There are two approaches to reflecting a customer's point of view in new product development (NPD). One is a customer-following approach that utilizes expressed consumer needs. The other is a customer-leading approach that focuses on consumers' latent needs. Currently, the number of customer-leading approaches is increasing rapidly through design-oriented NPD. This case study of LG Electronics' Chocolate Phone reveals a market-oriented frame of mind. From a design point of view, it is important to select talented designers and combine them with market insight and communication skills. From a development perspective, strong technological capabilities, optimization of design functions, and strong managerial support are all central to success. From a marketing point of view, key factors include finding outside marketing professionals and gathering ideas from the outside. Finally, from an organizational perspective, it is important to share the design concept among related departments and to change engineering-oriented thinking to a market-oriented frame of mind.
Design-Oriented New Product Development
Attaching high value to outward appearance is pervasive in Korean society. New words such as Ullzzang (good looking faces) and Momzzang (hot bodies) are being coined continuously, and the societal trend toward beauty and appearance is growing. Why are people so fanatic about appearances? One answer is because appearances create a person's first impressions. Another reason is that attractive features exert undeniable power in everyday life. Some studies show that people with attractive looks tend to have a better chance of securing employment, receiving higher salaries, finding life partners, and receiving assistance from other people (1,2).Applying the prevalent "appearance-is-supreme" attitude to product development, the proliferation of designoriented new product development (NPD) is a case in point. Management consultant/author Tom Peters has written that one must be able to grasp the attention of consumers in 0.6 second in order to sell a product. Just as appearance determines one person's first impression of another, design functions as the first contact point between company and consumer. Consequently, as the only means of product communication, the importance of design in successful product devel opment cannot be overstated (3-7). Moreover, it is predicted that design will play an even greater role in the future product-development activities of companies (8-11).Strong market competition demands more creativity and innovation in business strategies. To enhance creativity and innovative thinking in companies, some research claims that the design department should play a leading role in product development (12, 13). Especially in the case of user-driven products such as mobile phones and MP3 players, where user-centered product features are stressed over technology and user needs are div...