Brands do not happen overnight: Anuj Prasad Founder & CEO, Desmania
Brands have personas and their own set of values. They have to be built. Previously, brands were built by advertising, now, brands are built by design. For today’s consumer experiencing the brand is foremost says, Anuj Prasad, Founder & CEO, Desmania
Desmania the Industrial Design Studio has a 25 year legacy of designing for the corporate, MSMEs and the global companies. According to Anuj Prasad, brands are perceived through the look and feel of the product and the experience derived from it. He gives an example, “Apple was always quoted as an example for design + experience. But now we see brands like Xiomi leading the bandwagon. No one would have ever imagined the strides that Xiomi took in India and China. It has beaten the competition hollow. It killed the mass market brands like Micromax and Intex, while creating a big dent in Samsung’s and Apple’s market share. The sole reason has been the design (product) offering, the value given by the combined effect of aesthetics, experience and the cost has put it on a pedestal, where biggies like Samsung are left clueless.”
How important is integrating technologies for sustainable product experience?
Technologies are an outcome of intense research and experimentation. But making technologies humane is the job of the designers. User centric design is the core of design thinking. Quick prototyping and testing with the consumers, helps in refinement of the design and achieving the last mile. This can be sustained by constant up gradation and keeping a pace with the new technological developments. For designers innovation is not introduction of technologies, but its meaningful integration in the products. To tackle the ‘Last Mile’ in design, perseverance is the key to success. There is a lot of excitement during the creative phase of design, which tends to wane off as the project advances into the technical phase. And then there is pressure from the client on the timelines, which makes designers lose their patience. Both the client and designers need to lay a lot of emphasis on the last mile. It is recommended to ratify the final design through a critique-in from a fresh team. This will help in bridging the gaps. Also read http://realtyplusmag.com/in-pursuit-of-excellence-surendra-hiranandani-contends-real-estate-business-today-has-become-capital-intensive-and-even-more-challenging/
What will it take to make India hub for product design & innovation?
India is a design country, evident from its intricate and highly evolved textiles, crafts and utility products. India is also inherently closer to the nature, where consumerism is still far behind the developed nations. Our belief in eco-friendly means of co-existence is supported by many examples.
We need to identify our strengths in design. We are strong in IT, engineering and the legacy of crafts. We are very swift in adopting new technologies and our learning curve is pretty flat. If we combine all these and give a creative twist to our thinking, we will be able to make a huge impact on the world economy. India is the leading emerging market and a template that works in India can be very well adapted to over 60% of world population, by slight tweaking.
Government needs to recognise that small investment in design can lead to huge gains. Design can help Indian companies build global brands. We can focus on certain emerging technologies like AM (Additive Manufacturing), AI, Robotics, IOT, etc. and aggregate our IT, engineering and design prowess together to innovate.
The world does not believe that India can design. They feel that design is the domain of affluent nations or the countries who have built a DNA for it (Italy, Germany Japan). They have lately realised that India is naturally talented for frugal innovation.
What is the prevalent design thinking among the product manufacturers today?
Unfortunately most of the manufacturers have compartmentalised design into the aesthetic/styling domain instead of learning and applying design thinking, which has now become a management tool to solve problems. Senior designers and design institutions should evangelize design, whereas young designers should design with larger perspective of business, society and environment. Consumer durable industry and medical equipment sector is using design to integrate technologies, simplify functions, reduce sizes and making the conveniences more accessible to the masses. Automotive industry has a design centric strategy. They have recognised that design is one single function that contributes the most in user experience and brand building. FMCG industry is also leveraging design as a branding and product refresh tool. Innovative and eco-friendly packaging can be realised through design intervention