Designing for guys: It’s more involved than you would think.

081314_Benny Flores Collection-100Designing is not about making random products.

I buy products based on my current style and personal brand. Every guy has a brand whether they think they do or not. Guys who recognize their own brand try and stick to their brands code. For example, when someone is looking for a laptop bag, do they just buy any style of bag or do they buy one that is a mirror of their style? Do guys really stick to their brand that’s probably a question you may be asking? Maybe. Recall your male friends who you have know for years, then recall their style. Has it changed? Is it sort of the same? The odds are, it may be similar. For me, I would buy a laptop bag that represent how I currently dress. When buying something I also have four criteria in mind: style, utilitarianism, cost and durability.

Gray Bag
100% Wool laptop bag with Chambray lining.

First, the product has to catch my eye.  Is it an extension of my current style? In basic terms, does it match with what I have in my closet? If it does not,  then I may not get it. If it does then I move onto utilitarianism. Is the laptop bag capable of holding all that I need to master my day? What can I put inside of it? How heavy or light is the material? How fast can the laptop be accessed?  I answer those questions in about the first 30 seconds of seeing the item.

Once the laptop bag meets those requirements then I pull the price tag out and brace for the shock. If the sticker price is ok, then I compare cost to durability.  If the cost and durability equate to roughly the same thing then it’s coming home to mi casa.

That process might not be the same as yours or in the same order but I’m sure some similarities exist. When I designed this bag I felt the bag had to be similar in style to my mens collection. Also the bag had to have the utilitarian functions that I required. Cost also played a factor in creating this bag. How could I make it so that it fell in line with my current cost structure? Lastly, will I make something cheap and not durable enough to last a year? NO! As a young brand and lessons learned, I know reputation is everything, so I wanted to make sure what I did fell inline with the quality standards I’d expect when buying a product.

Random Thought: The above vest took several attempts until I found the right fabric. It was one of my favorite products at that time.

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