Blog: Chuck and Ozzy
Dave Leggett | 7 October 2005
Time spent at the Royal College of Art yesterday proved worthwhile. The industrial design aspect to the RCA has a pretty good reputation - a number of prominent vehicle designers have come out of there – and the Visteon/RCA future car cockpit concept looked like a good example of the RCA working well with industry. In fact, the concept was a lot closer to the real world than I’d been expecting.
I heard quite a bit from Visteon’s Jim Fleming about the company’s innovation group and how it goes about things. One thing that sticks in the mind was what he was saying about how firms like Visteon and the vehicle manufacturers are classifying the end market and looking at social groups. The old one dimensional approach based on factors such as age, occupation, lifestages and income (eg yielding social groups A,B,C1, C2 etc) is increasingly giving way to a more qualitative approach that looks at broader social characteristics and attitudes/values – the ‘active dimension’ (the social status stuff is the ‘passive dimension’).
The approach enables the identification of value-based groups in society and their characteristics – traditional, modern, materialistic, established, intellectual and so on. It’s not so easy to dismiss as ‘airy fairy’ when you realise that major corporations are basing decisions on this stuff. Anyway, Jim had a neat example to show the limitations of the traditional socio-economic analysis. “Okay, let’s take a very wealthy man, in his fifties, multiple properties around the world, likes to holiday in Switzerland – that profile fits both Prince Charles and Ozzy Osbourne, but the two people are actually very different.” Quite.
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