The educated consumer

My 13 year old daughter is sitting a few feet away from me, frantically typing …always a sign that she has been procrastinating on a project. The topic: The Internet. The question: Did the Internet make a big difference in your life. My answer: I do hope that my life is firmly enough rooted in more intangible values for it not to be inherently influenced. But my business life? Now that’s another story.

Let’s have a look at Interior Design, because it’s a field I know well. How has it changed? What are it’s challenges vis-a-vis “the educated consumer”. Well, suppose we should first define “educated”. This is a consumer who on the upside is engaged in the process, knows what he or she wants, and has done their homework regarding available products, challenges of the project and of course knows a thing or two about pricing and resources. On the flip side, this consumer can be a challenge because he or she may think they know everything when they don’t, may be overinvolved and stifling to the designer and the design process and may (or most certainly will) try to “shop” the designer. How do we avoid this? Can we avoid it? Or is the answer in being more transparent rather than more obscure? Is the answer maybe in a shift of business model and a shift of value proposition? Since the Internet gives access to almost every resource available, along with tools and inspirations, what can the designer do to protect his profit margin?


~ by vulfin on December 3, 2009.

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