Engineering the Brand

Wednesday 07/09/2011 12:30pm -1:30pm
Location: Brunel Design, Tower A, Room TA049
Speaker: Dr Marcus Abbott, Platform Manager - Continental Series at Bentley Motors Ltd

In mature product markets competitive advantage is increasingly associated with the strength of the brand; what it stands for and what owning a brand’s product says about the consumer. Successful brands in these markets pay close attention to the careful design and engineering of a product’s attributes that support and emphasise the brand’s values. In the high-luxury automotive segment, consumer satisfaction appears to be particularly influenced by products that are perceived to be typical to the brand’s lineage and the values and beliefs that are associated with it.

As designers and engineers we are able to define what a good product looks like. For example, we do this through the careful specification of materials, ergonomic or aesthetic properties. However, how do we ensure that this product is not only good but also right for the brand? How do we specify and develop product properties that not only satisfy our consumers but also connect with them in a way that owning and enjoying and exemplary product of the brand does. This seminar explores the links between product design and the cognitive perception of the product as belonging to the brand. It describes a novel design process that was developed and applied during in the creation of the New Bentley Continental GT.

Marcus Abbott heads the Product Marketing of Bentley Motors highly successful and category creating Continental family. He has over 18 years practice within the core disciplines in Product Development; Design and Engineering, Product Marketing and Manufacturing Engineering and has particular experience of building the relationship between the brand and the product in luxury and automotive sectors.