Don't fall at first sight! - Quang Dao

Appeal -- Financial

To admit it or not, we are living in a society that is generally based on appearance. Most of the time, we view and decide if we like something from the first look. It 's true that products that are nicely packaged and well designed always get the attention from potential buyers. We tend to purchase things that scream right at our face. That's the main reasons companies started to revise and carefully develop their design, packaging and marketing strategies for their target group of consumers. Hence, appeal is one of the indispensable components to the success of a product, as well as any design. To sustain in our constantly changing world, having an appealing look will help boost the chance of succeeding for a product. Most people will be intrigued in buying something that has a clean and interesting design. First impression is very important in this case. The consumption of a product depends on how people notice it from the first sight. An effective design must also have reasonable costs of distribution and production, as well as viable marketing plan.

It certainly is a plus if a product is nicely packaged and has well-thought design. However having an appealing look isn't all it takes. Quality is also the main concern that consumers have mind when they buy a product. If something only has a pretty look yet doesn't function as expected, it can lead to instability in sales and a short life of a product in the market, of which exists many competitions. However, having an appealing design and quality function, a company must go through a lot of research and development in order to find the best solution to mass produce their products at the most reasonable costs. Despite the fact that we're currently in recession, more companies come out new products in the markets than ever. There are thousands of new products being releases into the market each and ever year. They offer us, the consumers, many opportunities to try out products and see what fits us the best, in regards of functionality, appearance and cost. "Some products, though, will become the old familiar brands of the future. Even with the enormous risk and cost of new products, companies continue to put them out because they are a route to continued profitability." (Hall, 1992, NY Times) The higher the demand, the more competitions there are in the market. Companies constantly try to keep up with the latest technology to invent the most satisfactory products for their ever-changing consumers. In this case, appeal alone is only one of the factors that make up the fate of the products.

According to Hall (1992), consumers "seemed most eager to try products perceived as being cleaner or more environmentally positive, or those that seemed to offer something genuinely different..." (NY Times) With that statistic in mind, companies recently shifted their production to a new path, going green for their production line. Environment-friendly products are the one of the top concerned issues in the market nowadays. Consumers started to buy more products that are "green" to use and recycle. More post-consumer waste and biodegradable products are being produced, two reasons, they cost less to produce and more people start buying them.

Appeal can be found in name of the products too. Hamermesh from the NY Times wrote a column "What's in the name?" (2010), he said, "The determinants of one's demand for a product are covered in every introductory economics course. Independent of prices, my income and my general preferences, I also consider the cuteness of the product's name." I found this very true. Name of a product can say a lot about it. Clever name gives people a sense of reliability. Short and memorable name well make people instantly recognize their brand where they go. And of course, bad name just gives a feeling of doubt and insecurity.

Appeal can help a product boost up its sales. However, the fate of a product also lies on the quality of it. Products that have a combination of good design, quality function, cost cutting, profit making and sustainable marketing strategies will be likely to succeed, but what are the chances!


Simple, useful and pretty. INSTANT WANT!


Hall, Trish. (1992). Telling the 'yeas' from the 'nays' in new products. NY Times. NY.

Hamermesh, Daniel. (2010). What's in a name? NY Times. NY.


Current trends also affect a consumer's decision. Retro design is on the rise, and vintage dishware has been making a comeback for a while now. And of course, products that look "green" advertise the eco-friendliness of the consumer. Colors have replaced stainless steel in appliance design, and so what's popular can affect the price and the demand of a product. You make an excellent point though, about the chances of quality, low price, good design and sustainability of a product. Sacrifices often need to be made on the consumer's end and the manufacturer's end to determine what's most important at the time.

I wonder if appeal could also be looked at with our other senses as well - such as smell and touch. It would be good to better understand the overall quality of appeal when we see it through our design lens and how we can value it.

An interesting point Richelle makes here. Wouldn't it be "fun" if the kitchenware here had textures on the outside that might be appealing to consumers when purchasing for themselves? I'm not sure about smells, that might be odd with whatever you are cooking but the smell aspect could definitely take part in many other parts of appeal that don't relate directly to what is pictured here.

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This page contains a single entry by daong001 published on October 7, 2010 6:02 PM.

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