The introduction of the new Apple iphone 6 got us thinking about great design.

Great design …

  • creates demand days or weeks in advance
  • commands a premium price
  • creates waiting lists once the item sells out, even when substitutes are available.

Here’s a quote that sums it up for us:

“Consumer loyalty always follows great design”.

Well, gloves aren’t phones or computers, and they aren’t software …

But customers aren’t shy about telling you what they like … and don’t like.

So, we turned to 5-star glove reviews, to hear what design elements lead to the happiest customers.

The qualities we uncovered will result in the fierce customer loyalty we all strive to achieve.

Here’s how consumers define great glove design:more

What is the glove equivalent of the iphone 6, as far as great design is concerned?  Here are 5 key elements that matter most in 5-Star reviews::

  1. Good looks: “… Turns Heads …Timeless Style”.

    Bottom line — for any piece of apparel, how they make the wearer feel is key. A glove must look good … and the combination of fit, feel and looks must make the wearer feel like a million bucks.

    Remember: It costs the same to manufacture a glove with a beautiful design, as one that is not so stylish. All things being equal, the consumer will choose the better-looking style. 

  2. Form and Function: “… Technological Perfection”.

    Gloves have to perform.  With sports gloves, for instance, hands have to stay dryer … warmer …  grip better.  If the gloves will be worn in sub-freezing temperatures, they’d better be warm in those conditions. If the gloves will be worn in active sports, they’d better breathe so hands don’t get sweaty … and so on.  And, one more thing … they have got to fit and feel perfect on the hand,.

  3. Workmanship/Attention to Detail:  “… Perfectly Crafted”

    Little things matter. We are reminded of a dissatisfied glove reviewer who pointed out that the zipper opening on the glove he wore commuting was on the wrong side for ease of access to his credit card. On the other hand, the careful placement of a goggle wiper was well appreciated. Nit picky?  Not really … small details get noticed and matter a lot.

  4. Quality Materials:  “Superior Quality … Indestructible

    Consumers become evangelists for a product that exceeds expectations for quality and durability. The flip side of this? When gloves don’t hold up or wear well, you’ll hear about it, and so will other consumers. The whole glove — from the way the leather and lining feels on the hand, to the way they hold up — needs to deliver as expected.

  5. Great Value: “… Worth Every Penny”.

    Notice we didn’t say low price or cheap. It only matters that the consumer feels he or she is paying a fair price.

Takeaway for Glove Brands:

For brand marketers, customer loyalty is the holy grail. After all, it costs 5x more to gain a new customer, than to sell to an existing one.

Whether designing gloves for active outdoor winter sports like back country skiing, or technical gloves for military and tactical applications, gloves have to PERFORM well on each of the 5 dimensions we listed..

A glove designers’ job is to balance these critical elements, to help you build brand loyalty.

The combination of form and function, quality, craftmanship and value — achieved with the help of an experienced glove design team — will lead to rave reviews.