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Product Design That’s Profitable and Sustainable

Making customer experience a pillar of sustainable profitability is a better alternative than sustainability by enforced abstinence, writes Gianfranco Zaccai, president and CEO of Continuum, in a Businessweek article. In other words, if a great customer experience also happens to reduce waste and consumption, so much the better. Profitable sustainability is when designers create products, services, and environments that make sense for clients, and work for and with our earth.

Zaccai points to Procter & Gamble’s Swiffer cleaning system as an example. The Swiffer, which Continuum helped design, is a success from a customer experience standpoint and as an example of profitable sustainability. Cleaning a floor with a Swiffer uses almost no water at all and the only disposable waste is a sheet of paper and a few squirts of cleaning agent. On the other hand, cleaning the floor with a mop and detergent uses gallons of hot water and great amounts of detergent. 

But the key, according to Zaccai, is that people like swiffing better than mopping. Designing a superior experience makes it possible to increase profit and decrease waste simultaneously.


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