Around the world, power tool companies both new and established are discovering the true power of a global product design language. But what exactly is a GPDL, and why are power tool companies making such a push to establish them for their own brands?
At Beyond Design, we understand the power of a global product design language— we create them for brands every single day. Power tools represent a perfect example of why they’re so effective and important.
What Makes a Global Design Language?
The potential of your tools becoming a powerful part of your users’ lives and livelihoods comes from what they can do. What tasks can they accomplish? What features do they have that make using them easier? But that’s not all a product is.
Think about a car. Maybe your tools are designed to be Ferraris, or maybe they’re designed to be sturdy and dependable Ford trucks. In either case, there’s more to the vehicle than its engine, chassis, wheels, horsepower, and towing capacity. There are all of the visual elements that let you walk into a showroom and think, “That’s a Ferrari,” or “That’s a Ford.”These are the things that make the driver’s seat of a brand-new car feel instantly familiar to someone who has owned a vehicle from the same manufacturer.
These elements that are consistent and familiar across multiple products from the same brand are that brand’s global product design language. They can include everything from form factor and color to materials, physical features and branding elements.
These elements are what drive brand loyalty.
How Power Tool Companies Benefit from a GPDL
Power tool companies around the globe have transformed a range of industries, and established names have inspired a range of competitors. That spells increased competition— and a growing need for brands to differentiate themselves.
GPDL is one of the essential ways that brands can achieve that differentiation, and there are many ways that consistent product design can help your power tool brand become lovable in the eyes of customers.
1. Consistent Experiences Customers Recognize
Most power tool companies recognize that user experience is an essential part of their product design— but few fully appreciate how much a consistent brand language plays into that experience. When your visual brand language is consistent across multiple products in a way that feels familiar, customers spend less time trying to figure out how your product works. They recognize the power button, the safety trigger design, and how to navigate the product. It reduces their learning curve and leaves them with a positive overall experience free from frustration or confusion.
2. Carve Out Your Space in the Market
Your tools may have some killer feature that completely outshines every other power tool company in the market, or it may simply provide a consistent commitment to quality as well as the features that users expect. In either case, you’ll need to find something more that sets your tools apart from the competition. The best brands at the hardware store don’t need a massive marquee bearing their name— their section of the power tools aisle is immediately recognizable simply from customers’ eyes catching on their color scheme and packaging.
3. Embracing the Power of Psychology for Your Brand
The idea that people are inclined to like something that they recognize isn’t just a marketing strategy— it’s a proven scientific fact. Research has shown for decades that people are more likely to react positively to something they’ve experienced before, even if they don’t consciously recognize that it’s familiar. You can use this power to your benefit, creating consistent user experience and brand image that will make your power tools feel comfortable, familiar, and in turn, desirable for customers— even if they’ve never actually used a specific tool before.
4. Inform and Simplify Your Design Stage
A global product design language isn’t just a powerful tool for your marketing and sales, it can also streamline your operations. Deciding early on a global design language eliminates many of the debates and discussions that must happen along the process of product development. When certain branding and product design elements are unified across multiple products, you don’t need to develop them individually for each one. That means great GPDL makes both your operations and customer experience better— a rare win-win.