Sunday, May 30, 2010

Bells and Whistles...from the Engineer's vantage point

Ask just about any engineer and s/he will tell you that they do not like "bells and whistles."  They are a bit disdainful when they use the term.  Features on a product are seen as unnecessary "fluff" added by marketing for no good reason.

When you look at what engineers do really well, it is developing clean designs, making them as simple as possible.  They want to design products that work well all the time with minimal downtime.  Features add complexity and often bugs.  Additionally, most people never  use the features.

Example....When was the last time you used a microwave to do more than reheat a cup of coffee or pop a bag of popcorn, however, most microwaves have dozens of features.  You can not sell one that only has two buttons: "Coffee" and "Popcorn."

Admittedly, most features are just "fluff" but to the marketer, they are very valuable.  More on that in the next installment.

James Snider is a Global Marketing professional, responsible for developing the 3.4 billion dollar 1394/FireWire market. James spent 16 years in marketing with 7 years working at "for profit" companies, 8 years as executive director of a non-profit and the past year as an independent global business development consultant.

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