This paper presents research on the reasons companies have low competitiveness in marketing and possible solutions to their problem. It suggests that good product design can improve a firm’s performance. The paper explains the significance of the problem, provides the findings of current studies on the topic, and identifies possible ways for improving an organizations’ position in the market. This paper concludes that it is crucial to consider product design as a factor that contributes to a company’s competitiveness.
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Statement of the Problem
Globalization has “created new frontiers for competition” in marketing, which means that the success of an organization is determined by its ability to meet the current requirements of the market (Brondoni, 2015, p. 13). A firm’s competitiveness is determined by its ability to mobilize its resources to produce products that are superior to the ones offered by other manufacturers (Ghosh, Kumuthadevi, & Jublee, 2016).
The low level of competitiveness of some companies may be caused by various internal and external factors. They include the firms’ inability to concentrate on long-term goals, a lack of cooperation between their teams, poor disposition of funds, and bad working environment. However, the most significant reason for a lack of competitiveness is associated with products and their design, which may include the materials used for construction, colors, aesthetic form, and packaging. Poor design can make products unsuitable for customers’ needs and the organization’s manufacturing capabilities, as well as result in a low level of quality, which can lead to decreased competitiveness.
The recent interest in the top marketing companies’ product design proves the significance of the issue for firms’ competitiveness. Many of them have started to perceive design as the primary corporate competence that has increased their competitive advantage.
The product development process has become a complex operation that involves the integration of innovation and technologies, work with many different materials, research, avoidance of obsolescence, and prevention of defects. It should be mentioned that by working on sustainable design, firms may decrease their expenses in the future, which can improve both their competitiveness and performance. This shows that addressing the problem and finding solutions to it is crucial for the enhancement of an organization’s position in the market.
To enhance an organization’s competitiveness, it is crucial to develop a strategy for improving product design. The first step the companies can take is to perform a study of their customer’s demands and choices. D’Ippolito (2014) suggests that different appearances of an item may be more attractive for different groups of people based on their types of needs. To make the product valuable to the customers, it is also crucial to consider their emotional responses and the factors that may trigger them.
A high level of demand may be achieved through research or interviews followed by generating symbolic value or visual appearance that are meaningful for the customers. It is necessary to point out that the organization should consider its past marketing experiences and outcomes when implementing changes in the product to ensure its benefits for competitiveness. Another crucial step for improvement is the analysis of competitors’ projects and design choices to incorporate their advantages into the final product.
One of the other possible ways to improve companies’ competitiveness through product design is the development of product prototypes. For example, a firm can use prototypes to collect feedback during exhibitions. Prototyping can reveal the disadvantages of a selected design and allow for changes that will improve customers’ satisfaction with the product. Moreover, such an approach to the problem may shape and influence future customer choices, which will create opportunities for organizational growth.
Proposed Solution: Personal Argument
Zawadzki and Żywicki (2016) argue that appropriate and attractive product design is one of the determining factors of a company’s competitiveness. I agree with this perspective and think that concentration on design can increase a firm’s performance in marketing. To suggest a solution to the problem of companies’ low competitiveness, I would recommend the approach suggested by Scherer, Kloeckner, Ribeiro, Pezzotta, and Pirola (2016).
The researchers point out that good product design should correspond to the customers’ and the company’s values, include innovation, meet customers’ needs, and be based on a study of public data and competitors’ ideas. The development process should collect insights based on customers’ demands, synthesize the available information on the state of the market, and use prototypes to select the most effective approach. In my opinion, this approach to product design is essential for increasing organizational competitiveness.
There are several reasons for the effectiveness of the suggested solution. First, considering customers’ needs and desires is necessary for a company’s market performance. The success of a firm is determined by the demand for its products, which in its turn is directly related to customers’ satisfaction. Performing research on needs and competitors’ products is necessary as it allows for responsive service and helps the organization to develop items that will be in demand.
The use of prototypes and the study of feedback on them from customers can ensure that a company’s decisions meet the current requirements of the market and contribute to long-term customer satisfaction. These factors indicate that good product design may improve the competitiveness of a firm and increase its productivity.
Good product design is crucial for a company’s competitiveness and performance in the market. It is necessary to implement processes for its improvement to ensure the satisfaction of the company’s customers. An effective approach to improving competitiveness through design requires consideration of customers’ needs, development of prototypes, and an analysis of the market and other companies products. An organization may benefit from such an approach in several ways, as it not only improves its performance but can also reduce the costs of manufacturing.
Brondoni, S. M. (2015). Product design management and global competition. Symphonya. Emerging Issues in Management, 2, 13-24.
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D’Ippolito, B. (2014). The importance of design for firms’ competitiveness: A review of the literature. Technovation, 34(2014), 716-730.
Ghosh, B., Kumuthadevi, K., & Jublee, D. (2016). Linkage among competitiveness, competitive advantage and competitive priority of apparel export firms at Tirupur. International Journal of Management Research and Reviews, 6(8), 1012-1029.
Scherer, J. O., Kloeckner, A. P., Ribeiro, J. L. D., Pezzotta, G., & Pirola, F. (2016). Product-service system (PSS) design: Using design thinking and business analytics to improve PSS design. Procedia CIRP, 47(2016), 341-346.
Zawadzki, P., & Żywicki, K. (2016). Smart product design and production control for effective mass customization in the Industry 4.0 concept. Management and Production Engineering Review, 7(3), 105-112.