Sunday, July 9, 2017

Japan aiming to enhance competitiveness by branding product designs

On July 5, the Japanese government announced that it has established a research group to discuss product designs to strengthen Japanese companies' competitiveness and publish a report by March 2018. 

The background is that it is recently difficult for Japanese companies to differentiate their products from competition in function and quality, and they tend to get caught in a price war with emerging countries' products. 

Apple and Dyson are mentioned in the press release as typical examples of successful companies in branding their products, where they put in design their  unique strengths and technologies to enhance the value of their products.

The media reported that the government considers amending the Design Act to protect a series of designs of a product series (e.g. iPhone) collectively, and also considers protection of store designs (e.g. Apple Store, Starbucks) in some way. It gives no further details but I'll watch the discussion and keep you updated.

For branding product designs, we need good designers who can design products in accordance with company's brand identity, and also need to make effective and unwavering marketing effort in accordance with the brand identity. 

For specifically Japan, first of all, maybe we should produce good designers in the field of industrial design. According to World Design Rankings, Japan is 7th place in overall ranking (cf. US ranks 1st, China 2nd, Germany 9th), but Japan is out of rank in the fields of "Digital and Electronic Devices" (cf. US ranks 3rd, China 2nd, Germany 9th) and "Home Appliances" (cf. US ranks 4th, China 3rd, Germany 5th). Just for information, in the field of "Vehicle, Mobility and Transportation" design, Japan ranks 15th (cf. US ranks 3rd, Germany 6th, China 23rd).

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