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Nine Design Strategies to Inspire Sustainable Profits | Part Eleven

Nine Design Strategies to Inspire Sustainable Profits | Part Eleven

#5 LISTEN TO YOUR CUSTOMERS’ SUBCONSCIOUS NEEDS

For example, when Chrysler launched the PT Cruiser in 2000, they created a huge splash in the car industry and ended up with an order waiting list over a mile long. However the prevailing industry wisdom of the time (based upon “in-depth” market research) was that consumers had grown tired of sedans, and were primarily interested in cars with such practical attributes as gas efficiency, safety, and mechanical reliability. Most manufacturers were designing and marketing cars based upon those sensible features. The reason Chrysler was able to generate such extraordinary success was that they out-listened the competition. Through innovative research they discovered that customers subconsciously craved something much different than conventional wisdom suggested. Beyond safety and efficiency, customers truly longed for a car that could stoke a sense of freedom, sensuality and excitement. Chrysler took this to heart and designed the PT Cruiser to specifically embody these traits. The rest– as they say– is history.

These same principles that Chrysler used to design and promote their breakthrough sedan can also be applied to help you design and market sustainable products that sell. Get to know your customers. Run a focus group. Perform a social media analysis. Dig beneath the surface and listen between the words. Find out what their souls long for and design this into evocative brands and marketing collateral that enchants them in surprising (and unprecedented) ways. Consciously or not, this is what pioneering companies such as Method, Zhena’s Gypsy Tea, New Belgium Brewery, and Pangea Organics have already been doing to create breakthrough business results. The time has come for more of us to become better listeners so that we can do the same.

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