Is re-badging or face-lifts a viable design strategy?
Of all the intensely competitive consumer electronics markets, the one that rules them all is as the personal digital entertainment one. With all the ultra-informed, hyper-consumer in the market today, I am surprised to find companies that continue to take this path and risk having their products disappear within the mountains of other MP3 Players out there.
So they say, the way of the future is to innovate.
However this is easier said than done. The main issue is that most consumer electronics products today out there all use the same electronic platforms or solutions. Basically chuck out the body you get the same guts. For example Plasmas TVs, MP3 Players, CD and DVD players, etc. all have innards that are very similar.
Thus the differentiation of consumer products will continue to be more and more difficult if companies continue to outsource technologies, buy off the shelf electronic components and string them all together in the easiest way.
The trick is not to innovate superficially, but to go one step lower and target the component layouts as well. You can still use common electronics, but the way it comes together is key.
I guess even Microsoft has fallen into the same trap with their so called iPod beating Zune Mp3 player. I’m even more surprised as I though they learn a lot with the Xbox 360.
Gigabeat vs. Zune: Seeing double yet again?