How are brands reacting to this new model?
With the new model being consumer-centric, the immediate need for brands is to enable customer feedback early in the process. Hence the need to enable a collaborative Design process to ensure there is buy-in at the initial stages. Keep in mind, consumers will also demand transparency into what kind of materials are being used, where the product is manufactured and distributed from as well as omni-channel options to eventually buy the item. The focus of this article, however, is on the Design process.
How are brands collaborating to influence design?
- Luxury boutique retailers are experimenting with virtual reality headsets to simulate the brand’s stores.
- Technology has found its way into wearables - smart clothes and devices. Under Armor’s ‘Connected Fitness’, Ralph Lauren’s nylon t-shirts (tracks heart rates), and Rebecca Minkoff’s smartphone charging handbags.
- Visual and 3-D merchandising as well as space management solutions are potential enhancements in the near future.
- Fashion brands like Burberry and Ralph Lauren leverage the power of Big Data analysis from current and historic data sets to drive their next lines and assortments.
- Retailers like UCB, Puma, Prada, and Nordstrom have built in the flexibility to combine their Product Lifecycle Management, Enterprise Resource Planning and Business Intelligence data to predict shopper preferences.
- Stores like Zara, H&M, Burberry, Primark, Wal-Mart, Tommy Hilfiger, Debenhams and others are beginning to implement capabilities such as access to digital catalogs that can be displayed on in-store tablets/kiosks.
Technology landscape to digitize design
In general, the industry seems to be focusing on 4 main areas to enable Product Design adopt a more digitized approach.
- Transition to 3D and set the foundation for AI.
- Enable a true Digital Asset Management, well integrated into MDM.
- Enhance the PLM footprint by incorporating advanced capabilities.
- Leverage these advanced PLM & DAM solutions to collaborate with Production & Sales
The below model describes the flow between these phases and their driving parameters