DESIGNING CONSUMER PRODUCTS WITH TPES
SENSORY ENHANCEMENT PROVIDES COMPETITIVE EDGE
Industry Manager - Consumer Electronics, GLS Thermoplastic Elastomers, PolyOne Corporation
One of the top consumer product design trends for 2013 is sensory enhancement. According to JWT Intelligence, a “sensory explosion,” meaning an increased demand for sensory stimulation, is apparent in consumers globally within diverse market sectors. There are a number of explanations for consumers’ desire for an enhanced sensory experience when selecting products ranging from smartphones to home medical devices and from kitchen implements to power tools. First, a pleasing tactile feel, such as smoothness, silkiness or warmth, is typically perceived as higher quality. For example, automotive designers may choose materials for vehicle interior surfaces to create the perception of quality and luxury. Also, factors such as greater affluence, online access to a huge array of goods from around the globe, and the strong influence of social media on taste and opinion have contributed to a generation of consumers who are searching for products with extra sensory value.