In this paper, we study the design activity of styling and its performance assessment within style-sensitive manufacturing companies. Based on interviews with industry professionals at such companies, we analyze how the contribution of styling and expressive products is perceived and assessed. We delineate how these companies stimulate sales and profits, enhance their brand visibility and promote the wider acknowledgment of their capabilities in the market through styling. We also describe how press coverage and design awards function as performance measures for styling activities alongside product sales. In addition, we describe how the perceived contribution of styling activities and its assessment are codependent on how the companies and their designers operate and make decisions on the expressiveness of products.
- design performance
- new product development