This was strategic brand-design project subsidized by Taiwan’s IDB and monitored by Taiwan Design Centre.
Continuous change in the dynamic global market forces are pressuring Taiwanese OEM companies to upgrade and produce own designs and tempting them to develop own brands. Like so many other emerging brands, OSERIO was created to answer these same needs for the worldwide OEM/ODM weighing machine manufacturer Charder Electronic Co., Ltd.,located in Taichung City, Taiwan.
Our tasks were 1) to support the development of in-house brand-design competence and 2) to develop products for the local Taiwanese and overseas Chinese markets. In addition to Scandinavian Designers brand-design delivery, the project was therefore set up as a Corporate Training and Upgrading Programme for the ODM and OBM Design and Marketing Departments and every presentation had a parallel function as an educational session. At the same time, we upgraded OSERIO from a name and CIS, to a Brand and value-statement.
Weighing machines are, like the majority of global products a western invention and culture. As an OEM manufacturer, Charder knew the OEM technical requirements of weight measurement, but was less experienced in the cultural (ODM, OBM) aspects of the Weight and Health Management business they wished to develop. Traditionally too, all product development went through the engineers in R&D who turn buyer designs and specifications into products. The OSERIO brand was however, set up by the owners of Charder as an independent section with only an integrated marketing and design department. While OSERIO’s mission was to develop Charder’s brand, they were thus at the same time an OEM client of centrally positioned in-house resources such as engineering and manufacturing. The project was therefore set in an unresolved triangle of power between Marketing representing the brand, R&D representing rigid OEM culture and ownership representing narrow, short-term financial interests.
Scandinavian Designers first reviewed the project from a market-strategic and conceptual perspective. The key concepts behind the design were 1) body weight as a dynamic component of health management data related to a) a timeline b) diet control; 2) the design of the machine as a reflection of the local cultural context.
Regarding point 1, our analysis revealed that weight and health are an aspect of future management and that a weight goal can therefore be managed in relation to a prognosis curve. We therefore specified software design that enabled users to both see their progress via a built-in screen and manage their food intake and energy output via a website. The coordination and integration of these two key components in relation to a future goal empowered them to achieve simple but successful health management without involving complicated medical documentation.
Regarding point 2, our research revealed that the cultural context of weight and health management in the West is different from that in a Chinese-cultural environment. Westerners store and use weighing machines and health equipment in bath and bedrooms, while Chinese keep them in their living rooms. The form of weighing machines designed for Western societies will therefore be different from that for Taiwan and related markets.
Next, we developed two designs for OSERIO, one for immediate implementation and the other as a benchmark for future products and brand design DNA. While weighing technology necessitates a horizontal position of the machine for the measurement procedure, this inspired a new form for the weighing machine. 1) the new vertical form for upright storage when not in use.2) the integration of a convenient handle into the form for moving the machine;and 3) a separate but integrated user-interface closer to the user’s eyes and hand for monitoring and processing measurement and prognosis data. Project 1 is currently being developed to market, while the complete health management software programme for Project 2 is being prepared for OSERIO’s next step of development.