“For girls who love bling, Philips reckons it has just the thing. The electrical-goods company known for its televisions and shavers is getting into the jewellery business. This year it will start selling a range of wearable memory sticks â€“ including a USB storage device dressed up to look like a heartshaped pendant.
The Active Crystal range of products â€“ there will also be bejewelled earphones for digital-music players â€“ is the first fruit of a joint venture with Swarovski, the jeweller [read also this Philips press release]. The USB keys, which will have enough memory for 1,000 photos or 250 songs, are expected to cost about Â£120. As the price makes clear, the target customer is more fashion victim than gadget geek.
For Rudy Provoost, chief executive of Philips Consumer Electronics, the partnership with Swarovski is a good example of how the Dutch giant is changing, and how design has become central to its future success. “Design is not just about styling and the look,” Provoost said. â€œDesign is the vehicle to create experience â€“ design as a fashion statement, as a lifestyle statement.”
Three years ago, he said, design was only one of a number of factors that went into the equation of creating new products. “Today, design is driving the equation, it is setting the direction. A few years ago, we would very much have said: ‘Let’s do it all by ourselves.’ Now we are going out and partnering with companies.”
The article then continues with a more technical analysis of the Philips consumer products business strategy.