In most product categories, the introduction of a new product turns the entire category upside down, thus causing a turnaround. Examples of such products are the iPhone by Apple, the bagless vacuum cleaner by Dyson, the Bugaboo stroller and the Bobike child bicycle seat by Dremefa. They immediately set the tone, and those who cannot or do not keep up, often miss the boat. Michel Krechting had something similar in mind when he resigned in 2007 as director of luminaire manufacturer Lumiance and took over GMG, a struggling manufacturer of bicycle child seats. Since the 1980s, there had been little innovation in bicycle seats. But how do you successfully market a newly designed version of an existing product? There is no formula, but in his recently published book “Dossier Yepp”, industrial designer and entrepreneur Michel Krechting shows how he did it. He believes the key to successful design management is a good cooperation between all disciplines. Based on the genesis of his idea for the new generation bicycle seats, the building of his company, the design puzzle during the design of the seat and the efforts it took to successfully market it. But also the failures and set-backs. What can be learned form this experience? How do you manage damage control? A true entrepreneurial story. Supported by many illustrations and images. Michel elaborated on the importance of good design management. He convincingly shows that a well-designed product is not enough. And that success is strongly dependent on the degree to which you also devote attention to, for instance, co-creation, marketing and R&D. Krechting: 'The key to successful design management is good cooperation between all disciplines. The designers must work together seamlessly with the marketing manager, and the marketing manager with the production manager. Without that cooperation, your design can be as strong as it is, but it will never become a game changer.' The Yepp bike seat series, designed by Vanderveer Designers (Modyn today), became an overwhelming success. Distinguished with many national and international design awards. Soon after its market introduction, Yepp became the best-selling seat in the Netherlands and in many more countries. In his book he also elaborates on the marketing and sales aspects that contributed strongly to the international success of the Yepp seats. But he also demonstrates the importance of a consistent corporate identity and brand awareness. And why and how outsourcing of services and production are vital in the Yepp supply chain.
About the author
Michel graduated from the AIVE (Akademie voor industriële vormgeving Eindhoven; today the Design Academy Eindhoven) in 1977. In 2016, Michel's company GMG bv was acquired by the Swedish Thule Group. Since then Michel acts as Innovation Mentor. Summary: “Good design management is crucial to become a game changer.