How To Use Design Thinking To Guide Your Brand’s Growth

In a nutshell, design thinking is a human-centered problem-solving tool that creates the best solutions through a creative and iterative process.

It was first presented by a scientist named Herbert A. Simon as a way of thinking. This idea was then followed by Robert Mckim, an engineer, and author of the book “Experiences In Visual Thinking.” Soon, reputable personalities such as famous architects, journalists, professors, and businessmen started incorporating design thinking in their areas of expertise. It was used as an architectural practice then applied to business courses, and finally used to address human concerns. This series of events suggests that design thinking is more than just a buzzword, it’s an opportunity.

 

An Overview Of Design Thinking

This idea became popular as it has often been practiced by global design companies committed to creating a positive impact or change through a designer’s perspective.

They believe that design thinking is an effective approach to innovation that can help drive a business to success. It was even noted as a secret weapon to innovation.

They also believe that thinking like a designer can help organizations create more desirable products, services, and even processes based on the consumer point of view.

Perhaps this is because design thinking is not limited to a specific area of expertise or industry. Moreover, there can be no single definition for design thinking. It may be an idea, a method, a strategy, or even a philosophy; depending on how one intends to use it.

However, if you intend to use design thinking to guide your brand’s growth, you must first have a clear understanding of how it works. As a case in point, here are five steps in the design thinking process:

 

  1. Empathize

Basically, this is perceiving an end product or a result based on the end-user’s point of view. With the proper probing questions, this is also where you can get sales and marketing insights for your brand.

 

  1. Define

Upon careful consideration of the end-user’s point of view, you’ll be able to identify the pain points of a product. These pain points should be duly noted as this is of paramount importance in your product development.

 

  1. Ideate

This third step in the design thinking process is where you create solutions to the problems that were identified in the second step.

 

  1. Prototype

To find out if the solutions you created actually solve the problems at hand, you need to build a piece of visual evidence. This visual evidence comes in the form of a prototype.

 

  1. Test

This is when your prototype will be subject to criticism. You need to have the people in your target market try using your prototype to see if it will meet user expectations.

 

The Creative and Iterative Process

After completing the creative steps in the design thinking process, it becomes iterative. Any conclusion formulated after the last step might require you to repeat the previous step and more often than not, back to square one.

This may be a painstaking process but it’s worth every ounce of your time and effort since your goal is to achieve perfection. Perfection is the main reason why you started design thinking in the first place. It’s the gain from your pain; it’s the good from the bad and the ugly.

In case you may find that this may be too much work for you, you can consider hiring design thinking services. Services like such can easily be found online particularly on websites such as decemberlabs.com that offers design thinking services with a hands-on approach.

 

Design Thinking Applied In Brand Growth

Based on the overview of design thinking, it should be noted that this human-centered problem-solving tool requires imagination, intuition, logic, and systematic reasoning. As one may find several bits and pieces of information regarding this subject, they may sometimes tend to be confusing. Perhaps an easier way to understand the essence of design thinking is by looking at a much relatable scenario.

With that being said, here is a sample scenario where the process of design thinking is used:

For example, an airline company that wants to improve brand recognition and awareness by building a relationship between its flight attendants and passengers. They want to become the best airline by providing excellent customer service. As a company, they evaluate what they want to feel while they’re in flight and what kind of service they want to receive. This design thinking process helped the company create relationships with customers by providing excellent customer service.

  1. Empathize

First, the company must be able to think about how the passengers should feel while on the flight. As an airline passenger, what service do they want to receive? How can they feel comfortable during long flights? How would they feel if the assigned flight attendants aren’t attentive to their needs? All of these things must be considered.

 

  1. Define

Next, the company needs to define the problems or weaknesses of its services. In what aspects are they lacking? Do they need to give their attendants additional training? Do they need to provide additional services to their customers so they will be more comfortable in flight? The company should clearly define what’s lacking so they can move on to the next step.

 

  1. Ideate

After identifying the problems and the lapses in their current customer service system, the company needs to come up with ideas on how to solve these problems. These ideas may include the following:

  • Provide additional training for their flight attendants, focusing on customer service.
  • Giving passengers free items that will be helpful in making their flight comfortable.
  • Gathering reviews, suggestions, and comments from their customers to give them an idea of what more the company can improve on.
  • Offer customized service for every passenger, depending on their needs.

It’s important to gather all of these ideas before the company can proceed to the next step.

 

  1. Prototype

This works if the airline company plans to offer packaged services. For example, a package may be created for an economy flight accommodation or a tourist or VIP accommodation. These packages must be carefully created to exhibit the brand of the company, which also helps in boosting brand recognition and customer experience. Of course, if the airline’s target market are people from the upper class, then a VIP flight service must be pursued instead of a budget or economy flight package.

 

  1. Test

The last stage is testing. After training the flight attendants and preparing customized packages for a range of customers, testing comes next. After providing the passengers with their new services, comments and suggestions must be sought. This is an important part of testing because it helps the company evaluate if the services are effective or not.

 

Conclusion

This article describes design thinking in the most simplified manner with an example of how it’s applied to shed light on its use and importance. Consequently, you’ll figure out how it can be used to guide your brand’s growth. This is when your imagination, intuition, logic, and systematic reasoning will be useful—especially in the design thinking process.

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