Do you feel like you’ve hit a wall when it comes to accelerating your business growth? Are you struggling to come up with newer and better ways to increase your revenue? If your answer is a resounding YES to these questions, design thinking might be the panacea for your problems.
Design thinking is a human-centric approach to problem solving or innovation—anchored in developing a deep understanding of your customer’s pains & gains, generating innovative ideas and rapid prototyping & learning—that will transform the way you develop branding, business model, products, services, processes and organisations. Design Thinking involves 5 phases which could also be a non linear process.
Phase 1: Frame a Question
Phase 2: Gather Inspiration
Phase 3: Generate Ideas
Phase 4: Make Ideas Tangible & Test to Learn
Phase 5: Share the Story
PHASE 1: FRAME A QUESTION
As a leader, it’s important for you to ask triggering questions that would inspire your team to put themselves in the shoes of the end user. This would allow them to reach their maximum creative potential, thus accelerating your digital and business transformation.
Probing further into the behaviours of your end user would allow you to come up with a solution that’s more innovative and targeted to their needs. A good way to frame your question would be to follow the Goldilocks principle. It’s crucial for you to strike a good balance between abstract and specific so that your team will have the bandwidth to explore and think up innovative solutions.
PHASE 2: GATHER INSPIRATION
Our founder has often been asked the question of why there is a need to invest time in engaging with our consumers when we can simply rely on quantitative data to capture customer insights. From her experience, while quantitative research aids in capturing trends and patterns, qualitative research such as ethnographic research is very much necessary to dig deeper into why such trends occur. So, how do you effectively capture customer insights?
An empathy map is a collaborative visualisation used to articulate what we know about a particular type of user. Through interviews, we have discovered the importance of asking the right questions that trigger the target audience’s thought process in making decisions.
Customer Journey Map:
A customer journey map examines the story of how a customer relates to the business, brand or product over time. This would enable you to uncover the pain points of your end users throughout their journey so that you will be able to intercept them with your offerings or solutions.
Want to learn more about how you can constructively gather inspiration from your customers? Read our full blog here.
PHASE 3: GENERATE IDEAS
As we navigate these challenging times across different industries like transport, travel, retail, hospitality and interior design, now is the perfect time to reimagine, redesign and work on a new plan for your business model, product development, go-to-market strategy, branding, sales and operations. Design Thinking involves a series of divergent and convergent steps.
Divergence is about creating choices. In this phase, you would have to cast your net wide by generating as many ideas as possible.
Convergence is about making choices. You would have to narrow your focus by developing selected ideas and concepts and synthesising information.
You can check out our full blog on why now is the perfect time for ideation and how to ideate using divergent and convergent thinking here.
PHASE 4: MAKE IDEAS TANGIBLE & TEST TO LEARN
“They slow us down to speed us up. By taking the time to prototype our ideas, we avoid costly mistakes such as becoming too complex too early and sticking with a weak idea for too long.” - Tim Brown, CEO of IDEO
Prototyping entails building an early sample or model to test a concept or a process. Doing so would enable you to observe how your users interact with the prototype, to uncover new ideas and to see if the idea works. These findings would then allow you to redefine your problem statement and gain a deeper understanding of the pain points and challenges that your users face when using the product in a realistic setting. By concretising ideas, further ideation can arise through “building to think” and less time and money will be wasted in developing a poor idea.
Though designers play a pivotal role in the success of any business, they are often overlooked by many. Click here for an interview with our graphic designer, Aaron, on his experience as a graphic designer in a digital marketing agency.
PHASE 5: SHARE THE STORY
Once you’ve landed on the perfect solution, it’s time for you to craft and share the story with the relevant stakeholders. Shark Tank is an American reality television series where entrepreneurs can pitch their products to five famous investors (also known as the ‘Sharks’) in hopes of getting an investment from them. Here are two case studies from Shark Tank which underscore several important elements of storytelling: Delivering an authentic brand story which strikes a chord with your target audience.
Case Study 1: Circadian Optics
The founder of Circadian Optics told her moving story of how she came from a small town in Malaysia, where she had lived in poverty, to pursue the ‘American dream’. Her story tugged at the heartstrings of the Sharks and landed her a total of $750,000 from Mark Cuban and Lori Greiner, as well as an extra $50,000 for her parents.
Case Study 2: Clemson University Entrepreneurs
The three Clemson University entrepreneurs successfully got Mark Cuban to invest in their company because they told an authentic, relatable brand story of how as beer drinkers they grew tired of lugging heavy ice chests to events, so they invented a sleek, lightweight container that fits perfectly around a six-pack.
ACCELERATE YOUR BUSINESS MODEL, BRAND AND MARKETING TRANSFORMATION WITH OUR EDG BUSINESS STRATEGY AND BRAND & MARKETING DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMMES
Excited to learn more about how you can incorporate design thinking into your business? Here at VK Transformation, we are committed to helping businesses like yours accelerate their business model, brand and marketing transformation with our experience, proven track record EDG programmes and EDG grants of up to 80% for SMEs & 60% for non-SMEs. We look forward to connecting with you over a virtual coffee chat.
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