julho 07, 2013

What makes a product competitive?

There are certain things we don't choose by the price.

Everybody knows that some things work differently in the real world than what you learn in college.

After starting to work, you get in touch with some words and expressions currently used in business, and they are not always used with the same meaning that you learned before. One of these words is competitivity.

In college I learned that for a product or service to be considered competitive, it needs to show value aligned with the ones that its similars have. With that it will be taking in consideration by the consumer in the moment he decides to buy something. This value may be quality, aestethic, price, and so many others. You can find definitions that look like this in other places too, like here.

In the work market - brazilian work market actually - I discovered that the competitive characteristic is considered to be much more related to price than anything else. A competitive product by that logic is the one that costs less. : /

As a consumer that cares - a lot! - with the price of the things I buy, I must still say that this is not by far the characteristic I see as most important to call a product competitive. If I choose to buy a product because it costs less, and then get disapointed by its quality, for instance, surely it won't be on my shopping cart again.

It's important to keep in mind our perceptions as consumers while designing something so we won't have our vision blurred like the trained eyes of the conventional market. As designers, we know that quality materials, tecnologies and production processes have their price, and we have to deal constantly with these choices.

Each product has its purpose. Our role as designers is to recognize and translate it into a feasible result.


Valéria Carvalho: product designer, works in the design studio of an automotive company. Interested in studying trends, conscious consumption, semiotics, education, and some other things that can help make the world a better place.

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