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The B2B Marketing Director’s Definitive Guide

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  • Strategy:

    Industrial Design

    Industrial Design Matters In B2B Marketing—
    Visual Image Drives Customers And Your Top-Line

    Best Used For…

    Creating a sense of high value for your product. And yes, even if your product is destined for an industrial NEMA-rack in the back of your customer’s manufacturing plant, your industrial design can fetch more sales because of the image you’ve created.

    Strategy

    A product’s performance may be paramount in the purchasing decision, but outward appearances play an increasingly important role. Sales rise exponentially when your product has a well-conceived look. In other words, it pays to decorate the cake.

    Assignments

    Marketing and Industrial Design Team:

    Start with your brand. Product design will be based on marketplace objectives and how the product is positioned, i.e., low cost, unique, high performance. Learn first-hand what’s important to your customer. Ideally, get to a point where you can watch how people interact and behave when using your product.

    The Industrial Designers will work in tandem with manufacturing and customer service to ensure that the design can be built on-budget and won’t be a nightmare for your post-sales support team.

    Sales Team:

    Will work with a select group of customers to gauge their reaction to your new designs. It’s a mini-focus group that will deliver big mileage in good will. Your customers have a vested interest in your continued success, so clue them in on where you’re going and get their candid feedback. From a pricing standpoint, channel and budget considerations may also be factors in the industrial design process.

    Coaching Points
    • Have a clear idea of your competition’s products before meeting with an industrial design firm.
    • Start the initial design phase six months prior to your product launch date.
    • Industrial design can cut manufacturing costs by eliminating parts or reducing assembly time. It also can be used to problem-solve high maintenance costs.
    • Tight budget? Bypass customizations and explore existing “shell” modifications.
    • In many cases, it has become the trump card in competition, but in all cases, packaging should mirror the value of what’s inside.
    Costs
    • Industrial design usually runs between $50,000 and $200,000 depending upon the level of customization and a product’s complexity.
    My Advice, Resources & Vendor Rolodex®

    Ignite USA
    954 W Washington Blvd MC9
    Chicago, IL 60607
    (312) 432-6223
    www.igniteusa.com

    igniteusa_outlink.jpg

    Sami Elsaden runs Ignite USA, one of America’s top industrial design firms. If you’re familiar with the houseware departments of Target, Starbucks, Costco or BB&B, you’ve seen their work. They operate as a complete turnkey supplier, from design through manufacturing. He has a cool office next door to Oprah’s Harpo Studio in Chicago!

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