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Customer voice pushes buttons at WMG

PR 09/07

13 September 2007 


Latest research shows that simple things such as the push of a button have a disproportionately large impact on consumer choices.

This understanding is critical in the premium luxury car business where the positive feel of a switch could swing a decision to spend tends of thousands. And to make matters worse, the daily use of controls which irritate a driver can drive them to try another brand when they next change their vehicle. Now researchers at WMG are working in partnership with leading luxury car makers to try and find the perfect switch.

Earlier this year, WMG’s Craftsmanship team, led by Dr Mark Williams, held a consumer research clinic at the design studios at Concept Group International in Coventry followed up with clinics at a car design studio. Volunteers were asked to assess switch packs from leading luxury automotive manufacturers Audi, Mercedes, Bentley, Lexus and BMW; both out of context on a bench and sitting inside the vehicles themselves.

Dr Williams, whose work is supported by Warwick Innovative Manufacturing Research Centre (WIMRC), said: “This consumer research gives us valuable insight into what makes a switch feel like a premium switch. All this work is leading towards the development of techniques that will help companies turn imprecise expressions of customer preference into quantifiable measurements and techniques that will allow engineers to recreate the experience customers desire. Results from this research will be used to help develop innovative new methods for incorporating the ‘voice of the customer’ directly into the development process; a key factor of new product success.”

Notes to editors:·

WMG, an academic group of the University of Warwick, is a provider of innovative solutions to industry, supporting some of the most advanced research, development and training projects in the world.·

Switch Testing Photo