A designer from a major, major firm explains how with "dissonant design" like the Bugaboo or the iPod, the combination of design/function/brand is so powerful, people identify with the products and use them as forms of self-expression, even though they cost way more than the competition.
iPod users are rewarded for breaking the rules, thinking outside the box, acknowledging the exclusive, stand-out design while it's exclusive, but actually appreciating the seamless functionality, not the trendiness, now that they're everywhere.
Bugaboo users, meanwhile, are trying to show they have more money than you, even though they're ashamed to admit they spent it in an irrational fit of trendchasing. But they'll still try and get you to buy one, just so they can underscore their trendspotting acumen. Oh, and they're desperate to show they're not losers now, just because they have a kid.
I'll bet you a bag'o'donuts the guy who wrote this:
- has no kids himself, but knows all about them because his whole damn neighborhood in Brooklyn is being overrun by kids now, and besides, his friggin' officemate won't shut up about how awesome their new Bugaboo is.
- figured all this out, not by doing any research, or talking to any actual users, or even talking to anyone outside his office or apartment, but on the L train, staring at one more friggin' Bugaboo-pushing couple who got off before he did--oh, and while he was rocking his iPod.
- drank Pabst Blue Ribbon way before it was "cool," but then stopped because the company totally blew it, and now it's so over. [OK, I cheated; he actually mentions this one in the article.]
Dissonant Design: Fulfilling the Need for Self Expression [frogdesign.com, no relation]