Design Deserves Some Thinking

Advertising is mainly focused on promoting a product that is already there. It is time to snap advertising out of its complacency! Puncture the way people perceive your product or service. Your brand. Your category. Hell, the world we live in!

And design thinking is just what we need. When I say design thinking, I mean the process of finding a solution to a business problem by redesigning products, services and experiences.

So what is design thinking actually about? And how can it help marketers?

1. Shift from products to a holistic experience.

If you think about a wedding for example, the vows really only take five minutes tops. It is about the experience. The detail of the invitation. The flowers on the table. The lace embellishments on the bride’s dress. The immaculate food.

Consider your product to be a wedding. Is your consumer going to be blown away? Is he going to care about your brand after the wedding? Don’t just get people to consume. Get them to participate. Make them feel like you knew exactly what they wanted (product / service) and how they wanted it (the experience). Surprise and inspire.

Delivery is crucial. Implementing good design thinking is therefore referred to as design engineering.

Products are becoming services and even whole experiences. Music for example has shifted from a piece of vinyl to second screen music listening and whole viral experiences like the launch of the latest Daft Punk album ‘Random Access Memories’.


2. Convert a consumer need into a behavioural change.

The customer doesn’t always know what they want. Humans are biologically designed to survive and adapt themselves easily. Don’t have a coat hanger? We’ll just use a door knob. I’ve used body lotion before to polish my shoes. And shoe polish as lip balm. The latter was accidentally, but it worked!

It is up to design thinkers to discover hidden needs, to create a solution and turn need into demand. And become indispensable. To become the new standard of the category and product perception.

3. Make it work for the most extreme user of all.

Aim two feet below the brick. If you only aim to hit the surface of the brick, you won’t achieve a thing. Over commit. And commit to over committing. Challenge the world around your product and your consumers and truly innovate. Truly surprise. Mediocrity won’t cut it. Offer a strong vision that people want to follow. Satisfy your biggest, and most critical  fan.

As advertisers, we have all the tools to give this value to our brands. We know their ins and outs.

We are in the perfect position to give design some thinking.

If you want to know how? Read Tim Brown’s ‘Change by Design’

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