Process Book – Week 7 – Reading Notes & Comments


ARTICLE 1: The Washing Machine that Ate My Sari – Mistakes in Cross Cultural Design

“An emerging market is generally defined as one that has not yet fully developed but that has a middle class vital enough to attract goods and services from developed—and increasingly globalized—economies”

“designers often segment the wealth pyramid into slices that fit their target market:

      Designing for the other 90 percent
      Design for the bottom of the pyramid
      Design for sustainable development
      Innovation for emerging markets
      Design for social change
      Design for global development
    Design for emerging markets (DEM)

These terms aren’t mere semantic distinctions. They’re fundamental to understanding who you’re designing for, what the needs of those users are,how you hope to enrich their lifestyles and well-being, and why the enterprise wants to reach that target market.”

Kelloggs Corn flake experience does not transfer to India where cold milk is not part of the cultural morning ritual.

The World Washer example shows how Whirlpool didn’t take into account the needs of each local community and understand what it’s product would be used for by talking to users directly or even testing out the washing of a Sari in the machine (in which they would have found that it got tangled and shredded).

There are also many markets within a market. There are many “India”s for example.

“For users in emerging markets, streamlining or eliminating complex features, without reducing core quality, results in a more attractive and affordable product—particularly when features are added with careful consideration of the market.”

These markets are also an opportunity for creative design thinking, as they are less encumbered by existing frameworks and expectations.

“Successful design for emerging markets, on the other hand, requires radical innovation. It demands culturally sensitive and sometimes unorthodox approaches that can throw a designer off balance”

ARTICLE 2:   How P&G Brought the Diaper Revolution to China

“The disposable diaper — a throwaway commodity in the West — just wasn’t part of the cultural norm in the Chinese nursery.  Babies wore cloth diapers, or in many cases, no diaper at all.”

“We scrimped on the softness in the earlier versions,” says Kelly Anchrum, director of global baby care, external relations, and sustainability. “It had a more plasticky feel. It took us awhile to figure out that softness was just as important to moms in a developing market.”

I found this quote in the article very interesting.  It seems that with basic user research this question would have been answered for sure.  I also feel that there is something universal about moms and the way they feel about their children.  Comfort is important to all moms for their kids I would argue – esp. when the current product is comfortable and there is not an immediate compelling reason to use the new product.

“The idea that Pampers brings a scientific backing and gives children an edge in their environment — that’s a brilliant way to stand out from the competition.”

“Of course, P&G tweaks the sales pitch to fit different markets; that’s what the company is known for. In India, for instance, the convenience of disposable diapers doesn’t resonate with parents. The company’s consumer research found that many Indian mothers think that only lazy moms put their babies in disposable diapers that last a full night. As Pampers brand manager Vidya Ramachandran reported in an internal video shown to employees, “We really had to change that mindset and educate [mothers] that using a diaper is not about convenience for you — it’s about your baby’s development.”

ARTICLE 3:  Developing winning products for emerging markets

“markets—environments where customers are both extremely price conscious and demanding. Against this backdrop, a growing number of companies find that they must reexamine their traditional approaches to product development and tailor them to these realities. We call this process “design to value.” In some cases, designing to value means applying traditional tools in new ways, in others adopting a new mind-set about what customers want and how to deliver it.

Practices of leading product developers:

1) shake things up.

Use things like Collision workshops to get cross functional teams together and generate new ideas more quickly, be able to iterate and test them out

2) Start over

If you need to, the best approach might be to start from scratch. “Leaders start by identifying he most important feature or two and focusing heavily on them”

3) Keep the manufacturing process in mind

“clever product makers look for easy opportunities to tweak their products and processes further and thereby lower their capital costs.”