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Complementing intuition: insights on styling as a strategic tool

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Abstract:

Product styling holds several commercial benefits for companies. Still, managers often struggle in managing the styling process, giving it sufficient priority in company strategy, and coordinating it with other company activates. To support coordination in the decision-making process, we identify a number of intermediary goals of styling based on interviews with Finnish design experts and a review of the marketing and design literature. Each of these goals can be seen as pointing to a process of attraction, and as a precondition for the success of styling in the marketplace. In addition, we propose that strategic decisions on styling can be described according to three dimensions: decisions about the present product portfolio, the succession of product generations, and the products of competitors. On each dimension, we recognise that companies can strive for similarity or difference with existing products and discuss the strategic implications of each alternative.

Keywords: DESIGN; DESIGN MANAGEMENT; NEW PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT; STRATEGY STYLING

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1362/026725707X250386

Publication date: 2007-11-01

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