This week, the famous Consumer Electronics Show is being held in Las Vegas. It is a media savvy vehicle for bringing new products and technology to market. As the various vendors and industry pundits’ work to impress us with what is new, I find myself thinking about some of the basics. Over time, some of the most exciting advances have to do with packaging and how the product appears to the increasingly sophisticated consumer. Take a look at ipods or flat screen televisions, and you see that how the components are packaged is often more important than the components themselves. This brings us to the importance of the enclosure.
An increasing segment of Bud Industry’s market is customizing products to meet the unique design and marketing features of the customer. In fact, one of the most significant changes in the selling of enclosures is the inclusion of marketing leadership in the design phase. This is a great approach because we have seen that when marketing is involved near the end of the project, expensive changes can occur. These can result from a desire to make the product more ergonomic to more in line with the company branding efforts. For example, we did a prototype for a customer in one of our smaller plastic enclosures which perfectly suited their board mounting, display and connectivity needs. On a later iteration, they decided that they needed the unit made out of a special color to match their company colors and to help distinguish them in the market. Although the change itself was not complex, the alteration caused production delays as well as inconvenience for all involved.
The key is to work effectively by recognizing that the enclosure is actually a vital part of the marketing/branding effort. With minor “tweeks”, that standard plastic box or other electronic enclosure becomes unique, allowing for the meshing of price, visual concerns, and product innovation. The earlier this is accomplished, the more likely the success of the branding, the marketing, and perhaps the product launch at next year’s Consumer Show.