Form and Function Fulfilling Fantasy

Fantasies take place on a personal level, in that individuals create fan­tasy. A product can support and even engender the fantasy, but the fantasy is that of the individual. It is like seduction, in which the seduced is a willing partner. Humanity has canonical fantasies; we have collective dreams. We dream of adventure, of independence, of security, of sensuality, of confidence, and of power. To achieve a sense of adventure, products promote excitement and exploration. To achieve the feeling of independence, products provide freedom from constraints. For security, products provide a feeling of safety and sta­bility. For sensuality, products provide a luxurious experience. For confidence, they support the user’s self-assurance and promote moti­vation of product use. For power, products promote authority and control.

The oXo vegetable peeler, through its ergonomics, gives older users the ability to work comfortably, which is independence. Along similar lines, it supports their health, touching on security. Because the product works so easily and efficiently, it promotes their confi­dence in daily tasks—confidence that tends to be eroded as people age. Although these everyday tools are not luxurious relative to jewelry, they are luxurious relative to other kitchen tools, providing sensuality.

How does this vegetable peeler foster fantasy for a broad market? it is simply that the experience it provides exceeds the reality of the

typical user. A young buyer does not have luxury throughout the house, so a luxurious vegetable peeler speaks to the fantasy of a life of luxury. Elderly buyers’ physical mobility constrains their tasks, and the ease with which they implement this peeler speaks to their fantasy of independence.

How is fantasy put into a product? What elements of a product induce users to fantasy? Customers expect a product to enhance and fulfill their lifestyle, not simply to perform a function or even to exhibit a desirable aesthetic. When a product fulfills fantasy, it fulfills a desired lifestyle beyond, and in contrast to, the current reality. In this book, the methods and tools support the development of fantasy – enriched products and services. The products and services fulfill some level of fantasy in their users, and the companies and product developers understand the paradigm of the fantasy economy. They drive successful product development under the mantra that form and function fulfill fantasy.