You can’t argue with the fact that today’s emerging markets are fast-changing and sporadic, with customers being more demanding and conscious of price. Since some types of traditional marketing are no longer effective, marketers must reexamine these approaches and tailor them to fit the current market, something called “design to value.” Design to value can be simple or complex; it may involve applying the same tools in a different way or thinking up new approaches altogether.

It’s almost impossible to have complete understanding of your market since customer needs are always changing. Still, there are many things that your business can do to develop winning products that continue to move along with consumer expectations. By changing your thinking, inventing new ideas and keeping the manufacturing process in mind early on, you can separate yourself from the competition and develop trend setting products.

Adopt Flexible Thinking Practices

We’re not saying that you have to forget about everything you’ve learned over the years, but you must take a new approach when it comes to how you think about your customers, especially in a time of rapidly emerging markets. Since it can be time-consuming and costly to learn about your customers through focus groups or ethnographic research, more businesses are turning to collision workshops.

Collision workshops are cost-effective, flexible and low-tech, and they can spark new ideas out of simple contexts, such as changing the material of a particular product. New thinking can also be achieved by looking at competitors, but not the ones that you normally study. Look beyond traditional competitors in your industry for new interpretations as well.

Implement Brand New Ideas

Sometimes we get so accustomed to the way a product should be, manufacturers continue to add on to the existing product to make it better without rethinking the original design. Setting aside our assumptions may not be easy, but it could have huge rewards. As your business must work harder to separate your brand from others, breaking down a product and starting over can lower costs, utilize environmentally friendly practices and give your company the edge in revolutionary design.

Consider Manufacturer Needs in the Design Phase

It’s common for companies to think up new ideas but not consider how these intentions will play out in the manufacturing stage. If you want to stand out, think about how your products can be tweaked to lower capital costs. By keeping this phase of the process in mind, you can lower costs for materials and labor and take advantage of cheaper technologies that are available from local suppliers.

Today’s businesses are always discussing how the market, the environment and the customers are changing, but we don’t always discuss how we need to adapt to these changes. If we want to be industry leaders, we must navigate this new landscape with flexible thinking and fresh ideas that are synonymous with consumer needs.