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Should we consider design and technical newness towards product innovativeness?

  • 1.  Should we consider design and technical newness towards product innovativeness?

    Posted 04-06-2021 09:34

    I came across the article titled – "What about design Newness? Investigating the relevance of a neglected dimension of product innovativeness" in Journal of Product Innovation Management, which focuses on why the design newness should be considered as a dimension of product innovativeness.

    Link -

    Product design has become increasingly important in today's fast-paced, globally competitive environment.  As product design is a critical factor in organizational success because it sets the characteristics, feature, and performance of the service that customer demands. The interesting part of the article is how the author is trying to relate the examples of few companies that follow a design-driven approach and use their products visual appearance as the main key for differentiating it from the rest. Using this it helps to capture the originality and uniqueness of that product which helps in building a product category by itself.

    For example, when two car models are compared visually (current and previous year model), it becomes quite easy for a person to distinguish the style change like the grill, tail lamps etc.  But when it comes to purchase decisions, can design newness affect customer needs and expectation? Also, when a product contains new ideas then it is essential that the product needs to be visually different (Dyson products). On the other side looking at the technical newness which deals with providing different features that makes the product stand for itself. A novel technology can serve as an effective product positioning and differentiating from competitors.  The experiment conducted by the author on the different car segments helps us to identify the design newness and technical newness of that segment to see if it has an incremental deviation or radical deviation from other segments. I would assume that both design and technical newness are important drivers for car sales. However, the design newness has positive impact right after the introduction phase and technical newness drives sales with lagged effect and decreases towards the end of the product life cycle.  With growing population and car manufactures moving towards electric and autonomous vehicles, how can we make sure design newness and technological newness are aligned with sustainability goals? Are we going to sacrifice one over the other to achieve it?

    Aravind Ramakrishnan
    Post Graduate Student
    Oakland University, Michigan