In today’s business climate, every advantage counts. To truly understand what your customer wants, you have to listen to them. This short excerpt from the introduction to Industry Clothing Construction Methods by Mary Ruth Shields, highlights the essential concept of product benefits and the features that create them. Although the example is apparel, the design of any product could be made more attractive to customers by understanding these simple concepts and making them the core of your process.
“Designers hear the consumer say that apparel should offer benefits. Consumers believe that apparel benefits should help them achieve their goals as individuals, such as feeling more self-confident, gaining respect, saving time and money, attaining comfort during physical activity, attracting a lover, fitting into a social group or expressing them selves. The task for a fashion professional then is to determine what features should be included in the garments to achieve those apparel benefits. The core of the designer’s, merchandiser’s or buyer’s craft in the ready-to-wear industry is to find the right combination of features–silhouette, fit, shape, color, laundering method, fabric, texture, price, and so on–that entice customers to look, try-on, and feel satisfied with their apparel purchase.”
For more on this topic, additional insight into the apparel merchandising process, and a wealth of concrete information on the construction of retail apparel, add Industry Clothing Construction Methods to your toolkit for manufacturing success.