This edition of our newsletter focuses on the cost and advantages of a well-thought out, well-designed and well-developed product, and provides some advice to avoid costly errors before going ahead with developing a new, innovative product.
What A Bright Idea!
Smart ideas are priceless… They often make people dream, whether these be inventors, business owners or consumers. However, from imagining the idea to putting the product on retail shelves, bridging the gap can often be a long, arduous trek. Though an idea may be brilliant and even unusual, not to say unique, before initiating any procedures or actions at all, one must ensure there is no existing intellectual property protection already covering the idea or product, whether it be a patent, in force or pending, an industrial design or an engineering drawing. From the outset, this can be checked out with the American and Canadian Patents Offices, where most patents are filed. It is well-known that the U.S. market presents an enormous commercial potential. If the idea has not yet been tapped into in any way, shape or form, it is best to think of protecting it, for a patent can also be considered an asset for any firm.
How Much Will It Us Back?
A well-thought out, well-designed and well-developed product will often bring much more benefit than the amounts originally invested. In addition, it is often easier to build, because the manufacturing process has already been given ample and deep consideration. It is better to spend a lot more time brainstorming upstream in order to make sure all specifications requirements are met down the road. In fact, one must especially ponder and query how much this product will earn on the middle and long term. The firm has to look upon this short-term expense as an investment, a “shot in the arm”, an opportunity for or even guarantee of growth or re-launch. Additionally, it will also improve the firm’s brand image. Paradoxically, though, a product that is simple to use for a consumer is often very complicated to design and develop.
Industrial design consultants, now more and more supported by multidisciplinary teams, are choice allies when it comes to embodying a brainchild. Industrial design projects require involvement of engineers and technicians specialized in 3D modeling, and sometimes linguistic and cross-cultural translators and interpretors to deal with foreign clients and/or suppliers. Industrial design goes well beyond the aesthetic aspect related to mass-produced products. aesthetic nevertheless bears importance, for it creates a kind of “shelf appeal” that impacts on consumers through manifestation of a crush for the product, even though they are increasingly subjected to abundant selections of brands and choices. Industrial designers can also be looked at as “constraint managers”: in a way, being a practitioner of this profession is first and foremost a question of attitude toward one’s environment, users and their needs, society and its inherent economy. Industrial designers should be seen as essential instruments of economic development. They can even make all the difference between a new product’s commercial success or its failure.
So how much does it cost? Industrial design consultants are more affordable than they appear. Not to mention that the MDEIE (Ministère du développement économique, de l’innovation et de l’exportation) grants income tax credits to businesses that deal with industrial designers whose certifications it recognizes. In cases where the product to be developed involves a high degree of technological uncertainty and risk due to its innovative nature, there is also a program that extends scientific research and experimental development (SR & ED) income tax credits.
Visit the following Web page to view the MDEIE’s survey on industrial design (original text in French only), click on the enclosed link:
As We Go to Press…
Since recently, Skerpa Design is a new partner member of the Trans-Al Network, which promotes firms that do business in the Quebec aluminum industry. For Skerpa Design, this represents an opportunity for diversification in a dynamic sector that offers numerous challenges in developing the aluminum industry’s tertiary (service) sector.
Are you nurturing ideas? Tinkering with projects? Searching for solutions? Contact us ASAP. We will make it a pleasure to meet with you!
Skerpa Design, your source of innovation.
Skerpa Design inc.