The design mix refers to three aspects of design that companies need to consider during the research and development stage of creating a new product.
Getting the right design mix for your target market helps create a product that consumers want, at a price they are willing to pay. By creating a product with the right design mix you are significantly increasing the chance of success when the product is brought to market, as it’s easier to sell products designed with the wants and needs of consumers in mind.
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The aesthetics of the product is how the product looks. This part of the design mix is about creating a product that is visually appealing to the target audience. The aesthetics of a product helps businesses differentiate their product from their competitors, and when done well can be the products USP. A luxury product will need a sleek design using premium materials along with packaging that also reflects the premium image of the brand.
Take the iPhone 13 pro for example it is extremely aesthetically pleasing to the eye with its all-glass front and sleek minimalist design. The materials used in its construction are high quality and allow it to be extremely thin and light. Customers can choose from a range of colours and two sizes to give them a choice of phone that meets their personal preference.
Each element of the aesthetics of the phone are designed to appeal to customers and make the phone better looking and more desirable than the competition. This premium feel is also reflected in the packaging with its minimalist approach and box design. Having a successfully aesthetic design has added value to Apples iPhone as it has become an aspirational item that many customers must own.
Function is the second factor of the design mix and relates to what the product does and how well it does it. Does your product work reliably and function as it should? When creating a product, the function it has, and its reliability can quickly become the products unique selling point.
iPhones are well known for their functionality and reliability with the iPhone 13 pro being no exception to the rule as it has many functions that all operate at the top of their game such as the world’s fastest smartphone chip, 1 terabyte of storage and a 12 mega pixel true depth camera, plus much more. By Apple focusing on function in the design mix they have continually managed to create iPhones that consumers desire based on what they can do.
Cost is the final piece of the design mix and is about how cost-effective a product is to manufacture and whether the production of the product is financially viable. If the cost of production is high, then this cost will be passed on to the consumer which could make the product too expensive for its intended audience. If costs are kept low by using sub-standard materials, then the product will look cheap and will not be of the required quality.
The iPhone 13 pro is an extremely profitable product, as they have struck a balance between using good quality materials and a price point that consumer are willing to pay. The iPhone 13 pro costs around 420 pounds to make, with a sale price in the UK of £949 making the economics of the iPhone 13 pro very viable. Apple could make the iPhone for much less by using cheaper materials such as plastics instead of stainless steel and aluminium, but this would compromise the quality and aesthetics of the phone potentially ruining their reputation and their ability to charge a high selling price.