Innovation Begins With Understanding

April 11th, 2012 by Dave Starr

One thing that is universally true about creating new products is that it cannot be done in a vacuum. As a designer, my job is to come up with new product concepts and turn them into amazing products to help our consumers create fantastic cakes. And while we have a lot of imagination and some great tools here in the office, our true inspiration comes from you…the end user.

When the Wilton Design Group begins to create a new product or product line like those that were part of our Decorate Smart approach, we start with the user. Our goal is to understand the process completely including the points of frustration, motivation and enjoyment that our Wilton customers experience when using our products. Because at the end of the day, creating a great consumer experience what matters the most.ULTIMATE Trim-N-Turn Caddy

With the Decorate Smart program, it was critical for the design team to immerse themselves in the process with our customers. We spent months getting involved on every level. The team worked alongside Wilton students at all levels of instruction from beginners to advanced students spending two weeks in the Wilton Masters class. We took thousands of photos, conducted dozens of interviews and made copious notes about everything we saw.

The team also got involved with our consumers at their homes. We conducted a series of “Bakealongs” where we spent time with our consumers in their own kitchens watching them bake and decorate a wide range of projects. All of this learning and observation fed directly into the brainstorming sessions that followed and resulted in hundreds of new product ideas.

These product ideas were then prototyped and tested, and tested, and tested again. With test results from our core users, we were able to refine the products until they were perfect. Once we are satisfied that the experience for our consumers will be great, only then do we produce and bring the products to market. So when you are looking at our web site and wondering “How did they think of that?” remember that a lot of the ideas came from you. Who knows, maybe we’ll be in your kitchen next…

Dave Starr Dave Starr is the Vice President of Product Design and Innovation. He leads a talented team of designers who are artists, inventors, mad scientists and foodies. Dave has been fascinated by products and cooking ever since he took his mother’s dishwasher apart at 4 to see how it worked. He now splits his time between making cool Wilton products, riding his motorcycle and making cakes for his family and friends.

One Reply

  1. I am looking for the candy Harley Davidson Logo to put on a cake and black/orange fondue.

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