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22 spaincontract. Meeting Point. Marcelo Alegre The difference lies in the design. Marcelo Alegre, industrial designer and the heart of the studio called ´Alegre Design’ in Valencia reflects on product design and discusses his work for some of the furniture firms that consider design a brand differentiator. What makes a brand different from another one? What does the consumer value highly in today´s globalized world where there are more than 30,000 daily visual impacts? No doubt it is differentiation. And this is achieved through design. Design in your graphic communication, design in its identity and design in its products, which are at the end of the day representatives of the brand, and its most valid commercial agents. The product is the center of the brand mark, the heart from which all other organs depend. With a product design tailored to the needs of each company, in each market, we are able to attract the attention of consumers, differentiate ourselves, and therefore position ourselves precisely. Alegre Design has been creating comprehensive branding strategies via product design since its inception. It does not undertake just perform product design, it also adjusts itself to the production needs of each company, studying the markets where the products will be distributed and charting a long-term strategic analysis of the company with specific milestones following the production of the products. In this way, and through a restructuring of the firms´ product catalogs it is able to expand the range of operations and to open up new projects and markets. B & V: internationalization of the brand mark via products This was the case with B & V, a family upholstery business from Moixent, Valencia with more than 20 years of experience. The company had a large industrial capacity and worked on the behalf of signature third companies, some of the top names from the Contract and Habitat segments in Spain, upholstering their furniture. However, its own collections needed a change of concept, a new design, and a strategy where internationalization became the key. In order to achieve this, and with a strategic approach to positioning, Alegre Design drew up an action plan covering five years where every action that was required to execute the plan was set out (design, production, communication, sales, internationalization ...) with the aim of positioning the brand in those new markets. In this plan, the products were the cornerstone of its strategy. The creation of seven new collections has helped the firm to position itself not only in new markets, including in sectors other than the home (living), but also in the Contract sector (Hospitality) or the sector for furnishing public spaces (Facilities). The first contact with the national and international market was undertaken at the last edition of the 2015 Habitat Fair of Valencia, where the new collections were unveiled. Months later, they were also exhibited at ‘Wanted Design’ in New York, one of the most emblematic presentations for studios and design products in the US where every year more than 11,000 international companies attend. A few months later, they traveled to Chicago, to the ‘Neo Con’ show, the most important interior design event in the US, where every year the best professionals, the most outstanding products and innovative ideas come together. Pieces like Ikon, the iconic sofa from the collection; Ego, a perfectly asymmetrical armchair for contract spaces and a piece that was considered by the French publication Clorosphere to be one of the most innovative products of the year; Zip, a design from edeestudio nominated for the German Design Award are all facilitating the worldwide growth of B & V. The launch has been so successful that its first orders were international rather than national. Actiu: brand positioning via its product ‘Alegre Design,’ in addition to designing products, is carefully studying distribution and sales in various markets. This has meant that in many cases their designs have immediately been converted into sales. Actiu, a manufacturer of furniture for work Katzden. Cómo convertir una empresa tradicional  japonesa en una referencia de diseño También por medio del diseño de producto se puede rehacer la imagen de toda una empresa. Ese fue el caso de Katzden, una empresa japonesa con más de 200 años de trayectoria pero anticuada en sus productos que buscaba un nuevo diseño más europeo en sus productos. Especializada en procesos metálicos, esta empresa nipona precisaba reconvertir su producto en algo de mayor actualidad y que tuviera salida en los mercados japoneses durante los próximos 50 años. Alegre Design comenzó a colaborar con ellos a partir del diseño de un soporte para bicicletas, Cesta, instalada en los últimos meses en todo el centro  de Tokio. A partir de ahí, han desarrollado nuevos productos que han sido todo un revulsivo en el mercado japonés, como las escaleras infantiles Kidslofty. En Japón las habitaciones infantiles precisan de escaleras para acceder a los altillos donde duermen muchos niños. Kidslofty son tres modelos diferentes de escaleras, divertidas, funcionales y sencillas, que, cumpliendo perfectamente todas las exigencias de seguridad, han dado un nuevo estilo a las habitaciones infantiles. A partir de estos nuevos productos, Katzden ha comenzado a consolidarse en nuevos sectores del mercado japonés más relacionados con el diseño de interiores y la decoración. Tres ejemplos de la importancia del producto en la estrategia comercial de cada empresa, y cómo, a partir de un buen producto, se pueden alcanzar metas nuevas donde el diseño es la herramienta aliada.n Butaca B&V Signature/B&V Signature Chair


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