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Evaluation And The Consumer
7.3.1 Define value for money.
Two questions to ask yourself ...
7.3.2 Compare price with value when assessing a product for value for money.
If the price is too high, there may not be enough potential purchasers who can afford it or think the product is value for money. If the price is too low, consumers may think the product is too cheap to have much value. Demand for a product will generally establish the maximum price that can be charged, and the costs of production will determine the minimum price that is acceptable. However, a company may choose to set its price in relation to its competitors, or it may choose to set the price in accordance with the perceived value of the product.
7.3.3 Explain how consumers apply criteria to evaluate a product for value for money, referring to before purchase, purchase, initial use and long-term use.
Before purchase: advertising, manufacturer’s specification, list price, product image, and evaluation by experts and consumer groups. Purchase: aesthetics, performance, build quality and purchase price. Initial use: actual performance, safety and ease of use. Long-term use: reliability, ease of maintenance, durability and running costs.
7.3.4 Discuss how the criteria in 7.3.3 are assigned different weightings depending on the design context.
Value judgements play a part in product analysis, and they vary according to the individual, the time (era) and the circumstances. Consumers often value utility, security, availability, rarity and aesthetics, while designers may consider function, reliability and ease of maintenance more important.
7.3.5 Explain the relevance of quality assurance to consumers.
Quality assurance means that consumers do not have to carry out their own research when considering purchasing products, and they have a means of redress if a product fails to match expected standards, for example, via a guarantee.
7.3.6 Discuss the role of consumer associations for product evaluation.
Consumer associations are independent organisations. They carry out tests on products to see if manufacturers’ claims are justified, and they provide published data for consumers. They compare similar products within a target market and recommend the best value-for-money products.
Two examples of consumer associations ..
7.3.7 Explain the contribution of the media and education to product evaluation.
Consider the contribution of consumer and lifestyle programmes, the weekend sections of newspapers and consumer journals, and their focus on new products. Also curriculum development and design education in schools.
Bulleted list and italicised paragraphs are excerpted from Design Technology: guide. Cardiff Wales, UK: International Baccalaureate Organization, 2007.
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