The Importance of Design in Product Development: Innovative Meaning and Value Creation


Hatched by Glasp

Sep 21, 2023

4 min read


The Importance of Design in Product Development: Innovative Meaning and Value Creation

In the world of product development, design plays a crucial role in creating meaningful and valuable products. This article explores the connection between design and the innovative meaning and value of products. We will also discuss how incorporating design into product development can expand the customer base and drive success.

When analyzing the correlation between data and consumer spending, Tohoku University discovered that while Japanese consumers prioritize convenience, it is the lower-income population that tends to favor convenient products. Interestingly, individuals with an annual income of over 13 million yen showed a strong inclination towards nature-oriented products. They invest in a lifestyle that provides natural healing and a sense of comfort.

The most intriguing finding lies within the middle-income group. Tohoku University summarized their behavior as "cultivation." It was revealed that these consumers prefer products that can be customized and nurtured to fit their own needs. This sheds light on the importance of creating products that allow users to shape and personalize their experiences.

To achieve success in product development, it is essential to adopt the concept of Creating Shared Value (CSV). This approach entails creating products that not only benefit the business but also contribute to the greater good of society. Incorporating public value into the design process can broaden the customer base and lead to greater success.

Now, let's shift our focus to the role of product managers (PMs) in the development process. It is important to note that PMs are not the CEOs of the product. While CEOs have additional responsibilities such as hiring and defining the organizational structure, PMs do not manage other people. Instead, they influence stakeholders through data-driven reasoning.

The primary objective of a PM is to drive outcomes. This involves consistently delivering impact for both users and the business. Impact can manifest in various ways, including driving revenue, uncovering user insights, and reducing costs. To achieve these outcomes, PMs leverage four key skills.

Firstly, product strategy is crucial. PMs must be able to paint a clear picture of what success looks like and identify a series of coordinated actions to achieve this defined success. By developing a strategic vision, PMs can guide the team towards meaningful outcomes.

Secondly, product execution is essential. PMs must articulate the problem statement and gather key requirements to deliver products effectively. This involves understanding and addressing user needs and translating them into tangible solutions.

Next, insights-driven decision-making is vital. PMs must leverage customer, competitive, and data insights to guide their decision-making processes. By staying informed and data-driven, PMs can make informed choices that resonate with the target audience.

Lastly, team leadership is a critical skill for PMs. Effective communication and collaboration are essential to inspire and motivate the team and stakeholders. By fostering a collaborative environment, PMs can drive the team towards achieving their goals.

In conclusion, the importance of design in product development cannot be overstated. By incorporating design thinking into the process, products can acquire innovative meaning and value, attracting a wider range of customers. Furthermore, PMs play a crucial role in driving outcomes and delivering impact for users and the business. To succeed in this role, PMs must possess skills in product strategy, execution, insights-driven decision-making, and team leadership.

Actionable Advice:

  • 1. Embrace uniqueness: When envisioning a new business, focus on creating something truly unique rather than relying on past successes or failures. Think outside the box to stand out from the competition.
  • 2. Build a unique value chain: Traditional networks may not be sufficient to realize your business idea. Invest in building a new and unique value chain that aligns with your vision and objectives.
  • 3. Incorporate public value: Consider how your product can contribute to the greater good of society. By incorporating public value into your design process, you can not only attract a broader customer base but also create a positive impact on the world.

By following these actionable advice, you can enhance your product development process and create meaningful and valuable products that resonate with your target audience.

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