Gaining Competitive Advantage With Product or Service Design

Instructor: Brianna Whiting

Brianna has a masters of education in educational leadership, a DBA business management, and a BS in animal science.

A good product design increases the amount of product sold. In this lesson, we will learn what a company can do to gain a competitive advantage using product design.

Choosing a Product

Think of the last time you were at the store. Perhaps you were there grabbing some groceries and other necessities. Because it is a store that you shop at often, you know exactly what products you need and where to find them. As you are speeding through the store grabbing everything you need, you stumble upon the shampoo aisle. As you go to grab the brand you always use, another product on the shelf catches your eye. The bottle is interesting and bright colored. Suddenly, you feel compelled to purchase the new exciting bottle instead of your normal bottle. In this lesson, we will learn all about how product design can give a company a competitive advantage.

Importance of Product Design

So, why is product design important? Well, product design is how companies create appeal for their customers. The goal is to not only design a product that customers want but to do so at a low cost with high-quality materials in a time frame that keeps a company competitive. A company that has a good product design creates products and services that are of better quality, have greater eye appeal, and perform better. And, they have a price that matches or beats other products on the shelf.


Products that are similar are also the products that are competing with one another. If we take the example from earlier, any bottle of shampoo is essentially competing with one another. The goal is to impress consumers enough that they pick your product over all of the rest. While many people are comfortable with their go-to shampoo, if another bottle of shampoo can interest the consumer, product design has begun to work. Something about the design has made a consumer think twice about purchasing her regular shampoo.

In order to stay competitive, a company needs to take it one step further and actually convince the customer to purchase her shampoo over all of the other shampoos. This is where companies make appealing labels. They come up with slogans and design their product to offer qualities other products can't. To seal the deal, companies might even offer a price that beats other bottles of shampoo, making their product simply irresistible. If a consumer goes home with their bottle, they have succeeded in using product design.


While product labels and great prices often encourage consumers to buy particular products, it is important to point out that just because a certain label or price works at a certain time, does not mean it will continue to work. What that means is, like so many things in our lives, products change and so do the demands of consumers. One year consumers might like shampoo that enhances the color of their hair, and the next year, they may like a product that adds curls. Part of successful product design is being able to make changes and to do so quickly. In order to be competitive, companies need to keep up with the trends. They need to be able to make new labels and offer new varieties, all at a reasonable price. This is because if one company keeps up with what consumers want and your company does not, your company will be the bottle of shampoo on the shelf that consumers skip over while grabbing the newest, hottest bottle of shampoo.

Considerations of Competitive Product Design

In this section, we will look at some important considerations companies need to keep in mind so that they remain competitive and even gain the advantage.

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