Industrial design can be defined as the process and practice of designing devices, objects, products, and services which are to be used by ordinary consumers. The primary principles which underpin the concept of industrial design include the functionality, manufacturability, and physical appearance of products. Industrial design is mainly intended to improve the lasting value and user experience which consumers receive from the product of service in question. Industrial designs are protected by a variety of industrial design rights. These industrial design rights do much to assist in guarding the owners of these rights from violations and infringements. Industrial design is also a key element of a successful commercialization process. Such commercialization will eventually mark out a product as a unique one which will make a brand stand out.
Industrial Design Rights
Industrial design rights are important forms of intellectual property rights. In Malaysia, as is the case with all other intellectual property rights, industrial design rights are overseen by the Intellectual Property Corporation of Malaysia (MyIPO). Industrial designs which can be registered in Malaysia are those which fulfill MyIPO’s industrial design criteria, are new designs either in Malaysia or elsewhere, and do not violate principles of public order or morality. Those who possess industrial design rights are granted the exclusive right to produce, import, sell, or hire out any object to which the design has been applied. Since only the brand in question will have control over these industrial design rights, a specific industrial design and the rights that come with it can do much to set any brand apart in the market.
Highlighting Brand Identity
Industrial designs help brands advertise themselves more effectively. Such designs can foster brand loyalty within customers and thus improve the brand’s marketing capabilities. The more a design is used in the market, the greater the level of distinctiveness it will obtain. As an industrial design becomes more distinct, the commercialization capabilities it imparts will increase accordingly. Over time, some industrial designs might even become unique enough to qualify for trademark registration. Certainly, any industrial design which stands out to such an extent that trademark registration becomes possible has done more than enough to highlight the unique qualities of its brand.
Often, industrial designs come from industrial design studios which employ many industrial designers. This is because those who work in such studios simultaneously function as manufacturers and designers. Through this dual role, industrial designers become more able to produce high-quality products which display a suitable balance between form and functionality. Products which exhibit a thorough understanding of industrial design make use of fonts, logos, contrast, and other key aesthetic elements in striking and creative ways. When customers view such innovative industrial designs, they will naturally be drawn to the brand because it highlights how unique the brand in question truly is. In this way, industrial design not only makes a brand unique; it also makes it more profitable.
Avoiding the Brand Gap
Industrial design makes a brand’s identity stand out and gain prominence. When industrial designers create a design, they should do so in such a way that enables the products or services provided to be portrayed or perceived as being not only of high quality, but also truly one-of-a-kind. Any disconnect or discrepancy in this area is known as a “brand gap”. A brand gap can be very harmful to any brand because it causes the public to regard such a brand as disingenuous, thus diminishing its general reputation. On the other hand, successful industrial designs which avoid the brand gap will elevate the brand’s public perception. The better the public perception of the brand, the more able it will be to establish a unique identity as a provider of excellent, and reputable services or products.
If any brand is to witness the success of its commercialization efforts, a well-planned, memorable industrial design is an excellent place to start. Once an industrial design cements a brand’s place in the hearts and minds of customers, the brand will become known not only as one which is truly unique – a status which will further be boosted as long as the brand continues to deliver on its claims about quality, customer service, and trustworthiness.
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