15 – reflections on the book

This section enables you to critically reflect on what you’ve learned, as well as to look forward and think about ways in which you can apply this new understanding.

see page 196 of BDI.

step 1
Go back and scan the six ‘key insights’ lists that end each chapter.
step 2
What have you picked up from this book that really resonated with you, that really landed?
step 3
What parts were most useful for you, and what parts less?
step 4
Were the more theoretical parts of more interest to you or did you like the practical applications better?
step 5
Do you see how you will apply the thinking, the methods and the tools that were discussed in this book?
step 6
Do you think brand-driven innovation will help you, in your organisation, your studies, or your consultancy?
step 7
Upload your comments and reflections underneath and share with me and the other readers of the book and this blog what your experiences were.

21 Responses Subscribe to comments

  1. Maarten Scheffer

    This is a stunning survey in which a holistic framework, based on years of practical and theoretical learning, is transformed into fresh, clear but most of all useful chapters. It provides a insightful guideline through complex processes, ready to use or to give you enough knowledge to lead or manage the process of innovation.

    A must read for anyone in design, branding and/or innovation, whether on board or on junior level and everyone in between.

    ps. you didn’t think you could try and fit me in seven logic steps now did you?

    Jan 09, 2011 @ 10:46 pm

  2. Synergize & Co

    The most important thing we’ve learned from the book is the power of the brand in general. And with this, we really mean the power of the brand. It is surprisingly to see how powerful a brand driven company can be, or already is in some cases. If you take your brand as center of your company you can make everything and everybody a part of your company. It really can be the center of your company where everything evolves around.
    The book explains into detail how to become a brand driven company that uses brand driven innovations. It is surprisingly how applicable the theory is, on the other side; we think it is far harder to apply the theory in real life/company situations.
    Looking at the cases we can say that they clarify the theory very well. They give good insights in the “real deal.” The conversations in the book are good to read but not always directly relate with the theory. They do create a deeper understanding and do offer a beautiful connection with the webpage where the full conversation is shown. Although the good cases and conversations, the book feels a bit too much like a manual sometimes. A manual feel can have advantages:
    – It’s perfect if you are in the middle of an innovation process
    – It’s great if used in practices

    For students the book sometimes gives a bit too much information and explanation. Some parts can be skipped because the part is made clear in one sentence or image and the rest of the explanation is not needed. It is clear when to use the method and when not.

    Concluding we can say that the book gave us good new insights and knowledge about brand driven innovation and all of its aspects.


    The mind map shown above is the summary of what we’ve learned.

    Oct 25, 2011 @ 3:09 pm

  3. EFCOM

    In the first place we think it is a nice way to put design thinking in between business and creative thinking. We all felt that this was a good model in describing how to characterize design thinking. The “Brand as a lens” model was also a very pedagogical way of describing how internal qualities and external phenomenon are dealt with and processed by the company.

    It was inspiring to learn that branding in terms of aesthetics is just the top layer among several dimensions of what branding and design is about. We also like the part about that design shouldn’t be trapped in the design department silo and part about design thinking being the tool that connects the different silos in an organization.

    The discussions among experts didn’t add so much of the understanding of the themes discussed in the text, since they were at the same abstract level as the rest of the text. The text in general tended to be a little abstract, until the last chapters when touch point orchestrations were discussed which felt useful to us as designers. We like the concrete elements such as the case studies that we all felt were very hands on.

    After reading this book we all feel we have got a better background theory to describe the value of what we as industrial design engineers (can) do when we are functioning as a bridge between different departments and disciplines in an organization. Especially the practical exercises made the theory more tangible due to the group discussions which made us look at the theory from many different angles. Because, when you start to work in a company, you will learn that every company has its own methods. So, therefore we do not see the rules of BDI as a dogma we will use exactly as it is described in the book. Rather, it’s a framework we can have as reference when we are adapting the culture of the organization of our future employers.

    Oct 26, 2011 @ 3:54 pm

  4. Group 12

    To reflect on what we have learned we started by listing the things that we think are important and that we remembered during the course.

    The main thing that we learned is the importance of branding in general. We see now this can be the core “personality” of a company. The brand forms the relationship between organization and user, and between marketing and innovation.
    Together with this we got a feeling for what we, as designers, can contribute when it comes to branding: brands need design because it helps them to turn vision into value. It fulfills promises. Doing this by design thinking is one of the things we see as valuable learning material for our future. During this process the Brand helps to function as inspiration, guideline and filter to the ideas in the innovation funnel; it takes away uncertainty and ambiguity in building the innovation strategies.
    To turn vision into value you can create meaningful touch points that deliver on the brand’s promise. This is done by design (design thinking) and if done well, a synergy is created between these touch points. Next to this we appreciated the insights we gained in multidisciplinary design management; it combines left- and right-brain management styles, and it requires ‘T-shaped’ skills: the combination of deep specialized knowledge with the ability to see the bigger picture.

    These were the main things, but as the mind maps of Synergy & Co and EFCOM illustrate, there are much smaller learning points as well that are not mentioned in the summary above. Nevertheless these smaller things will pop up again when they occur in real-life applications.

    The parts of the books that really made the theory clear to us were the case studies. These really embodied the use of brand driven innovation, while the general theoretical models were too abstract to be easy applicable in specific cases. The assignments in the book had both a positive and a negative aspect: while they really helped us to go deeper into the material and really think about how these concepts work in practice, they also took a lot of unnecessary effort (for example keeping a list for days) which made them cumbersome. So we think the idea of the assignments work, but we would like them to be more efficient in gathering the required input.

    When we look at how this theory will aid us in practice, and what parts therefore are useful, we can conclude that the most important result from studying this book is that we are more aware of the power of using the brand as a drive for innovation and to create synergy within the company. The values and promise that a brand delivers should resonate with the company’s products and services, so the ways of dealing with these values and promise will be internalized in our general approach of working. When encountering specific difficulties, this book will function as a source of inspiration and guidance.

    Team Coffee-Break (team 12)
    ‘Get set for fresh perspectives…’

    Oct 28, 2011 @ 1:38 pm

  5. Group 14

    >>>>>>>>>>>>>PAUSE FOR THOUGHT : REFLECTIONS ON THE READER <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<

    2 – This Reader was a good way for us to understand the different methods that are used to get more grip and insight in company brands. It helped really to get more feeling for processes going on internally and externally. Especially analyzing the case studies and complementary discussions gave all of us a lot of understanding. Because of many different brands and companies we discovered very early that the method needs to be adjusted to specific situations all the time.
    3 – These methods are a way for us to understand the steps for a company in order to innovate in a rightly manner. With innovation methods innovation becomes more efficient and powerful, by analysing all the parts of the process so that forgetting an important aspect in the process becomes very difficult. The most efficient way for us to get our head around the book was to meet every week and share our own vision about the reader. Doing the practical exercises together made us a complete friendly and open minded team. And working together was really pleasurable, as each member of the group was a part of the team. Sometimes we regretted that we did not have some returns or feedback about our previous blogs/exercises, so that we could improve our team methods and efforts.
    4 – Most of us thought the practical way of discovering brand driven innovation was more interesting to understand and learn the methods. But we all agreed on the point that you need the theoretical base lessons to be able to apply it. You need the theoretical advice to create a bridge to the practical steps. In conclusion; we are convinced that you need the both of them for learning and understanding the methods fully, they are complimentary. We also think that, as a team, the most interesting for us is to share our point of views with other groups. And that is why blogging is a nice way of posting your findings.
    5 – Evaluating all the steps of the process, in each chapter, was a way to understand better all the brand ‘processes, like a Skeleton that you can analyse in the aim to find the broad outline. Methods and Tools made in foreground the complexity of the organisation of a Brand as a way to understand in an easy way the main problem, so that we were able t give it more flesh. Methods and Tools are very useful for understand a Brand and involving the products at the same time. When you buy a Product, you start to become stakeholder of the brand. In being part of the whole brand experience you understand and accept the values of the Brand, making the user conscious about the Brand process. Especially when all touch points give the consumer exactly what he expected and in the best scenario even transcend his expectations!
    6 – After brainstorming in the group, we all agreed on the fact that the Brand Driven Innovation Reader helped us to clarify our mind and to organize our design Process more clearly. When we are blocked in our design process and we do not find enough ideas, the methodology helps us to find new way to create and explore other angles of the situation.
    As a student in IPD or SPD, it’s really interesting for us to realize and understand all the process steps in a Brand, in the aim to understand the environment of the company and their Design Process. It’s a way to see inside the Brand organisation, making us conscious about the importance of having the meanings and values of a brand ready to implement in every developing step. Whether you as a designer are working on the fuzzy front end or already in the materialization phase. Throughout the whole process brand identity needs to be in mind.
    The BDI method is also a way to look inside the company so that there will be more understanding of all the problems that can occur in between departments. Looking through the brand so to speak. You can imagine a solutions in a more flawless way when problems arise, it is a nice framework to work in. So in short the Design Method Process in the Reader has made us think about all the problems an organization could encounter in each step of the innovation process.
    Starting to detailing each steps of the innovation process in the aim to make all the company parts more clear. Moreover, the Reader and the different lectures permitted us to mix interesting points out of the reader with our own opinions to create a new method. Finding our own values and our own favourable organisations, made us able to think about our own design company we would like to have in the future, and how to compose it step by step. To conclude, we see a product as a bridge between the company and the user, although many ways can be created to ‘touch’ the users nowadays. A product as an object able to communicate the values of the Brand. The most tangible and touchy point possibly ever will exist.

    Oct 28, 2011 @ 6:21 pm

  6. Paradox 20

    We believe that the book gives a great overview on how a brand can drives innovation, helping us in building a logistic sight on how to develop them. Making us (as readers) really understanding this concepts on how the whole company have to be involved in the process of consolidating an aligned goal and philosophy for the company.

    It also clear you view by explaining to yourself why you find one brand more attractive than other, identifying the touchpoints that before you could not perceive. Leading you to understand how a brand can identify you, because of how deep familiarized it becomes to you. It is not a matter of how big or small is a company, we learn that innovation is not only for big companies, but it is about a well formulated design strategy and about applying design thinking in the process. It is about learning how to take the outer-inner and the inner-outer views of the company and the costumers to learn from the context and users need, not only to reach empathy to the brand, but to also to let this will influence the company behavior toward their customers.

    We also considered that it would be nice to have a deeper explanation in some parts of the book to ensure our full comprehension of some of the topics. We believe that saying that design thinking is something of the advantage of Designers because we can jump from one side of the brain to another might be true, but we still want to find a deeper theory behind it, so that we can fully understand this to our advantage. Sometimes it is just looks unclear.

    We as a group agree that it is not really defined who the book is aiming: designers, managers, marketers or just students. Letting us to feel uncertain on the kind of extra information we would like to have in it. Because if book is addressed to students we believe it would be really interesting to have some quotations of other authors on different points of views on the same subject, and then your opinion on why these theories are not accurate enough for you. This would help us to build our own conclusions and maybe have much richer insights.

    We do believe that both theory and practical parts of the book are really important, but we believe that it would be nice to aim it a little bit more on theory, and the “why” of the things. But we do think that the examples cannot be taken away, because they are really handy to understand the point you want to address in the chapter them.

    Finally after all the reflection made, we believe that this book can become one of our combat weapons to address our everyday working management problems, reminding us the main picture we have to try to achieve as Strategic Product Designers. Even more if we decide to create our own consultancy agency.

    Oct 29, 2011 @ 2:32 pm

  7. Group 15

    > The BDI-method
    First of all, this method was completely new to all of us, but it immediately caught our attention. We think this was mainly because of the “obvious” aspects that the method is derived from.
    An example of these obvious aspects is the brand promise: the company promises you something but will they actually fulfil that promise? The BDI-method really gives you the impression that it is now possible to do so and it will guide you on your way.

    The main importance, which we found in the method, was the emphasising on the communication of a company.
    By using a good brand definition, the whole internal part of the company will know the shared goal and this way everyone can work towards that goal.
    In addition, communication externally will improve as well when a brand definition is made, e.g. consumers then know what the company stands for and what they are working towards.
    Because of all this, we found that the brand is the foundation of a company.

    What we found very enlightening was the understanding of terms like vision and brand promise that we could obtain because of the BDI-method. These were words that we have come across before, but never discussed them in more depth, like how we have now. Terms like these are used pretty often and it is important to fully understand them.

    The case studies, the guest lectures and the method explanation itself gave us a better picture of how organisations work in practise, which was something we have not learnt before as much.
    Understanding theory in practise should be essential in our curriculum, because we are being educated to put this theory into practise ourselves.

    > The book
    There are several aspects of the book which we liked a lot, such as the visualisations and the summaries after every chapter. They were clear and really provided us with giving a good overview of what was written in the text. Especially the visualisations on pages 19, 72, 75 and 115 were giving us a better understanding of the method.
    In addition to the visualisations and summaries, the case studies also helped us a lot. As said before, they gave us a better idea on how the method would be used in practise.
    However, the conversations in the book were not as inspiring for us. The people talking were interesting, but it did not seem to fit inside the book.

    The structure of the book was very clear and the English was pleasant to read, something which can be quite tricky in educational books.

    The exercises in the book were sometimes a little time consuming and some (pause for thought mainly) were not helping us that much to reflect on the theory. However, the in practise exercises were good and helped us to understand the theory way better.

    Another good aspect of the book was on page 75, where it is discussed when you should use the BDI-method and when you should not use it. This self-reflection part was standing out for us, because it showed that the reasons for using the method are genuine and not some propaganda is used to force us to use the method. It is also helpful, because now you understand what kind of strategy you should use in certain situations.

    > What we are missing
    There are some things which we would like to know more about concerning brand-driven innovation.

    >> Extra chapter
    What we would like to see is an extra chapter on the execution of BDI. This is done in the book of Jan Buijs (Delft Innovation Model), where he explains how the model should be applied.
    Especially since we would like to use the method later on in our professional careers, we would like to know how we can ease a company’s strategy towards brand-driven innovation.

    >> Creativity
    Innovation cannot exist without creativity, because creativity brings new ideas. We would like to see more on implementing creativity in the BDI-method.

    >> Visualisation
    The visualisation on page 72 shows the 4 tiles of brand-driven innovation and how they are combined. However, as you go further into the book, you lose track of the combination of the tiles and they seem like separate islands. It would be nicer to see the combination of the 4 appear in the other chapters as well.

    Oct 30, 2011 @ 5:18 pm

  8. Group 13 - Paper Planes

    After reading the book Brand-Driven Innovation book by Erik Roscam Abbing and doing the exercises that were proposed, the following reflection highlights the point of view of group 13 Paper Planes, divided into different aspects:


    There were several things that really landed with us, or in any case expressed what we already believed to be true. It primarily concerns the main messages of the book.

    What we really love is that branding is defined as more than just slapping a tag on a product, but rather should be viewed as something that reflects the vision of the company. It is used as a guide for innovation, but also needs innovation to help with fulfilling the brand promise. We also like that design is used to communicate the vision and brand promise through all touchpoints, but also to create a integrated view of the company and its environment.

    Design thinking can be applied in many fields of design, from products to services, from hospitals to retail design from corporate business to manufacturing companies. It is a mind set that can be applied on different business levels within different organisations.
    All levels could use input from a creative design perspective to optimise the holistic process. All stages also need responsibility and willingness to achieve the innovation goal. There are many ways and many methods. Each case is different, therefore the right direction and method has to be chosen carefully.

    Next to this it is crucial to know how the brand is perceived from both inside and outside the company. Creative sessions can help to get a clear the view on brand internally. Of course the aim is bringing the external perception of the brand as close as possible to how the brand is perceived internally by fulfilling the brand promise in the best possible way.


    We thought it was very useful that the guidelines for a good brand (authentic, meaningful, usable, inspiring) are explained. This really helps with defining the brand in such a way that it it becomes operational and a valuable tool for communication and innovation. Using the brand in the right way makes it easier to guide innovation and to establish the desired company culture by creating a collective mindset. It also provides a sort of backbone for the company that helps with consistency throughout the whole organisation, its people and its activities.
    Also, the brand-driven innovation model is a clear step-by-step approach which helps the user to take into account all relevant aspects and stakeholders. It guides the user with determining what is important for his/her company and prevents him/her from leaving out important factors.

    In paragraph 2.1 the book says design is used to integrate silos in a company, but we haven’t really been able to test this since we’re not in a multidisciplinary organisation and mainly do projects with just design students. We’re not certain about how it helps to integrate the different departments better, because we haven’t seen enough concrete examples for it. We definitely know that design can help all departments with enhancing the outcomes of their activities and improve the different aspects of a product, like manufacturing, usability, profitability, etc.
    At this point we think branding is more useful for this because it creates a collective mindset, which is more useful for integrating the different silos. The Priva case shows how such a collective mindset is created by involving everyone in design workshops, so then indirectly it uses design to connect the silos. However, the results of the workshops are closer related to the formulation of the brand and establishing a unified view on it, so branding is here the key element to create integrated silos.

    We also thought that some of the models and figures are less useful for carrying out the methods. Sometimes, it seems that they are created just for the purpose of showing design thinking. Obviously we encourage this type of visual thinking and in most instances it does add value and helps to convey then content of the book better. However, some texts and principles are actually quite basic and do not require the added illustrations to make it conceivable, nor do they help with correctly using the methods. Examples of this are the branding functions (p. 18 & 19), the non-sequential nature of BDI-stages (p. 75) and the design layers (p. 155).


    The book clearly explains the theory that is in it and it does so in a very understandable way, starting at the beginning and slowly moving forward. What really makes this theory come to life though is the extensive use of case studies and examples. It shows how the abstract theory and models can be applied in practice and that helps with understanding and dealing with the complex process of innovating and branding.
    We think that both the theory and the practice in this book are very strongly used. We think the overall strong suit of the book therefore is the combination of both elements and the way they complement each other. They enhance each other and without one the other wouldn’t be as strong and vice versa.


    We definitely see ourselves using the models and methods that are shown in the book. There are lots of very usable techniques in the book and we were familiar with part of them already. In the course Context and Conceptualisation for instance, we were introduced to various design research tools. What is very important is that any project or problem requires a unique approach and different models that you should use. Our experience with design thinking will help us to choose the right ones for each specific situation. It will help us to move back and forth between analysing problems and constructing (partial) solutions. Design thinking will be at the foundation of all our thought processes and will be used in a wide variety of activities.


    When we apply what we’ve learned from this book in our future organisations, it will help in several ways. It will ensure that we can be consistent in everything we do and communicate and it will help to stay true to the brand vision in all these aspects. It also helps with getting all departments and individuals in the organisation on the same page by providing a clear tool for communication of the mission and ambitions.
    For us personally it will help with determining who we are as people and what our values and aspirations are. It will help us to brand ourselves accordingly and to find the right projects, internships and jobs that fit this “brand identity”.
    In both the professional and the personal case, it will help to select the opportunities that reflect the core of our (brand) identity, make sense in that context and provide us with a unique and competitive position in the market. It also will help our clients and customers to better understand our strategies, actions and way of thinking.

    Nov 01, 2011 @ 1:20 pm

  9. Group 23

    Every member of the group has his/her own opinion on the Brand Driven Innovation method and the book, to read these we refer to the attachment. Here we discuss our overall opinion.

    None of the group members were familiar with the BDI method, which made it very interesting to read the book and learn about this concept. The idea that a brand can drive innovation has an inspiring effect on us as young designers. For this the case studies were an important part, as well as for understanding the theory. The preferences for the theory or the case studies is very much divided, this shows the differences on how people learn. Both play important role in reading the book and understanding what is discussed, and therefore it is necessary to include both in the way it is done now.
    Brand Driven Innovation gives another perspective to see design and how it could be implemented in the innovation process, it leads to a broader perspective on problem solving. It is a contribution to our knowledge on designing and how to innovate, it helps us in gaining a feeling for the company and its brand and can help us in creating opportunities for companies in the future. To really understand how it works in practice and the prove the theory, it is necessary for us to experience it in practice. Which we think we will see next quarter with the Design Strategy Project, the course that follows.

    Nov 02, 2011 @ 2:42 pm

  10. Team Nine

    Reflections on this book

    What we have picked up from this book is that:

    •Innovation and branding are interconnected concepts.
    •The term brand can have broader meaning and include more than just a logo and graphic design of a company.
    •Innovation can be driven from the brand.
    •Design, design strategy, design thinking and design research are necessary for brand-driven innovation to function.
    •The BDI-method and when it should be used (when brand usability and innovation potential are high).

    Hereunder, we will describe different aspects of the book according to our opinion.

    The clear definitions of the terms design, innovation and branding in chapter 1. It was very useful to refresh the reader’s memory how people in general look at each term and what it means in the context of the book. Furthermore, it is interesting to read about the shifts in each term over the years.

    The consumer journey mapping was a useful tool. It is a good way to get an overview of the touchpoints the consumer encounters. The mapping of a consumer journey also helps identify flaws in the journey and opportunities for improvement. Furthermore it can help build a solid design strategy which in turn will, hopefully, ascertain coherent and positive experiences for the user.

    The theory of the chapters can sometimes be complex, but the graphics are used in an appropriate manner. This goes for the graph, form and content in the illustrations, helping the reader understand difficult aspects and making reading more enjoyable.

    The pause for thought: reflection on methods, in part 2 is a good exercise to explore the insights of the reader about the concept of methods explained in the text. Also to produce an own approach of a method before the BDI-method is explained, creates an open mindset to the reader.

    In chapter 2 Roscam Abbing talks about design thinking which is quite unclear. The subject should be explained more clearly.

    The conversations between experts can sometimes be too abstract which does not grasp the reader’s attention. Those sections where therefore not useful for us, however this is very subjective. Still we want to point out that it is an interesting way to discuss different subjects.

    The conclusion about some of the case studies presented in this book are not well connected to the description of the case study. It would be difficult to read the case study and state the same conclusions by yourself. In contrast to the examples given above, some practical case studies are very interesting, the conclusions are credible and they complement the theory well. It is very interesting to see how the theory explained succeeds in practice.

    When looking at the thinking, methods and tools discussed in the book the following is stated:
    In chapter 3-6 it is clearly explained step by step how to use the methods given. By doing the assignments it made the thinking and the methods discussed in this book much more clear.

    The concept of driving innovation through the brand is what struck us the most. We will put more emphasis on brand values, vision, etc. when we are doing a design project within our studies or later in our career.

    Nov 02, 2011 @ 11:51 pm

  11. G3

    After a long term to follow Brand Driven Innovation Theory, we would like to comment on this book to wrap up this period of study.
    The reflection contains pros and cons of the book.

    1. Systemic & Integrated
    Brand-driven Innovation presents the entire development process from internal features to external features. The model channels the business’ efforts and connects with users in markets that resonate with the brand. It starts with the understanding of users and end up using design objectives to build the brand to complete the brand strategy. It creates a structure from which a business can mature by developing innovation strategies and embedding this within the organization.

    2. Wide-ranging & Practical
    No doubt that the theory is applied in many types of company, the real case examples show the theory is developed from a practical way. What’s more, applying this theory into cases can also make the company to reflect on their own brand by using it as a guideline through the strategy, reflection is another key point for building brand. The book addressed that each project is unique in real life. Every brand innovator should keep the uniqueness in mind and the real cases also show us how to apply the framework in a flexible way.

    3. Comprehensible & Logical
    The book is very easy to understand, the layout, graphic and also the structure make the book very coherent. The “readable” quality makes the learning process very enjoyable. The goal is clear, the brand can trigger innovation and also innovation should fulfill the brand promises. With the theory that introduced in the book, this way of thinking is especially useful in the early design process, a good guidance for beginners to start the design process. What worth mentioning is the theory helps to first explore the context inside the company to generate a direction not only for a product but a product that would give brand promises.

    1. The learning process is enjoyable. Over all; the speed of learning is quite nice. However sometimes there is a bit too much information repetitive. The repetitiveness can make the reading boring and confusing, which will directly lead the reader go to the summary insights part to quickly know the conclusion which is more effective.

    2. In saying this about the third and fifth chapters, the sixth chapter disappointed. The processes and techniques discussed here on how to manage multidisciplinary teams in touch-point orchestrating is above the designer’s role. Thus it lacks relevance. This said, the benefit of this chapter is gaining knowledge in how such projects are managed, and the need for cross-fertilisation of brand values across disciplines both internally and externally.

    3. Studying the each stage of the BDI method while gaining knowledge from real cases is pleasant. However, further details of the case studies would be useful to link the chapters together. For example, the Virgin Atlantic case study in chapter six illustrates how a brand creates a coherent touch-point. This case study could benefit from linking to the theory about human-centred branding presented in chapter three. With this connection the decision making process in the Virgin Atlantic case study would become clear and accountable.

    4. The team especially like the way to study BDI theory step by step by finishing the practices in each chapter. Besides, as the practices are designed as a group work and learn from each other. However, some of the practices are not closely connected to the book, and our conclusions of the practice have no feedback, which make it less meaningful.

    (G3 stands for Group 3)

    Nov 03, 2011 @ 11:46 am

  12. group 11

    Reflection on this book

    We consider that this book gives us an impression about the topic ‘brand’, and how a brand can lead innovations in a company. We believe that our understanding of branding has changed more broadly; now we can see the brand as a holistic concept of a company, so not as a logo, or their advertisements. Also, we realized that, like the concept of a brand, the meaning of design or its value is expanded from an independent last step in the process of making products aesthetically to one of the more useful way of communication mediums for the brand’s innovations. The book enabled us to take notion of how multifaceted design actually is and what it can mean for a brand.
    The case examples in the middle of the chapters are attractive to read and very worthwhile to understand the knowledge explained in the chapters; through the usage of examples, the theory has been clarified and put in perspective. Besides, it is interesting to see how a company can be changed through brand-driven innovation and how the theory can be applied to the real world. Moreover, the book provides well-structured comparisons of some ambiguous concepts with the examples and activities so that we can use them as a starting point of our discussion. Furthermore, the summary at the end of each chapter is considered clear and useful.
    We as a group felt that contents of chapters are little bit overlapping in part two. Especially the content of chapter three and four include repetitive elements. We also found it difficult to keep track of the different activities and steps of the four stages, and to truly understand the differences between stage two and three, which are described in part II. However, it is understandable because all chapters in part two are reflected to each other for the one brand-driven innovation model.
    The layout and the overall design of the book are coherent and grasp the readers’ attention. The colorful figures are interesting and help to understand the theory better. But, the shape of the figures is the same for different topics for the figures on page 92, 118, 149, and 181, so it could sometimes confuse the readers in terms of having the feeling that they have seen it before, while they are different in content each time.
    The conversations between the experts include rich information, but it is too short in the book to comprehend fully. Although the full conversation can be found on the website, there are not enough drivers to make the reader visit the website, at least not for our team. We think that if there would be a conclusion at the end, in the same way it is done with the case studies, the readers will have more motivation to read the whole conversation.
    We as designers found it is easy to understand the entire concept of brand-driven innovation and think it is nice to have a lot of freedom to apply the method (model) in different contexts. Indeed, those given freedom seem reasonable to apply in various different situations for a company. However, this can create a concern that if someone who is not familiar with design wants to use the BDI-method, he/she might have difficulty how to apply it. Still we think that by doing the exercises and reading other blog posts anyone could learn how to apply BDI as a method and get value out of it. We as a team enjoyed doing the exercises and think they are very useful. Also the ‘pause for thoughts’ topics triggered us to have fruitful discussions and all together changed our way of thinking, which we hopefully apply in our further studies and career.

    Nov 04, 2011 @ 11:30 pm

  13. - shiqi -

    What we really liked about your books that it gives a whole new view on innovation. We’re used to see innovation as something that is very technically based. For example: developing a new machine, or, as a smaller development, a more ergonomic shape of a product. This book shows that it could also be adding value to the product, without changing the tangible elements of a product.

    The methods we normally used in designing are focused on tangible changes. Mostly a new product (or service) was barely linked to the company, not that conscious anyway. With the method described in your book we become at least aware of that link. When it fits to the assignment, we can use the BDI method as a guide for designing new products and services. That’s how we will use it in the future. We see it as another method for innovating; a fresh method, which is different from the existing ones. Therefore we think it is useful, because it focuses more on (for us) non-obvious things (focus is more on the brand than, for example, the market).

    To still use the market and the context of the product, we think it is useful to add something about the ‘Vision in Product design’ (ViP) method. This is a way of exploring the future context in which the product will be placed. With the context in one hand and the brand in the other, it leads to a successful innovation. We think ‘Phase D’ of the innovation strategy stage of the BDI method has a lot of similarities with the ViP method. More about ViP can be found in the book of Paul Hekkert and Matthijs van Dijk: ‘ViP Vision in Design, A Guidebook for Innovators’ ISBN: 978-90-6369-205-6.

    Another thing we kind of missed in the book is the focus on threats and weaknesses of the brand. It talks a lot about the strengths and opportunities, which may be a bit obvious but unfortunately not the only thing concerning a brand. We think it is smart not to neglect the weaknesses for they can be used in two ways: First, to turn them into strengths. Looking at a threat or weakness and turning this into something positive is how an organization should learn and improve itself. Second, by knowing the company’s weaknesses very well, and its causes, the brand can prevent creating another weakness. We do agree that for innovating it is very important to look at the strengths of a company and combining them with opportunities, thus creating interesting search areas. However, not looking at weaknesses of the company and threats that are out there is rather naïve and it might end up in an unpleasant surprise for the company.

    About the way the book is written, the first part about the definitions is useful for defining all terms that are used, but most of us felt we didn’t read anything new. Therefore we liked the second part, in which the method itself is described, better. The cases in between inspired us a lot and we definitely liked to read them. The Fatboy case for example: we would really like to have such an exercise to learn about different ways of presenting your end results, rather than squeeze the results into a report.

    Summarized: a very inspiring book with a method we want to use in practice soon! Thanks!

    Nov 06, 2011 @ 11:42 am

  14. peer2peer

    Reflection on the attached file.

    Nov 07, 2011 @ 12:35 pm

  15. GROUP 18

    First of all, we need address some positive points of Roscam Abbing’s book. Not only is the book very structured, it really guides the reader through the brand as innovation method in a natural manner. Particularly, chapter 1 and 2 resonated with us the most, since within those chapters Roscam Abbing sketches a solid base for brand driven innovation. He very much succeeded in making the underlying knowledge for the method really convincing on the one hand and really straight forward on the other. Roscam Abbing effortlessly uncovers the interrelation of brand, design and innovation, so that the reader recognizes the thinking pattern and gets drawn into the BDI method. The story is written in such a logical manner, that the reader feels like the whole theory of brand driven innovation comes naturally. It has the tendency that nothing new is being told, which at the end makes you think why you haven’t thought of this innovation model yourself.

    The manner of teaching the theory of this book works very well. Neither the practical nor the theoretical parts work best, but it is the combination of the two that makes it stick. Showing the theory and then applying it to practice does not only make it credible, but also makes it easier to remember. Moreover, it is the practical part that makes engagement in a discussion on this subject more tangible and easy. What sets this book apart from many other books on methods is that it really dives into the ‘how’ of the method. Every step in the method is thoroughly explained and explained how exactly to do that particular step. Not only gives this hands on material to actively implement in an innovation process, it also strengthens the feasibility of the method.

    It would be an ideal world if the entire method could be used in an organization or consultancy, since we believe in the strength of combining brand, design and innovation. In the real world it will be hard to implement the entire method onto an organization or company, because this is just one of the innovation methods that can be of use within an organization. However, the notion that the brand influences the way innovation is being realized and can act as a lens, is a strong suggestion that every person in the team will definitely take with us.

    We believe that most businesses still need to discover the need to innovate, let alone to discover the strength and value of Brand Driven Innovation. We think that the integrating strength of design within a company still needs to be unveiled; for now you really need to pledge for the use of the method. Moreover, even when the company sees the strength of BDI thinking, it will probably need external help to increase the brand usability of the company. This book therefore provides designers – and SPD students in particular – with helping companies with the realization from within and offering external help in the form of (branding) consultancy.

    Therefore it is good to realize the shifting functions of designers. As Roscam Abbing suggests throughout his book, designers are more than just creativity junkies. Designers can bridge a connection between brand and innovation. Designers can combine several silos. Designers can link strategy and vision to actual execution. Designers can connect the internal organization with its customers. So many opportunities lie out there for the ‘new’ designer.

    One of the most important realizations for this shift is the notion of ‘design thinking’. Roscam Abbing neatly weaves the concept of design thinking into his BDI method. The book gives a clear explanation on design thinking, on which the video of Jon Kolko and the lecture of Willem Boijens were great additions.

    We as a group had a strong discussion on the naming of the BDI method. Roscam Abbing names his method as if the brand is a driver for innovation. We argue whether this statement is true. Roscam Abbing states within the book that “the brand can be compared to a lens” (page 115). Not only does this lens metaphor apply on the way customers need to be addressed, it also suggests that innovation is guided by the brand. On page 82, a figure of “How brands drive innovation” is shown. This figure states that the brand can function as inspiration, guideline and/or filter. We may see that the brand as guideline and filter shows that the brand can help by guiding the innovation process and possibly filter innovations which are valuable to the brand. Within the book, the brand as inspiration is never properly addressed and does not impress the imagination. We could also find no good examples where brand actually drives innovation inspiration. Therefore, we argue that the brand should not necessarily be seen as a driver, but as a guider of innovation.

    We discussed several innovation strategies, such as user-driven innovation, design-driven innovation and technology-driven innovation, which all show a clear driver for innovation. All those innovation drivers can still be applicable within the BDI method, and are guided and filtered amongst the company’s brand values. Therefore we discussed the method name as being ‘Brand Guided Innovation’.

    As the Jamie Oliver examples, as frequently addresses during lectures, we think that Roscam Abbing increases his desirability of his work by sharing the insights of his consultancy. By showing what he can do and what his work is based on, he does not necessarily give away his secrets, but merely shows the tip of the iceberg of valuable work he can deliver.

    Overall, this is an awesome book.

    Nov 08, 2011 @ 12:42 am

  16. Four

    General reflection on the book

    The book is very good structured opening each chapter with a nice intro and closing it with an informative and simple summary. Also the writing is easy to understand. The theory parts transmit a lot of knowledge although in some parts repeat already stated facts. In some chapters (context mapping) superficial paragraphs leave some questions, which are fortunately enlightened by the following case studies.
    The graphics are good designed, well structured and connected to the text and its overall content.
    The practical parts, in most of the cases, are very helpful and deepen understanding. Others are unclear and leave question, such as: How should we exactly analyze brand strategies, where some of the existing companies are still ‘old fashioned’ and might not apply the technics out of the book?

    Personal use and insights

    We very much liked the practical parts because they inspire and are the most useful to apply and practice the gained knowledge. These experiences are very useful to get a feeling for BDI. A good example is the touch-point orchestration, because you realize the deepness and complexity of a customer journey, this insight couldn’t be gained by reading the book.
    Another part that really gave a good understanding was the explanation and connection of Human-Centered-Branding, Innovation Strategy, Design Strategy and Orchestration, as mentioned before especially the orchestration chapter revealed the importance of maintaining a general understanding of branding.
    A very nice gadget are the ‘tables’ that explain content like ‘design layers and disciplines’, they are helpful because they give a short and precise overview which one can refer to very quickly.

    A few things weren’t that useful to us (explanation of the meaning of a brand within the company) because we believe BDI is not completely new to the business world. Instead it is a good approach to open this process to designers and ask them to apply their skills on this ‘broader’ view.

    We think to apply the knowledge even better, there should be a practical part working on a BDI project that includes and builds up on your own ideas. This would give the learning process a complete experience of designing a company following BDI.

    Nov 08, 2011 @ 7:19 pm

  17. [PENTAGON]

    Even though we come from different backgrounds, both educational and cultural, we agreed on one thing: the most important insight from the BDI book is that the brand cannot be underestimated. The role of a brand was already proven to be important, but to a certain extent. With the emphasis on product design, the brand seemed to function as an umbrella to cover a product range. It more or less gave the impression that the brand was a mean to be able to offer a range of products; brands facilitate design. Although true in some cases, the BDI book has shown us that it works both ways: design also facilitates brands. But is goes further, design actually facilitates the relationship between the brand and innovations. Until now, the term ‘innovation’ was mainly used to describe a breakthrough product, often in a technological sense. It is this general consensus of ‘design being the answer to everything’ that we learned to let go. Our view was broadened; a solution can also lie in reorganizing a brand, or in training your staff.

    An interesting metaphor came to mind when discussing this. When you look at a book, the brand is not just the cover that binds the chapters. The brand is in all the aspects throughout the book, both visual and textual (e.g. in the lay-out, the jacket blurb, the introduction, etc); it conveys the values of the content. These values make a promise to the reader of what they can expect from the book. The innovations can be seen as the different chapters, trying to fulfill this promise. Design mediates between the brand and the innovation. This is reflected in the way the layout is visualized for example.

    At the moment the first three chapters were the most useful. Because of the lack of experience the last parts about applications of the model were too abstract. This will certainly become more useful when having the chance to apply this knowledge. For now the introductory chapters were very insightful to get familiar with the model. By first describing the basic elements on which the model builds and after that discussing the model itself, it is really easy to get in a relatively unknown, and thus difficult, topic like brand driven innovation.

    When looking at the structure of the book the team was very positive. There was not a preference in either the theoretical or practical parts of the book. In fact, it is the combination of the two that really made it convincing. The structure Erik applies throughout each (sub)chapter in the book is: theory discussion, theory rephrasing/conclusion, model representation and then a practical case. This makes it for a very easy and fun to read book.

    The only point of advice we could think of is of practical nature: make a pocket version. Since it is a very hands-on introduction to the model, it is very useful to have the book with you at all times during the project. A pocket version would certainly help to do so.

    In the end we will take the role of the brand much more into account in the next projects. It gave us perspective on the way design, innovation and the brand are related to each other.

    Nov 09, 2011 @ 10:10 am

  18. The TwentyONEs

    ‎15-reflections on the book

    From the whole reviewing of the book, It’s interesting that we find if you looked at the whole book as a brand, from the design thinking point of view, this can also be seems as the author are trying to strategically teach us. It could be interpreted as the diagram, and we really appreciate the effort.


    So if we took a critical reflect from this ‘strategy’. We realized it really helps us to have a holistic understanding of brand, innovation and design. The most valuable thing is the mindset of using design thinking throughout different abstract level; how to strategically design strategy; from gaining more business insight and reflect to our usual creative thinking, design thinking as a touch point to connect the two of them! And we think it is really a good start for us to build on our strength as traditional designers to turn to a strategy thinker.

    And the part we like most of the book is the case study, it’s very useful to see how the methods described in the book can be addressed in real life innovation strategies. And the pause for thought also push us to critical reflecting what we’ve learned. Some of the in practice tend to be helpful like the one of creating your own method, that with going through all the process it also spark us to think how to critically using the method from the book. But some of setting of the in practice we find lack of consideration, for instance the first one for distinguish different type of innovation, we spent a long time try to define some case but find out the innovation can be interpret in many ways also due to different understanding of different people that somehow we doubt the feasibility to define the type of innovation. But also it is good that we come out critical thinking and deepen our understanding after discussion, as this is also a great gaining from this way of working.

    We also find out also the methods addressed in detail in the book, but arise another doubt, how can you think out of the box by work step by step? That we argue the content of the book should be more compact and flexible, and give more references thus it can create more space for us. Considered about the touch point, the group work facilitates us to exchange opinion and it is a good warm up for future project. Though by blogging we can also see other groups work, but it is lack of communication that we don’t comment on other groups work that often it would be nice if there are some stimulations for us to comment.

    And for expand a little bit, we find the correlation between the two major part of the course: the book and the lecture is somehow missed. We think it would be better more correlations between so that better enable us to facilitate and deepen understanding and to be open mind to real world case. Such as like the experience of Robin Hood case, that we prepare in advanced so we have unconsciously used what we learn and have interesting discuss within the class.

    The TwentyONEs

    Nov 09, 2011 @ 11:22 am

  19. Group 02

    Brand Driven innovation gives us a different perspective to look at Design and Innovation, with the importance of Brand in today’s context. It gave us insights into organizations that have been successful in the Industry due to Brand Driven innovation (BDI). It has an approach wherein the Designer looks at Brand not just as a logo, but rather more in-depth which has impact and can influence decisions both internal and external to the company in Innovation and Design. It equips us with a method of BDI.

    Brand identity (Internal) and brand promise (external) are intertwined with Innovation. Through Innovation, an organization can be true to its “Brand” whereas Brand fuels Innovation in the right direction. As rightly said in the book, this is the stage which has been set for the play. Now, it’s time to enact the play which is the Design strategy stage. User experience design before and after buying a product is as important as the design of the product or solution itself. Brand Driven Innovation considers all the key factors into a design project and creates touch points around a product or solution such that it orchestrates the necessary for a complete user satisfaction. BDI ensures user satisfaction both internal and external to an organization and is fruitful in the long run.

    The interviews with Industry experts gave us good insights into the way people perceive the significance of Brand driven innovation in this world where today everybody is looking into the Product-Service system. The concluding chapter of touch-point orchestration really gives one insights into how important the designing of the service in the PSS is. Case studies helped us relate the theory to how it is implemented and the success of the company (small and big) conveyed the true impact of using such an approach in a ‘Brand’ driven company.

    The framework given in Part II in determining whether BDI is the right strategy gives us a starting point. An analysis from this perspective can really guide us as to

    · Can Brand driven innovation method be applied to the present scenario?
    If yes, then one can easily fit all the pieces of the puzzle and use BDI method.
    If not, what needs to be chosen as the right set of initial drivers which can move the project in the right direction? A transformation process would be initiated towards becoming a brand driven Innovation Company.

    In present scenario, the influencing factors are so many that one cannot stick to a method rigidly and try to fit everything into that single model. The Strategic designer has to use his own experience with different methods and tools in a scenario in the right way to be successful.

    Group : 02

    Nov 09, 2011 @ 3:48 pm

  20. 3plus3

    In general, this book has provided a new perspective with regards to design and brand and helped to clarify design thinking which is abstract. As a whole, and as the starting point, the introduction of design thinking is important in framing this book. We resonate and agree with design thinking since we are designers, as quite clearly, design skills and creativity should be used for any problems. With the affirmation from this book, we have the right language to communicate on this possibility. The term ‘Design thinking’ is new and quite thought- provoking, because there is a paradox in the extent of business and creative. Everything can be innovated, this includes brand. Depending on how a problem is framed, a design skilled solution could be adopted and applied. We are conscious of brand now, which is like a large umbrella that holds bits and pieces of the company together. Having said this, 2 ways of intervention are given namely using design as upstream methods and the triangular relationship in terms of branding- innovation-design. Clearly, design plays a central role which is rather implicit but resonates with us- that is to be used internal and external, and iteratively within a stage.

    In addition, the 4 stages namely building a human-centred brand, building a brand-driven innovation strategy, building a brand-driven design strategy and orchestrating touchpoints, is very clear for designers since products should be user-centered.

    Useful and Less useful parts
    As mentioned in the previous paragraph we as designers, can resonate with the theory and methods of the 4 stages. The general consensus among students is that we like to have a clear method in undertaking a role and understanding the academic better. In the rapid development of design and design management, innovation methods are appearing in different shapes and forms. As in the book, there are 6 different types of innovation methods already mentioned namely diversification or co-branding, brand-driven innovation, opportunity-driven innovation, innovation-driven branding, user-driven innovation and design-driven innovation. Clearly, there is a need and importance to innovate. Therefore, with such diversity, its usefulness lies in the fact that Roscam Abbing (2010) clearly explained the purpose and usefulness in them. For example, the categorization into 4 various aspects are merely for easy identification and operation just like the term and division of innovation into both ‘radical’ and ‘incremental’, they do not add value but for academic debates. Having said so, by breaking brand into 4 quadrants along 2 axes, it shows that company can innovate in some ways or the other. In other words, company which is not interested in innovation could also apply brand-driven innovation based. The given case study also demonstrated this possibility. Lastly, it is important to know that innovation is relative; the relationship between innovation and brand results in the promise or value. The book helps in bridging this connection.

    On the other hand, if what have been discussed from part II of the book on practical is useful, the first of part of the book on theory is rather vague and abstract. Like design, where problems tend to be highly abstract and uncertain.

    In terms of objectivity, there are parts they are obvious and common sense. They might not add value to the discussion except creating more questions and uncertainty, an anti-thesis of the prescription of methods. For examples, several concepts like the role of innovation and design repeats in various parts of design, expert conversation in case studies were seen merely as a supporting text that adds fuel to the argumentation. Instead, more experience could have been more useful and the use of images and diagram such as the Brand-Innovation model diagram could be straightforward for designers.

    As a whole, the usefulness is seen in practical than theoretical. As noted, each part reinforced the other; a combination of both is required for a successful and prescriptive outcome. By means of combination, the connecting and supporting discussion could enrich a theory and give practical knowledge. For example, the variety of examples also help to avoid the risk in apply the four stage in 1 way.

    Its application
    The key to this book is using a brand as driver. Often for internal university projects, when a design brief is on product and not brand, the convention techniques of user-driven and technological-driven are be more useful. While its use might be limited, our eyes are now trained to look for values in companies. By this awareness, we can critical reflect upon the brand and product to formulate a role where design can operate in.

    Lastly, communication about design is important but hard if without supporting literature. The book gives the right language and ability in communicating with non-designers what design and design-thinking is about and could do. The gap between companies and academic exists given the time-lag; many companies have not seen the value of design and their brand.

    In summary, there are advantages to a brand-driven innovation especially at the early phase of product development. Brand is becoming more complex with globalisation whereby value tends to be lost through innovation and competition; brand needs to regain its competitiveness advantage. An accumulated efforts and momentum are required to bring the value across to the users by a shared vision between users, companies and across boundary from internal to external. Brand brings this value together like “integrating silos” (Roscam Abbing, 2010). In the later phase, by looking and connecting inwards and within company, there is a need to educate this importance and produce the right product according to its values and vision. Besides Strategic Product Design, other streams such as Integrated Product Design (IPD) should also develop such concepts from a brand perspective or risk failure.

    Nov 09, 2011 @ 11:11 pm

  21. Powers of Ten

    2. The most important learned is in the image below:

    3. The discussion originated by the 1st exercise, (where in our post we designed a tree) was an intense one but also very enlightening for everyone.
    We found the book dynamic, with a very good structure. We really enjoyed the case studies and the tools and techniques!
    Regarding the less useful parts, we must say some visualizations were not very clear and useful: and some exercise briefs were too descriptive and not objective.
    It would be also more efficient if we had lectures directly based on the book, to better develop what we are learning in the book.
    Finally we would like to have a deeper understanding on how to explain, convince or even sell brand driven innovation to the client. And last but not least something related to ROI, like a case study.

    4. Concerning the theoretical parts and the practical, we believe they supported each other very nicely. The combination between the two worked, after all that’s what we did all the time! Moreover, this combination makes the readers work for a longer period on the more abstract concepts, transforming them into more concrete.

    5. This was not unanimous in our group since referring to the issue from point 3, some people believe they would find it difficult to sell this method to clients, they lacked more objective techniques on that. But in terms of didactics, everyone agreed it worked really well.

    6. It drew our attention to the importance of innovation and therefore broadens our perspective on the subject.

    Nov 10, 2011 @ 3:20 am


× six = 42

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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