Mar­keters are in a unique po­si­tion to help en­grain de­sign prin­ci­ples in New Zealand busi­ness, writes Melissa Jen­ner. (de­sign as craft)

New Zealand Marketing - - Contents -

Mar­keters need to cham­pion de­sign, says Melissa Jen­ner.

De­sign Do­ing

De­sign In­te­gra­tion

BET­TER BY DE­SIGN HAS been work­ing on build­ing the next gen­er­a­tion of de­sign-led Kiwi busi­ness for al­most ten years. We’ve de­vel­oped a pro­gramme to trans­form high per­form­ing Kiwi com­pa­nies into world-beat­ers by in­te­grat­ing de­sign into their cul­tures and our goal is to help more com­pa­nies be­come the next Ice­breaker, the next Fisher & Paykel, or the next Formway.

Our process re­quires cham­pi­ons within each com­pany; se­nior ex­ec­u­tives who can lead each com­pany’s trans­for­ma­tion around fun­da­men­tal prin­ci­ples drawn from the world of de­sign. We be­lieve mar­keters are the nat­u­ral peo­ple to take this role, be­cause the first prin­ci­ples of de­sign are the first prin­ci­ples of mar­ket­ing.

Mar­keters are nat­u­ral de­sign cham­pi­ons be­cause they’re com­fort­able deal­ing with the lan­guage of de­sign. Of­ten com­pa­nies fail to em­brace de­sign be­cause of the view that de­sign is a nar­row and spe­cialised field. Part of the prob­lem is that there’s lit­tle con­sen­sus on what de­sign ac­tu­ally refers to. Some see it as ‘toast­ers and posters’. To oth­ers it’s the act of cre­at­ing a new prod­uct or ser­vice. Or some­thing that’s added to a prod­uct at the end of the de­vel­op­ment process.

It’s all those things—and more. We talk about de­sign in three quite dif­fer­ent ways: This is the tra­di­tional view of de­sign, the crafts­man­ship in­volved with giv­ing an idea a phys­i­cal ex­pres­sion. De­sign “do­ing” loosely fits within three main cat­e­gories: • Graphic de­sign: lo­gos, pack­ag­ing,

dig­i­tal or type-based. • In­dus­trial de­sign: phys­i­cal cre­ation of ob­jects or prod­ucts. • Ser­vice de­sign: the in­ten­tional se­quenc­ing of steps to de­liver a holis­tic cus­tomer ex­pe­ri­ence.

De­sign Think­ing

De­sign think­ing is a process of solv­ing prob­lems and cre­at­ing value. It’s based on the process that the great de­sign­ers use for “de­sign do­ing”, but it has rel­e­vance for solv­ing any prob­lem within a busi­ness. It starts with gain­ing deep em­pa­thy for the cus­tomer and their needs. It in­volves con­ver­gent and di­ver­gent think­ing; imag­in­ing the im­pos­si­ble, and then syn­the­sis­ing to what is fea­si­ble. It em­pha­sises rapid pro­to­typ­ing and test­ing and re­quires in­tel­li­gent and brave trial and er­ror. De­sign think­ing used to be the do­main of the de­sign depart­ment, but when it’s ap­plied across a busi­ness, it changes the cul­ture of a com­pany. It aligns ev­ery­one be­hind the same goals and gets the com­pany mov­ing pur­pose­fully in the same di­rec­tion, cre­at­ing new prod­ucts and ser­vices that cus­tomers love, and buy re­peat­edly at higher mar­gins. De­sign in­te­gra­tion is the goal of our Bet­ter by De­sign pro­gramme. It’s the state a busi­ness reaches when it has de­ployed de­sign do­ing and de­sign think­ing through­out all com­po­nents of the or­gan­i­sa­tion. Com­pa­nies that have achieved de­sign in­te­gra­tion have put their cus­tomers at the cen­tre of their busi­ness and are us­ing the prin­ci­ples of de­sign think­ing across all ar­eas of the busi­ness to solve prob­lems. They’re en­joy­ing cus­tomer loy­alty, and higher mar­gins than their com­peti­tors who haven’t worked out the de­sign in­te­gra­tion se­cret.

Be­com­ing de­sign-in­te­grated re­quires a fun­da­men­tal change to the way you work—and com­plete com­mit­ment from the chief ex­ec­u­tive down. This is manda­tory. But there’s another hu­man fac­tor that’s just as crit­i­cal. In ev­ery de­sign-in­te­grated com­pany there’s an en­er­getic and pas­sion­ate de­sign cham­pion, who al­ways pushes the com­pany to stay true to the prin­ci­ples of de­sign think­ing. Mar­keters make some of the best de­sign cham­pi­ons be­cause they un­der­stand de­sign think­ing in­trin­si­cally. Most of the re­ally good mar­keters I’ve ever come across de­ploy de­sign think­ing in­stinc­tively ev­ery day. Re­ally good mar­keters, like re­ally good de­sign­ers, see their cus­tomers’ ex­pe­ri­ence of their prod­ucts and ser­vices as the prime pur­pose of their en­tire or­gan­i­sa­tion. They’re al­ways look­ing to un­der­stand their cus­tomers’ un­met needs. They cre­ate lots of ideas to find a sin­gle good one. They try things and they’re not afraid to fail.

The first prin­ci­ple of de­sign in­te­gra­tion is teach­ing ev­ery­one else in the or­gan­i­sa­tion to see the world the same way. Build­ing a com­pany from the cus­tomer ex­pe­ri­ence out­wards is what de­sign­in­te­grated com­pa­nies do.

At Bet­ter by De­sign we be­lieve pas­sion­ately that the next era of Kiwi pros­per­ity will be built on the back of a gen­er­a­tion of de­sign in­te­grated com­pa­nies, gen­er­at­ing high value-added ex­port in­come from mar­kets all over the world. To get there we’ll need a gen­er­a­tion of chief de­sign­ers, de­sign cham­pi­ons with the vi­sion and courage to un­der­stand the po­ten­tial power of de­sign, and the com­mu­ni­ca­tion and lead­er­ship skills to sell it through­out an or­gan­i­sa­tion. Sound like you?


Writ­ten by MELISSA JEN­NER Melissa Jen­ner is di­rec­tor of NZTE’s Bet­ter by De­sign

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