Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Being for a Design CEO

Every morning in my inbox I get a business quote:

"[W]hy not have a cDo? Chief Design Officer? The best reason to do so is that it Vaults the Notion to a Higher Level! Points out that it's of Paramount Importance."

--Tom Peters

In thinking of the power of design, I thought of something I noticed during the Olympics in China over the summer. We are first attracted by a product's design and then the necessity of smart efficient technology follow. But we recognize the product by its design first and we need not see a logo to identify it.

When athletes of every nationality during the Olympics were "relaxing" during down times, they wore little white earplugs attached to white wire that undoubtedly led to little sleek beautiful white devices unlike the usual black electronic ones. Could these be iPods? Did I see that apple? It didn't matter; I thought Apple.

This was unlike the headphones that the coaches wore during Super Bowl XLIII. Although the headphones prominently displayed the Motorola logo on the mic protruding from the ear, it was not attractive. The headphones were not particularly sleek or cool, but one could not help but notice the brand.

For me, the obvious did not have an incredible impact, though the Motorola logo was very much prominently placed. It almost had the reverse affect on me. I began to look at the mic negatively, though it was a basic black headset. But we don't just want basic. We want fine. There was nothing particularly cool about the headsets in color or design.

Design rules!

6 comments:

dave wheeler said...

Judith,

While I think that at times functionality may drive design, noise suppression in the case of the coaches headset, you are 1000 per cent correct about design. I think the iPHONE is a great example of this, particularly with the new consumer attittude that new and cool trumps brand loyalty all day every day. Over 48 percent of all iPhones sold were sold to AT&T competitors customers...

judith ellis said...

Wow, Dave. Really? Actually, it shouldn't be that suprising. But my brother had a blackberry for years; he now has an iPhone and for whatever reason it appears that he has more dropped calls. Perhaps it's the carrier and not the phone technology? Dunno.

dave wheeler said...

Judith...much has been "written" about the challenges the iPhone has in some regions be it internal to the device or the interface with the network. Industry publications however say it has been a sales and revenue multiplier for AT&T.

judith ellis said...

Don't know which one it is, but my brother has not been altogether happy with it, though it has many cool features. Does AT&T have an exclusive deal with Apple?

dave wheeler said...

Judith,

In the U.S. they do. Forgot to thank you for the Tom Peters reference. Reminded me to write about Tom and community involvement.

Knowledge and inspiration. The Being Brand is a marvelous place to visit!

judith ellis said...

Thank you, Dave. Your words are always encouraging and much appreciated. You have most certainly taught me a few things. For these, I am grateful.