at a construction site, but the sale usually take place in a showroom or at the exhibition stand. And this is exactly where the investment in a professional industrial design pays off very quickly. This is especially true in such an important industry as mechanical and plant engineering, which forms the backbone of the German industry and is known worldwide for its functionality and innovation. Quality, precision, safety, ergonomics, reliability, ease of maintenance, clarity and longevity are always associated with capital goods “Made in Germany”.
And this is exactly the point where the task of industrial and product design is incorporate into these brand values. The overall aesthetic appearance should reflect the company-specific characteristic, and the innovative industrial design should suit the functionality of the product and be suitable for all participants. The design should not be regarded as just a styling instrument. The industrial and product design must be able to convey technical innovation, function, sustainability, efficiency and corporate philosophy and values to the outside world and promote sales as a marketing tool. The product also has to convince the customer and the user through its innovative design, functionality and an easy to use interface. The resounding market success of many companies, who have worked successfully with industrial designers, shows that significant sales increases are possible. Even the smallest of interventions, such as changes to the casing structure or the use of modern manufacturing processes, have the potential to significantly expand the market share, even for niche products.