Influidity’s design-thinking approach to solve problems
No doubt that when clients walk up to the agencies, they have “vague ideas” which cut shorts to a final one towards the end of the meeting. Let me tell you about one of our client’s problem and how we approached it.
ABC is a well-known fashion brand; they produce ready-to-wear designer clothes. A brand that makes profit every year, what would their problem be? This is what we thought of! But it was their idea of producing fabrics, only a semi-finished product. It sounds cool, doesn’t it? A brand that has always been producing ready-to-wear clothes is now thinking of doing something different. But wait, here it goes:
- What if the product has an undesirable effect on the customers?
- What if the competitor is still doing quite well?
- Hope we don’t lose the existing customer base! Will we?
Let’s see how Influidity’s consultants approached the problem.
At first, we arranged a meeting and had a discussion with the Heads of all the Departments starting from the Senior Manager to the Design Head to the Marketing Head. Unlike every other client meeting, this was a bit crazy for us. Each department had their own opinion.
“I want it better than our competitors” – Director.
“Let’s design the fabric and also provide the end garment to the customer” – Design Head
“We want to market the product in an innovative manner” – Marketing Head
“We are well known for our designer dresses; I don’t think only fabrics would work” – Manager
Despite the initial perplexity and fear, there was an opportunity for us to learn what would bring value to their business and potentially attract more customers. So, we chose to use the “Design Thinking Process” and beat the competition by bringing only what’s necessary to the customer.
Stage 1 – Empathize
At first our consulants ensured that the Highest Paid Person’s Opinion (HiPPO) did not rule over everyone else. Our consultants had a conversation with the entire team and understood the problems and realities of each department of the business. After which, we tried to normalize the problem as much as possible by including diversity in terms of industry, market research, gender opinion & other data points.
Stage 2 – Define
In this phase, we had completed our brainstorming sessions, hypothesized solutions and kept an open mind to every possible innovation. Here, we defined:
- Our ideal customers
- The problem statement
- Basic solution to the problem
- Needs & Fears the business has
Stage 3 – Ideate
At this stage, consultants frame real concepts and design solutions, not abstract definitions. Our consultants use techniques like brainstorming, sketching, brainwriting, worst possible idea, prototyping and many more. For every fabric designed, we went back to the market, gathered information from the users and tested them with a process and analysed the result.
Stage 4 – Prototype
Here, we aim at making our ideas and definitions come to life. We developed an original sample of the designed fabric which was inexpensive and below the quality version of the real product, this was done to investigate solutions from the previous stage. Towards the end, we had some fabrics ready which we could try and test with the customers.
Stage 5 – Test
It was finally time to see if the desired product actually worked out or not. Putting the complete product to trial using the best solutions created in the prototyping phase is what our team did. The entire procedure involved a complete loop of feedback from customers whenever & wherever possible to move on to the next phase that is implementation.
This is how Design-Thinking Methodology can be applied to a real-life problem with limited time & budget. Most importantly, the team was able to deliver the product and the value that end customers needed.
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10 Tips for a Successful Business
Want to start a business of your own?
You already have one but want to scale it up?
Are you stuck at the crossroads?
Here are 10 tips to enable you to take strides forward in the right direction.
- Pain Point vs New Need
If you are a start-up then the first question that you are always asked is what is the pain point of your start-up? The pertaining question is why it always has to be a pain point. Your business idea should either address the existing gap or create a new need in the market.
- Know your customer
Identify the section of prospects whom your start-up would cater to. Delve deep into the minds of the customers. Wait! Who are your customers? Your customers are those who can solve their problems with your product or service and willing to pay for it. Always remember, “Make Your Customers’ Life Easy with Your Product/Service.”
- Market Research
What can research do to your business? Only if you know what your competitors are offering, you can offer something better. How do you know what’s better for the customers? Formulate a comprehensive questionnaire and reach out to the customers to know their likes, dislikes, needs, priorities, and tastes. Now you have the bird’s eye view of your market.
- Develop your product/service
Product development is a team sport. Keep your eyes open to what is happening in the market and continuously evaluate the chances of your product being successful. Have a timeline for yourselves from “Idea Conception” till “Product Launch. ” These 6 steps give you a clear understanding regarding how to go about your product development.
- Define your Value Proposition
Value proposition is the promise that you give to your customer that assures them that you will deliver value to them. It’s a statement that explains the benefit that you have to offer, who you are offering the benefit to, and why you are the best person to deliver that benefit. Following are the components of value proposition:
Benefits – What can your product do?
Features – How does your product work?
Experience – What does it feel like to use your product?
Needs – What are the rational drivers of purchasing?
Wants – Whats are the emotional drivers of purchasing?
Fears – What are the risks of switching to your product?
Substitutes – What do currently people do instead?
- Go-to-market strategy
GTM strategy is about how an organization puts its offerings into the market to achieve market penetration, revenue and profitability expectations. GTM strategy impacts all functions within an organization with the goal of preparing entire company for market success. GTM Strategy is not an event, i.e., a product launch. GTM strategies are focused on the entire product life cycle—from concept to grave.
It contains the following elements:
Customers: Whom do you intend to target? Importantly who is your end user or consumer?
Product: What is the that your product is fulfilling? Does your product have more functional benefits than that of your competitors?
Channels: Where do your target customers buy often? What are POS for your services or products?
Price: Is your price based on demand and supply? Is your price a disruption in the industry?
Positioning: How does your consumer perceive the product? Does your product have instant recall?
- Business Plan
Drafting your business plan helps you clarify your thoughts and organize the steps you need to take to be successful in your business. There are a number of pieces that must come together to make your business profitable. Business plan ensures that you won’t skip any important steps that may derail your efforts down the line.
- Get your business incorporated
Any company being an artificial entity comes into existence only after registration with the Registrar of Companies. Number of formalities must be completed before a request is made to the Registrar for its registration. Following are the broad steps involved:
Application for approval of name
Preparation of Memorandum of Association
Preparation of Articles of Association
Payment of fees
- Ensure a comprehensive digital presence
Being online helps your customers easily access you and your products or services. Similarly, it allows businesses to get to their target audience. Online presence of business has drastically changed the landscape of consumerism as most of the customers now prefer buying from companies or brands that they have found online.
- Create a sustainable business environment
Creating a sustainable business environment can also be defined as managing the triple bottom line, a process by which the companies usually manage their financial, social and environmental risks, obligations and opportunities. These three impacts are usually referred to as profits, people and planet.
The way to successfully getting your business off the ground is to meticulously plan, organize, prioritize all the above-mentioned tips properly. Remember, you’re not just selling your product or service — you are selling a combination of product, value, and brand experience