Umberto Lago, Professor of Marketing at the University of Bologna, gives a small intro for these round tables.
Why these two round tables: Life driven by innovative design and Sharing the “blue gene”?
Well, talking with Haier executives, it turned out that Haier payoff “life driven by innovative technologies” has a lot to do with product design and sustainability. We believe that consumers are increasingly interested in attractive products (hence the need for good design) that are also environmentally sustainable. If you Google the word “sustainability”, you obtain almost 2 hundred million results. We believe that the present generation, that we have labelled “Blue Generation” (which is essentially the generation of people who wish to live in the Blue Economy), cannot wait for Governments or Public Authorities to act on their behalf. They want to act right now to change things for themselves and for the future generations. The act of choice that we make as consumers implies both power and responsibility and the people of the Blue Generation are willing to take both the power and the responsibility.
They are those people who have become sensible to the future and who search in their everyday behaviour, in the product that they buy, in the technologies that they use, the same sensibility. When it turns to consumers’ goods, the Blue Generation is represented by those consumers who push the companies to design and produce better products, which are at the same time attractive and sustainable.
Companies are forced to develop innovative design and technologies; they must understand how consumers are evolving and what they care for. Obviously they must produce products which meet consumers’ needs. To do this, they must align their values with consumers’ values and design the products from the very beginning according to these values.
Innovative design and sustainable, clean technologies are product attributes who have become increasingly important in consumers’ choice. But they cannot be attributes of a few, luxury products. In fact, they have become increasingly popular in a variety of products. We believe that the companies that align their design and products with these values can give a contribution towards building a better world while gaining a competitive edge over their competitors.