A process that seeks to cut the costs of producing a product without reducing the ‘value’ of the product from the customer’s perspective, and / or increasing the value of a particular product (in the eyes of the customer) without increasing the costs. It essentially involves assessing new or existing products against three key criteria, namely: Function – This concerns what the product is supposed to be able to do, eg the function of a kettle is to boil water; Aesthetics – This concerns how the product looks, eg in terms of size, shape, and colour – the extent to which it is ‘pleasing to the eye’; Cost / economy of manufacture – This concerns the cost of producing the product ie the direct costs. Products are subsequently designed to: maximise customer value; minimise the costs of production – enabling a business to be competitive on price.