Models for Product Design

“Digitalization, E-commerce”: Consider which products you can digitalize to make access easier, faster, and cheaper without diminishing the benefits perceived by customers.

Examples include music retailers and continuing education providers.

“Aikido”: According to the Japanese martial art “aikido”, forces from competitors and customers can be used to strengthen the “add-on” to your own position. Offer something completely different from what your customers and competitors expect from you.

Examples of this are Nintendo and Cirque du Soleil.

“Integrator, Orchestrator”: Consider organizing and coordinating resources and capabilities in a value-creation process to increase process efficiency and process stability.

Examples include Zara and BYD Auto.

“Layer Player”: You could focus on a specific service that is needed in different industries. This allows your customers to obtain high professionalism and you can benefit from a broad customer base.

Examples include PayPal and app providers.

“Solution Provider”: Check if a path to an integral solution provider for your business is possible. This gives you insight into your customers’ essential processes and can build high barriers to prevent them from switching.

Examples include Tetrapak, Elopak and Microsoft.

“Crowdsourcing”: Get small contributions to your product development from your customers for free. This makes your products more likely to meet your customers’ expectations, and makes your customers feel involved.

Software vendors are examples of this.

“Open Source”: Imagine your product being created entirely by your customers. What is common in software engineering can be applied to other products. You can then contribute your expertise in consulting, implementation and service.

Examples include Mozilla, Wikipedia and Linux.

“Reverse Engineering, Target the Poor”: You don’t have to develop your products completely yourself. Disassemble successful competitor products and replicate their performance (me-too).

Brilliance China Auto is an example of this.

“Trash-to-Cash”: You could collect, process and sell waste. This also applies to obsolete materials, industrial waste, used equipment and leftover inventory.

Examples include Duales System Deutschland, used machinery dealers, second-hand stores and TK-Maxx.

“Reverse Innovation”: Pick up simple, robust and low-cost products from emerging countries and adapt them to the needs in your markets.

Examples include Renault and Logitech.

“Franchising”: Your product is not the product customers receive, but the license to use your brand, business concept and know-how. Your revenues are payments from franchising customers for these services.

McDonald’s and McFit are examples of this.

“Peer-to-Peer”: You create a marketplace for the exchange of services among peers for payment.

Examples include Ebay, Napster, and Airbnb.

“Licensing”: If you have special know-how or strong brands, have these qualities protected and offer licenses to use this know-how. In this way, you tap into revenues from assets that would otherwise go unused.

Examples include the Ostendorf brothers (with KG 2000) and inventors.

“Mass Customization”: Modular products, customer involvement in product specification, and flexible manufacturing processes and procedures allow you to meet individual needs despite mass production.

Examples include computer manufacturers such as Dell, and the automotive industry.

“No Frills”: You can slim down your offering to the core benefits for your customers. You can share the savings with your customers.

Examples include Aldi, Lidl, McFit, and Dacia.

“Open Business Model”: You could open your business model to service partners to jointly create a market service.

An example of this is Apple with the Apple Store.


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