From tacos to tachometers, in my last rant I spoke about the Australian Mexican restaurant chain of Guzman y Gomez. The innovation skill of magnification is also in play at one of the worlds greatest car manufacturers- Volkswagen.  The VW car manufacturing plant in Dresden Germany is a classic example of 'magnification'.

While every car manufacture needs to manufacture their cars somewhere, most manufacturing plants would look boringly industrial, and very unsightly. That is except for the VW manufacturing plant. VW realised that if there's something we are doing (like manufacturing cars), there is a benefit in 'magnifying it'.  

The innovative result that VW came up with way back in 2002, was to build a world class manufacturing plant that looks from the outside more like the ultra modern glass building corporate headquarters of a cool company. While in reality on the inside a visitor would find a state of the art, robotic manufacturing process and automobile assembly line.

What VW have done in the design of their manufacturing plant is 'magnify' the quality of their manufacturing by enabling people to actually see and experience the manufacturing process. People are curious creatures and would love the idea of seeing how things are built. VW turn auto manufacturing plant into emotional anchoring.

When someone can see their car being built along the production line, fascination turns into emotion which in turn leads to the motication for a purchasing decision. The more the customer is involve in the process the more this leads to a brand obsession.

While creating a transparent manufacturing plant is not necessarily something that all businesses could do, the thinking behind it is there for the taking. Is there a part of your organisation or business that you could 'magnify' to reveal the quality, while increasing the experience and adding value to what you do?

By Nils Vesk
Innovation architect

Nils Vesk is an innovation architect who applies the process of design thinking to the business of generating and realising ideas. Click here to find out more about his book Ideas with Legs.