Michael Caston, IDSA, MID
Metropolitan State University of Denver
During the product development process, industrial designers and marketing professionals often work collaboratively. Yet, within a typical industrial design education, design students are minimally exposed to the discipline of marketing. When industrial design students graduate, they will possess the knowledge of ‘how’ to design a product, but often lack the knowledge as to ‘why’ they are designing a product. Since it is widely accepted/acknowledged that 80-90% of new products fail within 5 years (Castellion 2013), it is imperative for students to realize that before a product is designed or expensive prototypes are developed, there must be a clearly identified need and a demonstrated market demand for it. Establishing a market demand early increases the potential success of the product. Furthermore, since industrial design education rarely focuses on marketing, students are ill-equipped to adequately communicate with marketing professionals because they are not familiar with the concepts and terminology commonly used. This gap in their education makes it more difficult for students to collaborate with marketing professionals when they enter the workplace. In an effort to expand industrial design students’ perspectives and better prepare them for successful careers in product development, a professor of industrial design at a university in the Rocky Mountain region redeveloped the learning objectives for a senior level studio course to include in-depth exposure to intensive market research...read more.