This case study, ‘Bang & Olufsen : Design Driven Innovation’ (B&O) outlined the company’s approach to designing and creating innovative electronics and devices which as mentioned in the case, were suited and planned specifically for their customers, and not to compete within the market. Although this company was a customer driven brand, there were a few issues found in this case, in regards to their perception of themselves as a high and prestigious company, as well as a lack of market research.
As stated in the case, B&O saw themselves as the “only brand which bridged the home electronics and lifestyle/luxury categories”. Yet due to the expansion of their product range, and inventing smaller electronics, this strayed from their typical line of electronic appliances. Hence adjusting the high luxury brand image that was originally perceived of B&O. Which leads to the next point, where B&O have a lack of market research and understanding the competing market. From the case it is clear that B&O are a customer centric brand, as they even had personalised electronics.
Although a strong approach, there was still a lack of marketing to consumers who are unfamiliar with the brand. The main issue with this is that, even though B&O were producing electronics that were unable to be copied, this then gave the brand a perception that they had no competitors, and thus did not need to market their company. Creating innovative products does have a market advantage; however from understanding the targets consumer’s needs and wants is more of a long-term benefit, as then the company is able to market to the right segment and attract potential interested customers.
Bang & Olufsen: Design Driven Innovation Case Post-work My initial perspective of the case was that B&O needed to acquire and look into more market research for their brand, in relations to the production of their products, and creating new designs. However the discussion was able to highlight how if B&O did venture and conduct market research, they would only understand current consumer wants, rather than possible future consumer needs.
If B&O’s entire branding was driven by design and innovation, market research and asking what the consumer wants, could possibly dilute and distress the company’s public image and future products. B&O’s products were quality based, and understood that quality took time, which suggest the idea that, rather than producing lots of products one after the other, and have issues with that certain item, they could take their time and produce a product which was worth while, and successful. Eg. Beosound 9000 This discussion was also able to highlight in terms of marketing and management, that departments within such a successful company are encouraged to work separately, rather than as a collaborative team. By doing so B&O was able to successfully attain more innovative creations and suggestions, as each department (IdeaLab / IdeaLand) did not struggle with each other’s constrictions and limitations for a certain project.
This management style may not work for all companies, yet was a creative success for B&O. From this discussion I learnt that although understanding a target market is crucial and comprehending what the consumer wants is major aspect, but in terms of companies such as B&O, there is no need to sell a certain product to increase revenue, but produce products which may not suit the needs of the current market, but is able to be relevant through many passing trends.