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The design bubble has burst

I previously wrote about IKEA and their new ‘Elite designers against IKEA’ advertising campaign. It totally complies with the original spirit of IKEA as Ingvar Kamprad said: “Great design is useless if only the most wealthy can afford it”. People want good design but they do not want the extra price tag and attitude found in designer stores. H&M understands this. They have got Karl Lagerfeld to design their new collection (released to selected stores today). Have a look at the H&M website and see their new ad’s. Points out the same as the IKEA ad’s - that designers and their consumers live in their own world. It’s time for the design bubble to burst. And I think it already has. With a extreme focus on design in all areas of our personal and business life. In the IT-world we have Google with its extereme minimalistic design which puts the focus on the usage. Another example is Apple with all the praise from users and press for its great looking and functional products. IKEA and H&M brings affordable design to our homes and closets. SonyEricsson has dramatically increased their market share with their stylish phones (seems like everyone has the T610 here in Norway).

So what will be the difference in the design/price relationship in the future? Good design is worth paying for and is generally more expensive to develop. But good design does not mean that a company can hide behind the great design and raise the price significantly because of it.

Written on 12 November 2004.
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