Companies have to go beyond the basics -- designing a great shape and terrific features for a product -- to win really big in the marketplace. They have to use design to reinterpret existing categories and open up new market spaces for their brands. They need to use design to understand what their brands really stand for in the minds of consumers. The following winners did just that and opened up new business opportunities.
Timberland Travel Gear
Designer: The Timberland Co. (TBL ) Design Team
A modular system of inner cores and outer shells allows travelers to do more and pack less. Many trips include business and sports, and the various choices can accommodate any activity. $250.
Nike ACG CommVEST
Designer: Nike Inc. (NKE )
Nike embraces its performance DNA by designing a mountain search and rescue vest. Speaker and microphone are at the collar, a push-to-talk tab allows people to communicate with gloves on. $175.
BRP/BV2s Snowmobile Helmet
Designer: BRP design team
Snowmobilers often use motorcycle helmets, but seeing, talking, and even breathing is difficult. This helmet is designed to meet their needs. It cuts fogging with a new breath evac system and has side-mounted lights for nighttime. $449.
Designer: Apple Computer Inc. (AAPL )
The Shuffle continues Apple's domination of the new music culture. It is one part of the whole music collection and listening experience Apple has created with iTunes, iPods, and the Apple retail stores. MP3 players alone just aren't enough. $99.