13 – working with design strategy tools

This exercise challenges you to play around with the different design strategy tools detailed in this chapter 5 of the book, in order to discover how they work in practice and what their value might be in strategic design projects.

see page 161 of BDI.

Two people, a roll of plain wallpaper, black, green and red felt pens, post-it notes and some time.

step 1
Pick an experience with a product or service you’ve had lately that you would like to work on as a design strategist. Choose one that includes a considerable span of the consumer journey, for example, booking and going on a holiday.

step 2
Take turns in telling your partner about the experience in as much detail as possible, and don’t leave out your personal emotions during different stages of the experience.

step 3
Take about three metres of wallpaper and hang it on the wall, horizontally, one for each experience. Define the different steps in time that created the
experience. Write each step on a post-it, and map them on the wallpaper. You’ve just created a consumer journey map!

step 4
Go over each step and analyse to what extent it was branded. Was the step unique to the brand, and did it reflect what the brand stands for? Was design used to reflect the brand and bring it to life?

step 5
Take the black felt pen and write under each post-it what the design objective of each step may have been. For example, when you booked the vacation, at some point you consulted a Lonely Planet travel guide for your destination. Its design objective was to give you up-to-date inside information. Later on, you may have looked for images of your destination on Flickr. Its design objective was to inspire you and help you find what you were looking for.

step 6
Then, under each step, write which design functions were used intensively (in green), and which weren’t but should have been (in red), based on the table on page 141 in the book. For example, the check-in at the airport was designed well in terms of aesthetics, but the queueing and waiting and dealing with paper forms was quite old-fashioned: it could have used a bit more design as innovation.

step 7
Next, under each step, write which design disciplines were used intensively (in green), and which weren’t but should have been (in red). For example, a lot of attention had been paid to the architecture of the holiday resort, but the service provided by the personnel was poor.

step 8
Under each step, write which design layers were used intensively (in green), and which weren’t but should have been (in red); e.g. the rental car office’s interior looked outdated but interaction with the staff was very efficient. Go over both wallpapers and marvel at the complexity of the design: do you see how building a solid design strategy would have created a more rewarding experience? How would you help the organisation behind your experience develop a design strategy?

Upload a photo of your wallpaper and your comments underneath. I can’t wait to see what you’ve made of this exercise!

11 Responses Subscribe to comments

  1. 6MINUS1

    Turning your vision into design is the power behind brand driven innovation, HP shows itself with the slogan “the computer is personal again” as a company that provides the individual user with every he wants and needs. The end user has expectations all over, but we fulfil every single one. To turn this vision into design every design discipline must be worked out. To successfully work this out a strong visionary shared-brand platform must be created and this vision must be shared within every design discipline. The innovation strategy must be clear and workable for every employee within HP. Every part that is designed must add to the value of the product. But value, as stated in their slogan, changes from user to user. What is needed to be successful in this strategy?

    You can see that the example of buying a printer touches all design disciplines. Where does the design strategy of a company stop? Looking back at our example you can see that it includes the entire life cycle of a product. Addressing every design discipline creates the experience of buying a brand. A successful cooperation of every strategy guides the customer from the first orientation phase till the phase in which the product is part of his daily life. This exercise showed us the large convergence of a brand-driven design strategy. It even includes design for the moment another design discipline fails. Every design discipline is an addition for another discipline but also a back-up plan. They are covering each other. For example the importance of communication design when the product design fails to fulfil the user’s expectations.
    Holistic brand design is the keyword in this life cycle of a product. Every aspect needs to be addressed to create the best brand value for a user. But the point you lose the grip on the brand experience is also a tricky point is this exercise.
    [img]http://www.branddriveninnovation.com/wp-content/p. 161 working with design strategy tools.jpg[/img]

    People will buy ‘your’ products in independent retail environments. Stores that have nothing to do with your brand experience, and just want to sell as much products as possible, without any brand preferences. How do you transfer your brand-driven design strategy to this environment as well?
    I think HP did a great job with their subscribe-and-return-money-policy. They create a customer-brand-communication moment and connect the brand to the customer with a discount. Their communication and service design fill the gap of the independent retailer because they supply everything to bring the customer in direct contact with the brand again.

    This shows the importance of a holistic design approach that needs to be part of a brand-driven design strategy. It is much broader that just product innovation.

    Oct 28, 2011 @ 2:02 pm

  2. Paradox 20

    For this exercise we decided to do the consumer journey on the experience of buying the BRAND-DRIVEN INNOVATION book, written by Erik Roscam Abbing and required for our course here at TU Delft for the class BRAND AND PRODUCT STRATEGY.

    We started discussing our different experiences on how we bought the book, appointing the different steps we faced during our individual process, and we came up with the consumer journey attached to our comments. We defined thirteen fixed steps, three conditional steps and two consequential steps. All this involved four different brands and two different possible directions to take in the process of buying the book.

    After finishing the book’s consumer journey we found out the following:

    • Some product journeys are multi-branded, depending on the buying experience. In this particular case we determined that they are four different brands involved in the process: the BRAND-DRIVEN INNOVTION book (Erik Roscam Abbing), the Waltman store, bookdepository.com and Post NL. All of them being part of the costumer experience.
    • Because of this, the integration or bridging between the brands can ruin the brand experience of the BDI book. This means that one brand depends on others to fulfill their promise and the costumer expectations. In this case, the BDI book brand depends on three other brands that make part of the process. An example of this is the Post NL: If Post NL decides to deliver the book late or have a delay, the costumer would relate this bad experience with the BDI book and bookdepository.com, even if it is not their fault.
    • The only way to control the buyers experience is by controlling the whole costumer journey experience. Meaning that if the only brand involved in the sale of the book where BRAND-DRIVEN INNOVATION book itself, it would be easier to provide a good Strategy for the experience. But the problem is that this is really hard to do, and it might not be possible for the BRAND-DRIVEN INNOVTION brand. But we believe, that the more control the brand have over the product journey, the better experience can be deliver.
    [img]http://www.branddriveninnovation.com/wp-content/Top 1.JPG[/img]
    [img]http://www.branddriveninnovation.com/wp-content/Top 2.JPG[/img]
    By doing this assignment we notice the importance of joining different departments of the company, noticing how multiple approaches should be consider in the different steps on the consumer journey. We also consider really important to be built connections with other companies to create a good experience to your costumers making your brand promise deliver.

    Oct 29, 2011 @ 2:26 pm

  3. Group 13 - Paper Planes

    The experience that we choose for this exercise is buying dinner at McDonalds. We mapped out the consumer journey of someone who undergoes this experience. For this, we divided this consumer journey in different steps. First the consumer makes the decision whether he/she wants to go to McDonalds or not. From this point, we realized that McDonalds user are rarely planning the decision to go there in advance. For instance, when you sit at home with your friends and you decide to have dinner outdoors, you would not quickly decide to go to a place like McDonalds to eat. The main characteristics which makes the company suitable for lunch or dinner are: fast delivery food and accessible location in city centres, shopping malls, etc. Thus, this situation makes that most of the users decide spontaneously while another activity is carried out. We think that people for example are shopping in a city and when they spot a fast-food restaurant they decide to go inside there. So it’s less a planned activity but more a spontaneous one.

    [img]http://www.branddriveninnovation.com/wp-content/2011-11-01 13.22.39.jpg[/img]

    The step after making this decision is to locate the nearest McDonalds restaurant. The McDonalds restaurants are usually placed at top-locations and easy recognisable by the used architecture, colouring and the well-known towers with ‘M’ on top of it. Obviously the next steps are entering the actual restaurant and pick a line for a cashier to order, pay and receive the food. After eating the food they will have to clean up their own stuff before they will leave the restaurant.

    Analysing the customer journey, we also saw that there was a lack of user understanding when all the users had to line in the same queue although they had two different goals. The first one is when users already know what they want and they can pay with pin/credit card. The second one belongs to people which are deciding which food they will order while queuing.

    One of our suggestions would be to have separate lines depending on some characteristics. For instance, credit card line, group line, etc. However, later on we discovered that in some countries (e.g. Spain) the company already has some check-out machines where people can order faster and an alternative faster line is used for this purpose. Thus, it is clear that the strategy department of McDonalds also have mapped out the customer journey. Otherwise, they would not have implemented this fast check-out in some of their shops.

    One other thing we noted and discussed is the fact that customers have to clean up their own trays with trash. We thought that maybe McDonalds can get rid of the trays as well because they have to wash them (extra effort and costs for them). It could be an option if the tray itself was also disposable or if the food in general was delivered with different packaging that would make the tray redundant.

    Nov 01, 2011 @ 2:35 pm

  4. Team Nine

    Working with design strategy tools

    [img]http://www.branddriveninnovation.com/wp-content/Customer Journey.jpg[/img]
    By creating a customer journey map you can see that a solid design strategy will create a more rewarding consumer experience. Structuring the consumer journey may reveal opportunities for improvements in the service. It could also lead to a more rationalized journey where unnecessary steps can be removed. By looking at each step within the consumer journey and identify its design objective, design functions, design disciplines and design layers, positive and negative aspects of the service come forward. Stating every emotion the user had per step / phase within the journey clearly shows where to improve the service. Moreover, the consumer journey gives an overview of where the touchpoints (web page, service desk, call center, etc.) are. This can give insights in how to shape these in an optimized way.

    Constructing a consumer journey is in our experience a good method to help build a solid design strategy, which will enhance the consumer experience.

    The consumer journey we chose was acquiring a personal OV-chip card including a 40% discount at the NS. The consumer in this journey was non Dutch-speaking. General conclusions about our findings were as follows:
    – The process takes too long (approx. one month).
    – Not user-friendly towards non Dutch-speaking consumers.
    – No information about the product is available online in English.
    – Not environmentally friendly due to use of printed letters and booklets. Letters of confirmations are sent by conventional mail and there is not an option to receive them in your email.
    – The service is old-fashioned – there is no option to fill in and send forms online.
    – There is no possibility to charge the OV-chip card with money online, or with cash in the machines.

    The conclusions stated above clearly shows that there are opportunities for improvements in the service of acquiring the personal OV-chip card. We can therefore conclude that it is very helpful for the organization to construct a consumer journey map, in the same or similar way as this exercise, in order to improve the consumer experience of this particular service. In addition, this will lead to tangible and enhanced experiences that match the brand’s vision.

    Nov 02, 2011 @ 11:39 pm

  5. Group 15

    One of the experiences we chose to study was to travel with easyJet. This consumer journey marks the events from planning a trip to getting off the airplane.

    [img]http://www.branddriveninnovation.com/wp-content/BPS consumer journey.jpg[/img]

    We’ve focused on how easyJet and its brand have been implemented in the consumer’s experience. It was clear to us that the brand was not (visibly) present during every step of the journey, which should be desired when creating a rewarding experience.

    EasyJet is famous for their low-fare trips, but there are many of these kind of low-fare airlines today, hence easyJet should work to discover what more they could provide the customers, except for with their cheap prices.

    Our suggestion for easyJet would be to go through the consumer journey in practice, i.e. go through what the consumer goes through. Only then can the organisation gain empathy for the customers and identify where in the consumer experience they can improve and make the brand more accessible. The results should of course be visualised, as we have visualised the consumer journey, and the gaps should be made clear through the visualisations. Finally, the visualisations and results should be presented to stakeholders and co-workers, so that everyone in the organisation will understand the gaps, what improvements could be made and what more they can provide for the customer to create an “easyJet-experience”.

    The brand could e.g. be (better) implemented in the step of ‘Compare prices for different airlines on the internet’ by providing a price-comparing function on easyJet’s own website. In that way, potential customers won’t need to go to other price-comparing websites. Another suggestion of improvement is to provide a lounge for easyJet-customers at the airport so that the step of ‘Wander around at airport’ would be less tedious.
    Even a step like ‘Think it over’ (referring to carefully consider the deal before purchase) could be branded; easyJet could provide a function on their website where customers could book their flights without paying for a week, so that they could have some time for considering their (eventual) purchase.

    Nov 03, 2011 @ 4:16 pm

  6. - shiqi -

    For this assignment we used the experience of ‘going to Artis Royal Zoo’. Its brand promise is mentioned as “a place where nature meets culture and where knowledge merges with pleasure.” We discussed the consumer journeys and divided the experience into three parts according to the timeline:

    1: before going to the zoo (checking the information on the web)
    2: prepare to enjoy the experience (parking, buying the ticket and map, asking for general information, etc).
    3: during the experience (seeing animals, shows, museums, eating in the restaurant, use of other facilities, etc).

    Artis tries to enhance customers’ experience using all disciplines (product, communication, environment, interaction and service design). Most of the time, these disciplines are used pretty well. They let peacocks walking on the road instead of placing them in the cage (interaction). There are various animal museums and animal’s houses where visitors not only see animals, but also acquire knowledge and experience culture at the same time, which makes Artis “more than a zoo” (product). The restaurant is a combination of product, service, and environment design, which results in a good eating experience. The main functions of all these things in Artis were mainly: getting people involved, surprising people, improve experience and comfort.

    However, some parts of the zoo aren’t enhancing customers’ experience at all. We think this could be improved through better use of some design disciplines and layers. We selected the three most striking ones:
    1. Parking car: the parking space (communication, environment and service design) is not large enough, letting people wait in queues. The flow to the park isn’t optimal. Therefore the environment and service design disciplines should be optimized. We suggest this should be improved by enhancing performance and construction layers. Through enlarging the parking space in a smart way and/or optimize the infrastructure.
    2. Checking direction on map: the map and road signs of the park (product, environment and communication design) do not clearly illustrate directions for visitors. Better communication design is needed through enhancing the interaction layer of the map and road signs in the park.
    3. Buying souvenirs: the products displaying in the stores are not strongly connected to the brand and image of the zoo (product, interaction design). In order to keep visitors’ memories to last longer after they leave, the zoo should strengthen the meaning layer of its souvenirs. This way, the value of the zoo’s products increases which enables visitors’ wonderful experiences to last longer.

    In short, we can see how Artis Royal Zoo could create a wonderful user experience through using all design disciplines optimally. We’d recommend the zoo to optimize its infrastructure in and around the park in order to enhance the users’ experience. Furthermore, some design layers could, for the same reason, be optimized as well.

    [img]http://www.branddriveninnovation.com/wp-content/13 – 5.6 touchpoints.JPG[/img]

    Nov 05, 2011 @ 5:35 pm

  7. Group 18

    In a group session, we analysed the customer ecxperience of bol.com; the Dutch amazon basically. We documented our findings in a graph.
    [img]http://www.branddriveninnovation.com/wp-content/Diagram Bol.com consumer experience.jpg[/img]

    Nov 07, 2011 @ 7:18 pm

  8. Group 18

    I forgot to submit the images of our group session..
    [img]http://www.branddriveninnovation.com/wp-content/2011-10-18 13.02.49.jpg[/img]
    [img]http://www.branddriveninnovation.com/wp-content/2011-10-18 13.03.01.jpg[/img]

    Nov 07, 2011 @ 7:20 pm

  9. The TwentyONEs

    ‎13 – Working with design strategy tools

    The event we will be describing is the Dutch Design Week (DDW). This was organized in Eindhoven and was a joint initiative of universities, the city and several companies. The journey started via mouth-to-mouth advertising. After visiting the web site, which was very pleasing to the eye, the decision to visit the DDW was made, even though the website was hard to understand, concerning information. To get to Eindhoven the train was the most practical way. However, the way of using the OV-Chipkaart to have access to the discounts wasn’t clear enough, therefore, a vending machine was used. This turned out to be very useful and fast. When boarding the train, it was confusing in what coach to sit. Accidently, at first, the sitting place was chosen at random, and turned out to be at first class. This gave a sensation of uncertainty. At Eindhoven station, there was a store in which information was provided, but this wasn’t easy to find. The maps, on the other hand were very useful, with good orientation through the display of landmarks on the map. Because the map was simple, it was easy to use, but sometimes it was annoying because of lack of detail in the routing, which was necessary. An example, the Museum entrance was hidden behind some trees, and it would have been easier to show the main entrances on the map. When walking to the city it was nice to see Mini-Coopers with examples of the exposition pieces. This way of advertising reinforced the experience. The expositions themselves were very inspiring, well displayed, organized, not crowded and had a very consistent layout. The selection of the returning hour was made based on the uncertainty about the departing time of the last train.
    This whole experience was merged with the traveling experience, but since the DDW is a national event, this traveling experience should have been considered and even included in the design strategy.
    Some recommendations to improve the DDW for the consumers are to improve the website by adding several layers, to divide the visitors of the website into their specific groups, such as visitors, participants, company/business, etc. Maybe the organization could have work together with the train stations to provide a “visitor’s kit” including a map, (train) tickets, a design thermos, guided tours, etc. This way the visitor is enticed to participate. Once visitors arrive at the train station of Eindhoven there could be a guidance staff to guide the visitors through the city or to answer questions. Bigger boards on the side-walks would also help visitors to find the locations of the expositions. Provide beforehand a list of the prices of the events and their opening hours would help visitors to plain their visits. This surpasses the scope of the DDW but the trains could have a look at their interior design to provide more comfortable chairs.
    [img]http://www.branddriveninnovation.com/wp-content/2011-11-02 14.16.29.jpg[/img]
    The TwentyONEs

    Nov 09, 2011 @ 11:29 am

  10. peer2peer

    In practise: working with design strategy tools

    Chapter 5 – Building a brand-driven design strategy

    For the consumer journey we choose something which everyone could relate to easily. Therefore we selected ‘visit to the museum’ and all the team members had to explain their experiences they had during the last visit of a museum. This would give us rich insights of different consumer journeys. In the end we decided to choose the ‘Rijksmuseum’ because most of us were familiar to this museum.
    We combined all the consumer journeys of the different team members in detail.

    The Rijksmuseum is in Amsterdam one of the biggest museums and therefore it has a lot of different exposure and communication material compared with other museums in Amsterdam. It begins at visiting the website throughout the whole route through the museum. Not only the collection and the exhibitions is very characteristic, but also all the other communication design fits very well to the brand.

    We structured the different activities and steps of the museum into five different stages. Each stage has a different objective towards the consumer throughout the consumer journey.

    Design functions
    1. Enhance creativity and innovation
    2. Enhance empathy in user-centredness
    3. Bridge silos and connect departments with different agendas
    4. Envision futures for the organization
    5. Resolve conflicting interests and demands into one fitting solution
    6. Make plans and ideas tangible and concrete
    7. Make innovations usable and relevant for end users
    8. Create coherent experiences that satisfy all the senses
    9. Create aesthetics that communicate the right story to the right people

    Design layers
    1. Aesthetics of the folders and advertisements are good. No interaction with users.
    2. The website contains a lot of information but the performance is not so good because you have to click a lot in order to go through the structure.
    3. The environment is constructed really well and is very appealing. The interaction in the entrance hall is not very nice because you do not feel appreciated as a visitor; you have to wait in queues.
    4. The communication in the museum is very good; you can easily see where you are and what you are looking at. The product and service design aesthetics can be implemented more thoroughly in all elements of the museum (eg. The restaurant).
    5. The exit steel looks nice, but the service for guests leaving the museums of low level.

    The main question is: “How would you help the organisation behind your experience develop a design strategy?” We think the Rijksmuseum puts a lot of effort of attracting first time visitors. This is done by a lot of exposure and attractive discounts, but the experience stops after the journey through the museum. We would like to suggest coming up with a strategy focused on the binding of existing users and trying to make it more attractive for them to come more often. This could be done by means of social media, but also by guiding them more gentle through the exit and make it a positive ‘leaving experience’.
    [img]http://www.branddriveninnovation.com/wp-content/In practise-workingwithdesignstrategytools(peer2peer).jpg[/img]

    Nov 10, 2011 @ 12:28 am

  11. 3plus3

    As a group, each of us contributed a few possibilities whereby the method of a consumer journey tool would fit and be feasible. As a consumer journey, we thought it should be a journey with an experience that begins before and continue after a product/ service. In truth, a journey is rather hard to find given that most journeys are rather short and convenient in modern lifestyle. Within a journey, most brands would have been touched upon. A few ideas such as MacDonalds, T-Mobile, Schipol airport were some examples in we have considered and familiar to us all. In the end, Ikea was selected as based on the predefined criteria as mentioned and also that we have experiences from Ikea. As a journey, how each of us experience is highly unique and subjectively, but there is a distinct manner which is common to us all since Ikea is highly choreographed, as it would for BDI, would be used to describe the experience as a group.

    The steps are divided into 7 parts including the layout of the Ikea namely home (before), restaurant, showroom, marketplace, transportation, home (after) and its after care.

    [img]http://www.branddriveninnovation.com/wp-content/IMG_9166 copy2-1.jpg[/img]

    For our consumer journey, not all information could be transferred from the wallpaper, the basis of the tools, into writing – well, the purpose of wallpaper is to uncover hidden values. As such, one would need to use this text in conjunction with the image of the wallpaper, only the key message and a much general findings are summarized for this purpose of discussion.

    Ikea is familiar to everyone, as one of the largest retailers in the world and operate internationally, it is difficult to say that Ikea is not branded. Ikea is branded in such a way for it to be so successful, we associate furniture with Ikea these days. In that, we agree that Ikea is branded but the extent of its branding is revealed with the breakdown into the 7 steps as listed above. It is worth to note that a brand like Ikea has been ingrained into our mind, unless we consciously sieve out this information, we will not have thought about it, even if so, it would be on a superficial level.

    Branding as in this case is the touch points, they exist on various scales and levels; both tangible and intangible. Firstly, on the broader level, they exist similarly in various parts of the world housed in a familiar blue warehouse. The physicality of the brand gives a 3rd dimension in terms of volume and spaces provided an experience is memorable. Secondly, at a more distance level, catalogues were already introduced before the raise of the internet, served as a connection- bringing customers into the stores as well as raising the brand awareness. Lastly from a sub-conscious level, small detail like Ikea’s screws, fonts, unique manuals and packaging, free writing and measuring kits and its never-ending route in the showroom-both tangible and intangible, only serves the hidden brand values.
    From all these elements, Ikea appeared to be focused on Do-It-Yourself (DIY) strategy, which would be disguised since some of their products are highly priced and well-designed at least in terms of its aesthetics. For some products, they even resembled some of the most famous furniture such as the egg chair. The focus on DIY as a strategy could explained why certain aspects of the journey are less branded. For example, the delivery service was less advertised and pricey but the DIY aspect of a bike-cart is provided as a preferred alternative. By branding, Ikea masked their hidden objectives in terms of cost and space reduction by the mass production and flat packaging for storage. On contrary, they appeared to care for the people by means of providing easy to build and price attractiveness. From this point of view, design has certainly been used to achieve it. Lastly the brand comprised of many aspect, design should not just be seen in terms of products but also services like the Ikea’s.

    As a whole the design objective is to provide affordable designed furniture for the masses. The objectives of each step is different, however they appears to be related step-by-step in ensuring the journey do not stop before it should be. These design objectives are mostly internal with a simple goal that is to increase sales in mind. For example, the catalog is to bring people into the store, the large minimal entrance foyer is a transition whereby latest and promotions are introduced, the restaurant is also to bring people into the store or to fill one’s stomach before the journey begins, customers are presented in fixed route which showcased the products in sequence, the marketplace allows customers to pick the smaller goods they might have seen in the showroom before etc… As you can see the objectives of each step has a relation and a reaction to the next, without one or the other, the journey would appear abrupt or unsustainable.

    Its strategy is clearly in line with the brand and vision. People like and accept Ikea and its brand promise in terms of cheap and affordable furniture based on their expectation. As a whole, the experience of this consumer journey is orchestrated and the touch points are touched, therefore further improvement is not required. From the wallpaper, there could be some minor improvements in terms of having an inclusive delivery service and an exciting warehouse that is pleasing to look at would suffice.

    [img]http://www.branddriveninnovation.com/wp-content/IMG_9166 copy2-2.jpg[/img]

    Nov 10, 2011 @ 1:09 am


six − = 2

about this blog
this is Erik Roscam Abbing's blog on topics relating to the synergy between branding, innovation and design. Erik is a consultant (www.zilverinnovation.com), teacher (www.io.tudelft.nl), and frequent speaker on the topic of Brand Driven Innovation. He is also the author of the book by the same title, to appear in autumn 2010 at www.avabooks.ch. For inquiries, contact erik at erik at zilverinnovation.com
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