1 July 2003
Artful Product Design(HKTDC Enterprise, Vol 07,2003)
Artful Product Design
|OneWorld emphasises design and appeal in its range of premiums and gift items such as the Soothing Sounds Travel Alarm Clock and Floating Timepiece shown here|
OneWorld has clicked with many international customers for a very good reason - it cares about both the product and the end user, according to director of sales and business development Fernando Newcomb.
Reward came to this electronic manufacturer's serious aspirations to business when it won a big order in 2000 from a US tobacco company, which commissioned 4.8 million promotional radios in a single order.
"Although a huge production quantity, it took us only 100 days from placement to shipment - and with remarkably good quality," says Newcomb. "That company remains a significant client today."
OneWorld offers a full range of product development and manufacturing services to fit its customers' needs. For example, among several new designs introduced by Newcomb as "smash hits" is the Soothing Sounds travel alarm clock.
"Apart from time, Soothing Sounds provides a selection of four soft, digital audio soundtracks, a countdown sleep timer and a multi-option snooze alarm," he says.
"Soothing Sounds allows users to tune out the world and transport themselves to a deserted beach, a babbling brook, a woodland night and a tropical rainforest. It is designed to provide a relaxing ambience that helps people to sleep soundly and to awake on time," he adds.
Another product, Airtime, is a patented magnetic floating timepiece greeted with applause by the premiums market when first launched in 2002.
"These are attention grabbers in the truest sense and, with their high impact and low cost, are certain to be at the top of many companies' promotional wish lists," he continues.
Another appealing design from this manufacturer is the world's first light-powered perpetual watch. Using a special high capacity rechargeable battery, in combination with a photovoltaic power cell, this watch never needs a replacement battery.
Founded in 1995, OneWorld finds its roots in a basic product philosophy: "Start with consumer needs: simplicity of operation, elegant design, superb operating performance and affordability. Fulfil these needs and the result is a product which is pure joy to own," Newcomb explains.
Over the years, OneWorld has evolved from a small company to a team with 20 staff in Hong Kong and 300 workers on the Chinese mainland. The company now exports mainly to Europe and the US.
OneWorld's senior managers and staff are a combination of experienced Chinese and Western product development and engineering specialists, offering a wide range of innovative electronics that are set to multiply their customers' business profits.
"We care about the logic, and how our products function," says Newcomb. "We understand the products we make and that gives us an edge with custom designs and enables us to manufacture them in an intelligent way."
He says that while generating a lot of business from promotional products, the good design and quality also attracts high numbers of retail customers.
"Part of OneWorld's success is its ability to tap into the rich pool of Asian software development talent, and to bring the integrated circuit chips powering our company's ideas into production reality," says Newcomb.
"By creating our own custom IC," he adds, "we tend to have greater flexibility in product design and the control of products."
Leveraging skills in IC development, he says the company is able to build quality products of exceptional value at a competitive price. "We have carefully located the right IC makers, mostly in Taiwan and Korea, and manage the production on the Chinese mainland to keep costs low," he adds.
"This ability has attracted the attention of companies looking for Asian OEM partners who understand the Western market and are experienced in blending Eastern and Western skills," he says.
WRITTEN BY SUZANNE DENNIS
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