Think About Your Product as a Person

July 2013 | by Jenn David Connolly


When developing the design for a product, we often ask clients to describe their product as if it were a person. Develop its personality and appearance as a character. If you walked into a room and met this person for the first time, what would they be like? What would your first impression be? The center of the party? Handsome and captivating? Stunningly beautiful?

Start with high-level descriptors: is it serious, fun, eclectic? Then from there, branch out: is it quiet and reserved, outgoing and friendly, smart and understanding, warm and welcoming, trustworthy and solid, boisterous and energetic, whimsical and romantic?

Once you’ve got a set of descriptors down, develop a story behind the product or put it in a setting. For example, this is the product your life has been lacking without but you didn’t know such a product could exist, and once you taste it, the clouds part from the sky, warm sun shines down upon you and lofty orchestral music starts playing. Be dramatic and glamorous about your story, don’t hold back. After all, you don’t want your product to hold back on the shelf.

Thinking about your product in this way brings a new perspective in developing the product’s outward appearance. As opposed to focusing on getting them to pick up the product and read the label, think about how do you want the consumer to feel when they meet your product for the first time? Taste it for the first time? When they finish it and go back to buy more? After they’ve been enjoying it time after time? Think beyond just the initial purchase to the long-term customer.