Brands come in all shapes and sizes. Across the globe, spreading industries and sectors, countless brands offering endless products and services exist. No-matter the global climate, the one steadfast, all-encompassing thread that weaves these brands together is… People. How to connect with people is a common quest, and applied design thinking is a proven way.
Essentially all companies, products, services, initiatives and efforts were born from people, for people. Of course intentions vary in each case and design is formed to target different audience segments for different reasons, but at the core of every business is someone with something trying to connect with someone wanting something. During a crisis your brand’s trajectory inevitably changes, directives need to pivot and efforts shift to best navigate the given situation, yet the underlying need for your brand to connect with your target audience remains the same, perhaps with even greater urgency. This is where design thinking comes into play.
As Tim Brown, CEO of IDEO says:
“Design thinking is a human-centered approach to innovation that draws from the designer’s toolkit to integrate the needs of people, the possibilities of technology, and the requirements for business success.“
Contrary to common fear driven mentality, times of crisis are not times to cut innovation and minimize efforts towards brand recognition and loyalty. In fact, creative thinking is a must right now. Brands that are consistently growing and even thriving during these times are those who are going all-in on brand development. This is a transformational time to better define your brand role, focus your core values and intended messaging and incorporate that into our current state of technology to best speak to your target audience segment on a truly human level. We have a unique opportunity to seize right now as the eyes of the world are focused in on one location: the internet. By incorporating design thinking into your company fabric, you have a rare opportunity to connect with your intended audience in a direct manner to share your solidified message and ignite a movement behind whatever your purpose may be. Design thinking puts people at the center of every purpose and decision. Brands that actively incorporate design thinking into their process hone in on the needs and wants of the people first. They listen intently and then create empathetic solutions to best satisfy the audience’s wants and needs.
The good news is anyone can apply design thinking to propel their brand forward. It’s a free methodology open to utilize to the people of the world for the people of the world, helping everyone involved. Though, it’s important to recognize the key to unleash the full potential of the approach is to pair design thinking with good design. If you try and incorporate the methodology of design thinking into your brand structure without a confident and creative delivery system, it will inevitably fall short of connecting with your intended audience. Now is an ideal time to apply design thinking and creative structure into your brand strategy to best navigate and succeed in this current global crisis, and if applied correctly, the results will be monumental.