Logitech PSP Case Study

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Challenge

Logitech, a personal peripherals manufacturer, was looking to find its market opportunity with the eagerly anticipated PSP™ (PlayStation® Portable) handheld entertainment system. It was the first time Logitech invested in developing and marketing case accessory products and wanted to know what its prospects were.Once options were lined up for evaluation, design work was needed both for the specific products that emerged and to create the product family’s design language.

Process

Discover: Analysis Becomes Insight

The PSP™ contained the necessary ingredients to become a true lifestyle product. Its capabilities were unprecedented in a handheld device, let alone a gaming system. This presented the potential for new and innovative accessories that extend far beyond what was available for portable gaming devices.It also promised to widen the market potential of portable gaming devices to a target audience range of 12-35. Guerilla ethnographic research and user interviews provided insight into how this new group would use the PSP™.All possible products were evaluated in terms of potential market size and profitability. Only accessories where Logitech could clearly bring innovation moved forward: a shoulder strap case, multi-function neckware, and protective case.Positioning was a key differentiator, as other accessories on the market were low-cost and low quality. The PlayGear line of high-quality products would appeal to the older, more affluent buyers the PSP was expected to attract. Still, they were priced to be accessible to most potential customers.

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Design: Insights Become Ideas

A well-thought-out design language was critical to avoid dilution of the Logitech brand, establish the Logitech PlayGear accessories product line, and lay the groundwork for future releases. Most importantly, the designs needed to harmonize with the Sony PSP™.Because of its proximity, the case in particular needed to complement the sleek PSP™ with innovative functionality. Design work combined the skills of designers, mechanical engineers, brand strategists, and a digital sculptor.

Deliver: Ideas Become Reality

Three products made it to final refinement, two made it to market, and one followed the original designs in manufacturing: the Logitech PlayGear Pocket™.The virtually indestructible polycarbonate shell of the PlayGear Pocket allows complete accessibility to all the PSP functions and the 3.5 mm audio port, so gamers can plug in their earphones while the PSP is fully enclosed. The lid rotates and can stay open at any angle, serving as a sun visor for outdoor gameplay or as a tabletop stand for hands-free playback of videos or music.

Result

Customization ended up being one of the big selling points for the PlayGear Pocket: its clear acrylic case with black rubber inside allowed for easy customization. Logitech later came out with its own skin kit for the popular case.Demand for the case far exceeded expectations and stores quickly ran out of stock. In its first year, the case alone moved more than one million units, after being forecast to sell less than 100,000.

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