Exploring how design thinking methodologies can foster innovative brand strategies and elevate the overall brand experience.
Oh, hey, creators! Have you ever come across Design Thinking? Well, we got pretty curious about it because our own process uses a lot of its principles! Design thinking is about applying the problem-solving mindset of designers to the realm of branding. This approach has the potential to revolutionize how we perceive and approach the development of a brand's products and services by pushing us to see things differently. By tapping into creativity, Design Thinking maximizes problem-solving capabilities and sparks innovation. This methodology has been delivering impressive results for over two decades now.
Design Thinking doesn't follow a linear path. While it always starts at the same point, the journey might take you back to the beginning from a different angle or lead you to hop between steps multiple times until you get the perfect solution! Here, we outline 4 different steps so you can apply this technique to your work.
"Design thinking is not limited to a process. It’s an endlessly expanding investigation." —Sandy Speicher, IDEO CEO
1. The Essence of Customer-Centered Approach
What sets Design Thinking apart is its focus on addressing genuine needs instead of pushing products or services that may not resonate. The key takeaway from this post is to prioritize this approach. Rather than starting with a solution and hoping it fits, Design Thinking encourages you to engage directly with the field and get hands-on. You should immerse yourself in the lives of your customers: talk to them, experience their daily routines, understand their challenges, and observe their experiences. This will provide invaluable insights into their specific needs and issues. It's crucial to approach this stage with an open mind, leaving judgment and preconceived notions behind. If you focus solely on projecting your own beliefs instead of truly listening, you risk missing out on innovation. Once you are in this mindset, aim to feel, hear, see, and think like your target audience.
2. Spotlighting Hidden Flaws
If you truly experience life as your customers do, the magic will arise. When you empathize with your target audience without judgment, you begin to see the challenges they face daily, challenges they might not even be fully aware of. It's fascinating how we adapt to circumstances, normalizing them even when they're far from ideal. Design Thinking steps in and suggests, "There must be a better way." It uncovers the friction we encounter daily and envisions alternative ways of doing things. This phase of the process involves clearly articulating a problem that has gone unnoticed.
"You can't use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have." - Maya Angelou
3. Collaborative Brainstorming
Embracing the Design Thinking approach can initially be scary for some people. Especially for those who don't consider themselves creative individuals. Because Design thinking asks you too embrace your creativity and intuition, it also means that you have to let go of the fear of not having the perfect idea. Design thinking relies on pitching as much ideas as you can without any filter or judgement. Innovation doesn't thrive when we play it safe. Going all-in to find a revolutionary solution means exploring wild and absurd ideas. While not all these ideas will be golden, sharing them is vital. Sometimes, what seems like a crazy ideas could serves as the starting point that sparks another person's creativity. Cultivating a culture of creativity and creating a safe space for expressing unconventional thoughts are critical pillars of Design Thinking. Collaboration is equally essential at this stage. Everyone as a unique perspective and knowledge which allows for the synthesis of ideas, merging aspects that only these different viewpoint can bring to the table. It is rarely the first ideas that are the best, we have to push them aside to go deeper in the path of creative thoughts. When a safe space to share is put in place, the group of people you work with will bring you to the most innovative ideas. Before you know it, your company, studio, or organization will be exploring paths that lead to innovation in everything you do.
Personally, we loooove using all of our creativity to carve out-of the box brand identity! Ask us how we do it.
4. Prototype and Test
Design Thinking encourages a "fail quickly and often" mindset. It's innovative because it generates a multitude of ideas. The goal isn't to run with the first or second idea but to explore the 20th. While the initial ideas might have merit and should be tested, the process encourages ongoing idea generation. All these concepts might be valuable or could potentially bring you closer to the ultimate solution. Testing ideas can be costly sometimes but there is so many ways to explore prototypes that doesn’t need to be expensive! (BTW, our design services could come in handy). This might involve creating small-scale prototypes or illustrations that we let you see right away if it works or not. It is still better to invest more over here and make sure that you develop quality. As you eliminate some prototype and improve others, it is here that the back and forth between the steps starts. You might need to revisit you customers to see if your solution is realist or you might need to go back to brainstorming to find ways of solving a problem with a specific prototype. You might even start all over again as your customer’s feedback show you that what you are doing might not be it.
"Get closer than ever to your customers. So close that you tell them what they need well before they realize it themselves." - Steve Jobs
Design Thinking isn't just a process; it's a revolution that empowers brands to rethink strategies, break free from conventions, and forge deep connections with consumers. By placing customers at the core of innovation, embracing collaboration, and cultivating a culture of creativity, brands can harness Design Thinking to reshape industries, create unforgettable experiences, and secure success while accelerating their services to market. Equip yourself and your team with the skills to question, explore curiosities, identify problems, and develop solutions. We can't afford to loose time on outdated ways to approach life!
- https://www.ideou.com/pages/design-thinking#:~:text=Design thinking is a human,services%2C processes%2C and organizations.