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Product design preferences in the USA, South Korea and Germany
2007 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are essential for the economy in many countries, given that the majority of companies often are SMEs. The use of modern information and communication technologies provides opportunities for SMEs to act on a global market. When an SME exports products or services to a foreign country, it should acquire knowledge of both customer and cultural preferences to avoid business failures. The main purpose of the studies presented in this thesis was to investigate what the product design preferences are like in three example countries, the USA, South Korea and Germany in order to illustrate possible design preference differences among cultures. Furthermore, the studies examine how an SME can use this information for increasing export sales. Field studies were conducted in the target countries to gather information concerning design preferences and to study the information gathering process. The selected methods, questionnaires, interviews and observations used for gathering information were assumed to be well known and easily accessible for most SMEs. The presented results show both similarities and differences. Americans found "good value for the price" to be the most important factor when buying a product, while Germans preferred "long life". Koreans found aesthetic factors more important than both Americans and Germans. Furthermore, most visual characteristics were found to be similar in the three target countries, but a colourful example was found to be one of the least preferred characters by Americans and Germans, while Koreans found it considerably more preferable. In addition, approaches to gathering information about customers in a foreign culture are presented as well as design concept suggestions for two example products based on results from the field studies.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Luleå: Luleå tekniska universitet, 2007. , 24 p.
Licentiate thesis / Luleå University of Technology, ISSN 1402-1757 ; 1997:21
Research subject
Industrial Design
URN: urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-17123Local ID: 1bed2f50-e9ab-11db-b9a9-000ea68e967bOAI: diva2:990120
Godkänd; 2007; 20070413 (ysko)Available from: 2016-09-29 Created: 2016-09-29Bibliographically approved

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