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HARMAN Luxury Update

HARMAN Luxury Update

Design as Core Competency

by Dave Tovissi
Vice President and General Manager
HARMAN Luxury Audio

Dave Tovissi VP & GM - Luxury Audio

Today’s award-winning product designs are not only innovative, but they are also aesthetically appealing, and highly usable. Thoughtful product designs are vital to the success of a brand and a product. That’s why HARMAN Luxury Audio continues to invest in people and cutting-edge design tools.

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There are several facets that have come together to promote Industrial Design as a fundamental Core Competency of HARMAN Luxury Audio. The functional complexity of many of our products, for example, increases the need for intuitive user-interfaces. Conversely, commoditization is occurring everyday within the Consumer Electronics industry. Product Design is one of the few remaining points of differentiation in our industry. This month, I wanted to share our team’s design approach that has led to winning Red Dot and iF Design awards and has contributed to the successful launch and continued sales of our products.

We Hire and Develop Top Talent
Every great company needs a comprehensive talent strategy that clearly defines how it builds a successful design team. We are fortunate to have hired a diverse team of researchers, designers and problem solvers. Diversity in our team helps us bring new ideas from various cultural perspectives. We also partner with Huemen Design, based in New York City to help bring our product ideas to life in a meaningful and holistic approach. This month’s Meet the Team will introduce you to Jason Gokavi, our Principle Industrial Design partner from Huemen.

We Stick to our Plan
Well-designed products follow a coherent set of design principles that govern their style and function. Our product designs are based on consistent principles that create a unique visual language which ensures differentiation and product recognition, thereby moving our products beyond purely functional appeal. They trigger emotional connections with your customers.

We Manage Complexity
Because every decision that can determine the final form, look and feel of a product is crucial, it’s important that our design team understands and manages their role to reduce product complexity and cost. Even seemingly innocuous choices, such as a mechanical part design, can lead to the complexity of manufacturing and assembling a product. That’s why we share our designs and allow our supplier partners to provide feedback throughout the creative process. This allows multiple stakeholders from other functions to review the entire product.

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We Use the Right Tools
I know that many of our newsletter readers are installers, and they know the importance of having the right tool for the job. In product design, there is a complete ecosystem of software tools available for our mechanical engineers and industrial designers to use. These tools help them develop early conceptual designs and provide visualization through to digital or physical modeling. We also employ physical-prototyping equipment and 3-D printers to allow us to quickly build models of small and mid-size parts. Rapid prototyping plays an important role in the product development process for our products and packaging. These advanced tools can involve a significant up-front investment. But the cost is often offset quickly because designers can evaluate their work earlier in the process, reducing lead times and allowing more design options to be tested.

JBL Synthesis Conceal CES Award

Once mainly the concern of the fashion and automotive industries, investments in compelling industrial designs are clearly playing a big success in the launch and the strong sales growth of our iconic brands.