Introducing our Review Model for Reviewing New Furniture and Homeware Products

March 6, 2019

In this article you will learn the principles of one of our proven new product review models. This is one of many models we use with our Home and Lifestyle (in particular Furniture and Homeware) clients to help them establish “Best Fit” products for their brand. These are principles you could easily apply to your own brand with a little discipline. Read on to discover how to find out if your new product is hot or not.

The cost of introducing a new product has a large hidden expense. This cost in business is often covered up in buying and operational team salaries. It takes time to view, assess, decide and create the relevant database for any new product. Not to mention the time it takes to receive it in store and clear out old product taking up its shelf space.

This cost to business is one we are well and truly aware of. This is because we have been involved in new product development for so many brands during our careers.

Because of the high cost of introducing a new product, the risk of getting it wrong is considerable. It is important to give your sales, marketing and operational teams an opportunity to provide actionable feedback.

The traditional “new product” review meeting might go something like this. The Buying team says “Here is a new product we are developing”. Sales says “We love it,” Marketing says “We hate it, our customers won’t like it”. The Buying team is left asking “But, why????”

It can be tricky to move away from subjective and personal opinions. There can often be a disconnect between teams about why a new product is hot or not. We know this can be overcome by robust and repeatable disciplines around product assessment.

The disciplines start with the values of your organisation. A brand must have strong product principles and virtues. It must understand its product standards and customer insights.

This product review model was developed around the product principles of Damn Good Design, Damn Good Taste and Damn Good Price. (Or DGDDGTDGP for short!)

It is a useful review model for home and lifestyle products ranging from tabletop items, to cushions and couches. It provides a way to collate feedback in an easy to use and understand manner across diverse teams.

But what does all this mean???

The Model: Damn Good Design, Damn Good Taste, Damn Good Price


Design

Design relates to the look, shape and function of a product. In assessing the design element of a new product you need to consider that it is meeting its purpose. Consider whether the fabric passes colour test to light, whether a great looking tumbler works well in the dishwasher, or whether a water bottle is difficult to drink from.


Taste

Taste relates to the taste of your customer. It requires you to understand the parameters of trend and taste for your brand. For example you might have landed on contemporary Australian taste, any new product should continue to fit in this classification and stay true to your brand identity.

Taste relates to the variables of colour, pattern and application. It assesses whether an item is wide or narrow in its appeal. It determines whether it appeals to your customer or whether it is pushing their boundaries. For example a new product might have an amazing, ground breaking design… but be narrow in its appeal. This would make it not particularly tasteful.

Taste can be subjective. It can be tricky to lock it down for a brand with many divisions and personalities involved in product development. MC&Co have developed trend intelligence workshops for brands over time to combat this exact issue. We can help you determine your brand values and taste based on your customer insights. Do you know whether your brand is youthful or mature? Feminine or Masculine? Are you Grounded or Playful?

While assessing the taste criteria of a new product, we also need to consider the location of the customer and their level of sophistication. Damn Good Taste for brands like Coles will be different to that of David Jones. Consider also how the product is distributed to market – is it high end or mass market? This will impact whether the product is tasteful for a brand.


Price

Based on the cost to produce, your buying team comes to a price point for a new product. Some market research is then required based on your existing product lines and your competitors pricing.


Applying the Model: DGDDGTDGP

The best way to illustrate our new product review model is to see it in action. In the below example we take a dinner plate designed for our client bzyoo.

We understand their customer to be an innovative woman who loves design, style and fashion. We understand that she is seeing the Monochramania trend in her Instagram feed used in fashion, kitchen and furniture design. We know she is subtly competitive with her friends. She expresses herself with great design choices. She may even invite her friends for lunch to show off her new plates! She likes to be ahead of her peers, but at a good price point.

Our client had also successfully utilized this monochromania trend in a water bottle that sold very well to their target market. It was easy to translate this success into new tableware products. This product went on to be very successful in Australia, South Korea, Greece and Brazil.

We had identified that the trend Monochramia suited our client byzoo based on its brand identity and values. The classic colour Black is also good taste for this brand.

The dinner plate met the price point in market which fits our core customer expectation. The price was $4.95 for a dinner plate.

The new product we are reviewing in our example is a matt/gloss black plate in a coupe design. It is a standard shape but we know the market loves it.

This dinner plate was an innovative design. That is because the pattern was built into the mould rather than being a decal. This makes it tougher for the competition to copy.


The Scoring

There are 9 variables to review a product. Each variable has the opportunity to score a value of 1.

The best score is 9/9. The worst score in 0/9. The desired standard to meet is 7/9 which includes at least 1 “Damn’s”

Taking the example you can see we met the 7/9 criteria for this product. It didn’t get points in the “Damns” for design because it was a standard shape. It didn’t get a point in the “Damns” for price because it was not a super competitive price due to the expense of the mould.

Could you use this New Product Review model in your business? Give it a try. The investment of your time to align your team to these principles will be invaluable. This proven model reduces your new product execution risk. It helps ensure new products are likely to be profitable. After all, very competitive pricing along with great design and fabulous taste will always sell well.

Do you need help pinning down your brand’s Taste, get in touch. We can help. You can book a consultation with our global trend intelligence experts today and give your brand the edge in by pinning down the trends that are going to give your brand commercial success.