Design Thinking with Brands
A strong brand can be perceived and experienced at all brand touchpoints. Brand-based design thinking helps make it happen: It is a powerful and stimulating method for optimizing the brand touchpoints in line with the brand and guaranteeing results.
What exactly is brand-based design thinking?
The method combines the central idea (positioning) of the brand with creative methods of design thinking. Design thinking was developed in California, and many successful startups and Silicon Valley corporations are using it.
Brand-based design thinking has 5 phases:
- Discover: Here we use empathetic methods to determine the needs of customers: What makes them happy (gain points)? What makes them sad (pain points)? What does that mean for our industry and our brand?
- Define: In the second phase, we define what problem we want to solve for the customers to make us even more relevant and attractive to them. We do this based on the "Discover" phase and the brand positioning.
- Ideate: Then we apply creative methods to gather new ideas for solving the problem we defined in phase two. We use, for example, the "revolutionary perspective": How would Steve Jobs, Walt Disney or Elon Musk approach the problem?
- Prototype: For the best and most promising ideas, we build a "touchable" prototype, perhaps with Lego blocks, Styrofoam or modeling clay. It visualizes the solution to the problem defined in phase 2—from the customer's perspective and in line with the brand positioning. This helps to simply explain complex issues like cloud solutions.
- Testing: The prototype is tested at brief intervals and with different methods to determine its relevance (customer feedback, non-customer assessments, evaluations by colleagues, etc.) and brand fit (brand rules). The tests are repeated until no more suggestions for improvement can be inferred.
Finally, the tested prototypes are presented to a jury of executives. They decide whether a prototype should be implemented.
Brand-based design thinking, then, combines the brand with innovation at the brand touchpoints. It makes the brand tangible and—as a side effect, so to speak—makes the organization more agile: because ideas are developed locally by employees and brand ambassadors and taken to the decision-making level as a visible object.
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