Market research is an important and crucial part to many business initiatives. For many, it’s not only a way to test a proposed solution for something new, but a way to get insights into what makes you tick. Some strategies my be more affective or efficient than another (focus groups vs. one-on-one interviews, ethnography vs. consumer data), but our projects start before we get this information.
We start by listening.
We listen and engage in deep dialogue to try and get the clearest sense of the vision of the company. We try to get to the core of what we represent. It typically requires digging beyond the typical mission statement and often requires speaking to the owner or CEO of the company, because they have the clearest vision for not only who the company is, but where it’s going. It’s from this conversation that we can start the design process.
Communicating the core of the company is an essential part of every single initiative.
After understanding the objectives of the specific project and the core vision of the company, ideas begin to manifest that we have to react to. Reacting intuitively and viscerally to conversations have consistently resulted in solutions that connect with customers in an emotional level. When you react to your intuition, you allow the audience to use theirs as well and bring them in. That’s something that data just can’t do.
Once we’ve reached a point where we feel represents those core values of the company, we then will bring in the market research to compare against our current solution. From the insights of understanding the customer better, we can see if what we’ve already done is in line with the customers’ views. If we need to, we’ll adjust what we’ve developed in order to both communicate the core message, but also connect with the consumer insights. Therefore, we can get the best of both worlds.
This is a great example of how design can affect your perception of a product. This Little Printer provides a personalize mini newspaper printed on a roll, but delivers it with a smile.
The other day, Paul Stonier shared with us the video below and it sparked a great conversation. We all fell in love with the little face and how it transforms the object from a utility to into your little assistant. Just imagine the product without that face. The body of the rest of the product is incredibly pragmatic. There is some nice simplicity to it, but the interaction would be very cold.
This product also speaks to why it’s important to involve design and branding into the stage of product development. In most cases, a company would come to a design firm with the product already developed and have the firm brand the product as is. Therefore, including something like this smile may have been too late.
There is also something interesting to recognize here; while with everything accessible on our phones and computers, there is less and less of an interaction with paper. There is something very intimate about paper that screens simply have not been able to replicate. The size of the roll helps with this too. The size of the prints are just the right size; not too big to feel like you are at work with a letter size sheet of paper that you are wasting most of the paper with, yet not too small that you struggle with it.
How would you use the Little Printer?