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jerryking : customer_expectations   4

The Design Revolution in Consumer Tech - WSJ
By Steve Vassallo
Aug. 6, 2017

Walt Mossberg...began his first column for the Journal, in 1991, with the now-famous line, “Personal computers are just too hard to use, and it isn’t your fault.” In his final column, Mr. Mossberg bookends the quarter-century of products, personalities and progress he’s chronicled with this assessment of where we are now: “Personal technology is usually pretty easy to use, and, if it’s not, it’s not your fault.” In a generation, consumer tech went from unreliable and confusing to so intuitive that children are creating immersive three-dimensional worlds on devices with barely any instruction. Mr. Mossberg doesn’t put a name to this remarkable shift, but as someone who witnessed it firsthand, I will: design. By design, I don’t mean a spiffy logo or a pretty website. Design now also refers to a methodology and a mind-set that place the experience of the end user above all. This form of design isn’t concerned chiefly with how good something looks, but, rather, how well it works for ordinary consumers. In the [early] ’90s....“engineers weren’t designing products for normal people.” ......Engineers tend to focus on sheer technical limits: what can be done. But designers are preoccupied with what should be done. In other words, whether they’re building things that solve actual problems or fulfill real wants....Over the past two decades, advances in computing power have met typical users’ speed and reliability needs, and the means to launch products have grown better and more affordable. As a result, design is now the differentiator—and the driving force behind billion-dollar companies....Apple's products (e.g. iPod, iPhone), weren’t technical breakthroughs.....They were design breakthroughs—instances of creative need-finding and human-attuned problem solving. And they raised consumer expectations for technology, ushering in a new era of innovation....Google has invested heavily to reinvent itself as a design-centric business. Incumbents like Samsung , General Electric and IBM have spent hundreds of millions to build in-house design studios with thousands of designers. ...Slack and Airbnb—like Pinterest, Instagram and Kickstarter—are recent successes founded by designers, people who are devoted to the practice of building impeccably considerate technology. Design is the key to building the next great wave of companies. To compete seriously on design, startups must make it central to their strategy from the beginning......we’re entering the age of “ambient computing,” when personal technology will become invisible and omnipresent. Augmented reality, artificial intelligence, robotics, drones, the Internet of Things, and other nascent tech will fade into the background of our lives. Technology will no longer come in the form of gadgets. Instead, as Mr. Mossberg predicts, “it’ll be about actual experiences, with much less emphasis on the way those experiences get made.”....The 21st century will be the century of the designer founder, when core value for businesses is created by entrepreneurs who have a deeper, more intuitive sense for the human condition.
Walter_Mossberg  retirement  design  design_thinking  technology  IDEO  '90s  UX  Apple  ambient_computing  customer_expectations  uncharted_problems  pervasive_computing  the_human_condition  augmented_reality  core_values  unarticulated_desires  farewells 
august 2017 by jerryking
WHOLESALE The real squeezed middle?
From dealing with ongoing margin pressure in a low growth environment, to dealing with higher customer expectations,
and mounting concerns about the black market, the challenges facing wholesalers are considerable. However, the picture is not all gloom. Opportunities still exist for operators able to supply goods in line with changing industry trends, while maintaining a low cost base. Increasingly this will be through supply chain integration and enhanced service levels. But, ultimately winners will be wholesalers that can effectively reinvent themselves by developing new
hooks into their customers.

Demand is highly influenced by end user trends. However, wholesalers only have limited ability to respond quickly.

The ability to source and alter stock in line with changing trends is vital, especially in terms of broadening of the
product range.

Wholesale is generally a high volume low margin industry with operating margins of only 1-2%.

Margins are constantly being squeezed. Bargaining power in many consumer goods markets has been weakened by
powerful manufacturers and dominant retailers.
responding to end-user trends
margin pressure

Most wholesalers now offer a range of new added value services. White label provision and web integration
increasingly common

Service level agreements increasingly tight

Symbol groups have become more popular across the grocery sector, with increased investment in own-label
development. In other sectors branding has never been more important.

The introduction of tightly-managed production techniques has resulted in greater sophistication in distribution
chains

Wholesalers are now expected to have systems in place to run goods direct from production plant to end-users

Disruption in overseas supply chains caused by ‘growing pains’ in emerging markets is becoming increasingly
common.
enhanCed serviCe levels supplY Chain integration

The black and grey markets, and fraud in general is on the increase. Alcohol duty fraud is a particular concern

Sourcing from correct brand owners is becoming more difficult. Fines for the possession of fraudulent stock are
becoming more severe.
fruits  vegetables  wholesalers  challenges  problems  margins  supply_chains  fresh_produce  OPMA  slow_growth  black_markets  low_growth  customer_expectations 
october 2013 by jerryking
Bubbling Up
January 2005 | Worth | Sergio Zyman.

We changed the formula we had been using for 100 years to give our customers what we thought they wanted: New Coke. We orchestrated a huge launch, received abundant media coverage and were delighted with ourselves until the sales figures rolled in. Within weeks. we realized that we had blundered. Sales tanked and the media turned against us. Seventy-seven days New Coke was born. We made the second-hardest decision in company history: We pulled the plug. What went wrong? The answer was embarrassingly simple: We did not know enough about our customers. We did not even know what motivated them to buy Coke in the first place. Based on that, we fell into the trap of imagining that innovation—abandoning our existing product for a new one would cure our ills. After the debacle, we reached out to consumers, and found that they wanted more than taste when they made purchase. Drinking Coke enabled them to tap into the Coca-Cola experience, to be part of Coke's history and to feel the continuity and stability of the brand. Instead of innovating. we should have renovated. Instead of making a product and hoping people would buy it, we should have asked customers what they wanted and given it to them. As soon as we started listening to them, consumers respondcd, increasing our sales 9 billion to 15 billion cases a year.
Coca-Cola  Pepsi  market_research  marketing  renovations  growth  CMOs  product_launches  kill_rates  brands  customer_expectations  customer_insights  culling  mistakes  beverages  innovation  contra-innovation 
may 2012 by jerryking
Bottom lines are under pressure
Jun 14, 2004 / Plant. : Vol. 63, Iss. 7; pg. 46, 1 pgs /
Jayson Myers. Accelerated innovation also brings tremendous challenges.
It's shortening product life cycles and creating new and more demanding
customer expectations. More than 25,000 new consumer products were
launched in the North American market last year. Some manufacturers are
facing a market window of only a few months before the competition steps
in or customer requirements change. For example, the life cycle of
electronic components is about 18 months.
ProQuest  Canadian  manufacturers  innovation  margins  product_launches  market_windows  accelerated_lifecycles  customer_expectations 
november 2010 by jerryking

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