›Designing‹ obsolescence

Obsolescence of function
Obsolescence of quality
Obsolescence of desirability

Packard, Vance (1960). The waste makers. New York: David McKay Company. S.55.

Webster’s dictionary defines obsolescent as meaning going out of use. For our purposes in examining modern marketing practices, we should refine the situation by distinguishing three different ways that products can be made obsolescent. There can be:

— Obsolescence of function. In this situation an existing product becomes outmoded when a product is introduced that performs the function better.
— Obsolescence of quality. Here, when it is planned, a product breaks down or wears out at a given time, usually not too distant.
— Obsolescence of desirability. In this situation a product that is still sound in terms of quality or performance becomes „worn out“ in our minds because a styling or other change makes it seem less desirable.