Design is about people, not things

Rethinking Design Innovations and Brands by Mr. Dan Formosa

“People fear new things! Since the evolution of everything, people considered every new thing is evil at first. And I spent my entire life in Innovation, Designing and Brand Building Activity”, hence, Mr. Dan Formosa described himself at the BBF Seminar 2015. Professor Dan Formosa is the Jury President, Product Design of Cannes Lions, and Design Thinker, New York.

We generally fear new things as being evil and the irony for brands is brands live innovation and new designs. As the consumers are the psychological owners of the brand, they just don’t ignore if they don’t like it, rather they have the power to reject newer things.

Can Designs have serial impact? Answering to that question, Mr. Formosa quoted that “Design is about people, not things”. Design’s job is to make things prettier to people. So company designs as follows, Business > People > Product. Business collects insight about people and design products and services according to people. It is easier to offer people with right product rather than finding right people for the product or services. Marketers must understand this fact and start engaging designers more with customers to get insight.

Still most of the companies work on average insights, which bars the capability of innovation as innovation comes from marginal regions of customer insight. If we make door according to average height people, many people will bang their head on the door!

It is an irony that female customers spend more (almost 80%) and also think more before purchasing. Yet most of the designers are male and they design according to their own masculine understanding. So, engaging more female in designing process will help the organizations with better insights about female customers.

Dan Formosa explained that Design Thinking is the thought that “Design is being used today to add strategic value to the business while increasing the brand equity” He also proposed reinventing common techniques for designers, scientists and other creative fields to improve and innovate!

To develop a deep understanding of the customers, focus group discussions, engaging them in observing customers and access to social media trend analysis data can help to innovate just according to the customer’s community trend. Dan suggested having the users involved in early stage as user evaluation of a concept always helps to be on the right track from the very beginning. Companies must always accelerate learning through visualization, making quick prototypes – sketches, mock-ups, stories, role playing or storyboard. Many prototypes tend to fail quickly and frequently, but fast learning can occur through his process. For example, Google allows 9 out of 10 innovations to fail, but it needs to fail well to understand the innovation better.

Dan concluded his session with the final emphasis on customers. Customers of today start their buying procedures by the information they get from the advertisements, then they search for reviews online from the previous buyers. Only after then, they visit store and if the experience is good enough, they may buy the product or service. But the process still not ends here; it is customer service which plays the most vital role of after sales experience. So Mr. Formosa edited a little from Charles Darwin’s quote “Struggle for life is most severe between products of the same category; often severe between brands of the same genus,” which is applicable for brands today.

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