Strategy: binding the gap between design and business

Updated: Sep 24, 2018

Design thinking/strategy is a way of solving problems, discovering the best solutions and deeply understanding the targeted audience. It also allows us to focus on the whole user experience and the process through which your clients first get in touch with your brand and become loyal.

One of the reasons which caused the emergence of strategic design is the current generation of customers which have developed an intolerance for lack of authenticity. This means that brands now need to shift their thinking from traditional to a more thoughtful and appealing methodology. In modern times, clients are the focus and the core of a design strategy and this thinking has been adopted by all big brands and other areas. People expect a different experience from all the services they use. For example, in the UK, public services such as healthcare, are engaging design skills and design thinking in their developments to enhance to quality of life for citizens through bottom-up design processes (design based on incoming data from the environment).






Binding the Gap between

Design and Business

Design and business have their own distinct cultures: their own beliefs, values, and assumptions about how they measure success and what matters to them. This can sometimes create a “clash of culture”. Traditionally, these roles have been separated and coordinated by a manager. However, through the influence of customer experience design and the rise of "experience economy", the outcome was a more integrative and customer-focused product.

In the broadest sense, “strategy” is an organized plan to achieve a goal, a plan to gain a certain benefit. But does strategy belong exclusively to the business world? No, strategy does not belong to any field. It is a common point for all of them: it is the end result of the cognitive part of the process. What are different, however, are the tools used to define that strategy. The tools are specific for every particular field.

The strategy  process usually answers questions such as:

  • Does it work?

  • Why are we designing it like this?

  • Why do we do this?

  • What’s the purpose of this project?

Meanwhile, design is focused solving problems such as :

  • Does it look nice?

  • Is the UX design appropriate?

  • Does it have good functionality?

Why is it so important to bind the gap between design and business?

A recent global study release by Cohn and Wolfe found that 9 out 10 customers are willing to take action and become loyal to a brand who manages to come across as authentic. Despite this obvious fact, many brands fail to amplify their messages and poorly execute the practices of engagement.

Now we’ve seen what each concept refers to, but how is it done? Through discovery.



What is discovery

And

What's the role of it?

The discovery process is meant to bridge the strategic thinking with the design thinking while keeping the customer as the main focus of this process.

What do we learn about our clients in the discovery phase? Since every business has their own challenges, we, as the creative agency, need to know what type of customers we are dealing with, what are your goals and your target audience.

  • What is the business?

  • Where does your revenue come from?

  • What are the expected outcomes?

  • Who are your competitors?

  • What is your value proposition? What value do you bring to your customers?

  • Who are the users?

  • This is a vital step because, in order to craft a custom message, we need to know who we are dealing with. In order to send out a clear message, we need to be able to properly communicate with the audience by getting to know it. Therefore, we go beyond the quantitative data and seek qualitative feedback. In order to know what motives the audience to take action, we have to filter through the one-size-fits-all data approach to truly understand their needs. As Dr. Nixon said, “Empathy education is at the core of strategic design thinking”.

  • What are your target audiences? Who do you target based on demographics (age, gender, location), psychographics (lifestyle, buying habits, how they engage with your products)

  • What is your brand?

  • Define your culture. What is the environment surrounding your business?

  • What is your X-factor? How do you differentiate from other competitors who offer similar products/services?

  • What are your priorities?

  • Revenue:  areas you want to focus on to increase your revenue.

  • Awareness channels: How are we making your users aware of the brand? (social media, print marketing, content marketing, email etc).

The outcomes of the discovery phase should consist of a better understanding of your values, culture, goals, and competitors.



How does the strategic design process looks like?



  1. Vision: The first step in Moxel’s process revolves around getting the "know what your vision is", what your expected outcomes are.

  2. Brainstorm: The next step concentrates on getting to know you and your business. We facilitate a meeting where we gather the required information(discovery phase) in order to craft a suitable message and transmit it with the right tone for your audience.

  3. Strategy: The strategy phase involves us creating a Brand Audit. This allows us, based on the discovery phase results, to get an idea of what kind of message you want to send out and how the project "might look" like.

  4. Design: The design step is now clear and it’s determined by what your goals are.  It’s not a point of view of what people think it would look better.  It’s exactly what your brand needs in order to achieve the desired results. Everything that we design has a reason behind it.

  5. Develop: This is a more technical step where out CGI artists take care of developing, creating and integrating your product into a scenario.

  6. Continue: From here on, we repeat this process in different variations. We tweak details in order to custom-create your portfolio of varied products and services.



To wrap it up …

A designer is trying to solve a design or aesthetic challenge. A strategic designer is solving business challenges through design. We remove uncertainties and doubts or subjectivity which might affect the outcome. We treat design and strategy as one process to craft the best solutions for your goals and audience. Modern times and the modern customer has taught us that the economy is heading towards an ‘’experience economy’’ and that it’s vital to learn your clients’  needs and how you can offer the best solution to them.

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