30 September, 2008 - Smart Design, one of the world's leading consumer product design firms, now offers Customer Experience Lifecycle workshops as part of the design service framework for translating customers’ emotional responses into commercially successful products. The workshops are the brainchild of Smart Design President, Tom Dair, and enable more inclusive discussions and evaluations of new ideas between a wider variety of business divisions - from marketing teams and engineers to upper management and board executives. The non-technical workshops aim to understand the different stages of consumer experience of new products or services over time from a customer rather than a competitor point of view.
Smart Design's Customer Experience Lifecycle workshops focus on the three essential stages a consumer has with a given product/service: awareness, decision-making and usage. The awareness stage is a pre-purchase 'read' that encapsulates an individual’s first reaction to a product/service and their initial emotional response - i.e. curiosity, intrigue, confidence, etc. The second stage is the decision-making that entails a closer inspection of the given product/service, with the final ‘read’ being a post-purchase usage experience. This is drilled down into two sections, a consumer’s first time use and an ongoing usage experience.
"Focusing on a consumer's experience over time encourages repeat customers and promotes brand loyalty," commented Tom Dair, Co-Founder and President of Smart Design. "Businesses can only compete on price and technology for so long before parity is reached. The next level centers on design. Companies are under immense pressure nowadays to come up with new ideas and developments for innovative designs to compete for market share. However, they don’t always realize the importance of a customer's emotional responses that greatly influence an individual’s decision to buy, use and keep a product."
Smart Design launched its Customer Experience Lifecycle workshop at Frost & Sullivan’s Fourth Annual Innovations in New Product Development and Marketing 2008 to executives from a variety of sectors, including the aircraft, consumer, telecoms and medical industries. All responded very positively to the new approach to product design. "Designers tend to think about products 'frozen in time' at the moment the design is finished. They tend not to think about people's interactions with a given product/service - and even less about the different types of interactions a consumer might have over time," continued Tom Dair. "Our evaluation tool forces designers and innovators, as well as anyone involved in the design process from any division within a company, to think about consumers' personal experiences with a product/service during the first, second and third stages."
Participants of Smart Design's first Customer Experience Lifecycle workshop were surprised by the experience and how their perceptions of a product/service changed as they spent more time with it. Feedback provided during the workshop highlighted how participants focused more on the amount of items sold, without realizing the potential a person’s positive experience with a product can have on a company’s bottom line: a significant increase in sales.
About Smart Design
Smart Design has been turning insight and innovation into successful consumer experiences for over 25 years. The company's approach integrates product development, interactive experiences, brand communication, and strategic insights to ensure winning design solutions. From its pioneering Universal Design collaboration with OXO International, developing its renowned line of kitchen tools, to its work with leading multi-national companies including HP, Microsoft, Lexar and Acer, developing user-friendly electronics and humanizing technology, Smart Design creates products that truly connect with the consumer. Smart Design has offices in New York, San Francisco and Barcelona. Please visit www.smartdesignworldwide.com for more information or contact:
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