The Sauce and the Spice

DESIGN THINKING – THE INGREDIENT YOUR BUSINESS NEEDS TO KEEP UP WITH THE FAST-PACED EVOLUTION IN TODAY’S MARKET PLACE.

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The world is consistently changing and the speed can be likened to that of Arya Stark when she stealthily moved in on the Night Kind and drove a dagger through his belly in the recently concluded Game of Thrones series. Like the Night King, if businesses fail to take a hold of this speed or anticipate the next change (trend) then a dagger might be driven through its belly and put it out of business. Design Thinking is the ingredient businesses need to keep up with the pace (become agile) of customer evolution and ensure sustainability. My friend, Vin Diesel said in Riddick “if you can’t keep up, don’t step up”.

What is Design Thinking?

This is the art of adopting a process that keeps the consumer (target audience) as the focal point of your business. Many times businesses employ strategies as a result of data they dug up about their existing competitors – wrong move. Don’t get me wrong, it’s important to know what your competition is doing to reach your audience but it is more important for you to watch and anticipate what your audience is doing or what they might do. This way you’ll have a more pragmatic approach to reaching them, otherwise, you’ll struggle to adopt the right strategies to reach the consumer; you’ll become reactive instead of proactive.

Design thinking makes you proactive, not reactive – it eliminates the knee jerk phenomenon.

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Why Design Thinking?

It gives your marketing communication a direction and lays emphasis on designing marketing materials on purpose – brand proposition.

Designing on purpose builds relevance and leads to a culture that will resonant with the target market. Consequently, using purposeful design will also create a connection which will broaden the impact of all brand activation programs, and brand experience. The brand that uses design thinking as a strategic advantage creates things that people have to have - Bizcommunity.

This approach really can’t be overemphasized especially in this digital age wherein everything is ‘supposed’ to be connected.

International brands like Nike, Google, Apple, and Amazon have adopted the Design Thinking strategy and it’s a no brainer how they come up with products every now and then that you and I always have to have.

Super Power or Survival Strategy

WHY DESIGNERS ARE BECOMING PHOTOGRAPHERS

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These days every African is seemingly unapologetically conscious of his or her resources especially finances and they guard it jealously. Which is why whenever they want to make a purchase, the commodity with more value for money wins the choice battle. As a result of this growing consciousness among individuals, there is, therefore, steep competition in virtually every facet of business. For the sake of this article, we will be looking into the creative industry and the new survival strategy among the ones they call “Creatives a.k.a Designers”.

Currently, the creative industry has seen more and more of its designers dabble with photography as they are compelled to go the extra mile to deliver more value on the job as such, they’ve taken on photography – talk about secret superpowers. Do you want to survive in this creative jungle? You need to bring something other than great knowledge of all the design suites, you need a great eye for colours and images, hence photography. The knowledge of light composition and style adds a different kind of spice to your work.

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In terms of delivering value;

The gaping hole between designing and having the right images

Ever tried to search for African photos online? Daunting. I thought this was a joke as the internet is supposedly an archive of photos but try searching for photos of Africans doing something specific, you’ll almost not find. As more designers venture into photography with their knowledge of the specific needs of the creative industry, I am hopeful that soon we’ll close this gap.

Images are expensive

Trying to put together a photo session or even buy an image off of some stock site can be relatively expensive. In a view to deliver value and earn more, designers may take the pictures themselves and this way they’ll seamlessly get the right kind of image they desire.

The spicy ingredient

Designers with a relatively good knowledge of photography tend to put out better work as well as photographers with a relatively good knowledge of designing. The two go hand-in-hand (a couple).

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Creativity With Purpose

O2 ACADEMY CREATES FIRST OF ITS KIND 3D ZEBRA CROSSING IN NIGERIA TO CURB THE RATE OF CAR ACCIDENTS.

Source: Auto Report Ng

Source: Auto Report Ng

Creativity with purpose stems from the need to address a problem. Every great advertising content that was ever put out were those which were directly aimed at addressing a need.

Driving in Nigeria can be described as formula 1 without the race tracks as it nearly seems as if the traffic rules don’t exist, thanks to the necessary authorities, all that is being addressed decisively. Well, I am of the school of thought that believes that there’s no problem on the surface of the earth that’s solely dependent on one person or body to fix, gladly, advertising shares this belief as well.

An advertising school situated in Lagos Nigeria, O2 Academy, took to problem-solving by applying design thinking to reduce the rate of accidents and mortality on a Lagos road. In April 2019, O2 Academy designed the first of its kind 3D zebra crossing – now that’s one road sign many Nigerians seem not to recognize. I remember one time I chose not to drive because I was feeling a certain way in my body. I got to a busy road in Nigeria and needed to cross over to the other side so I stood at a zebra crossing, I was there for nearly 45mins –not kidding- before someone eventually stopped to let me through.

In my opinion, this is one of the most innovative solutions I’ve seen this year.

Kudos O2 Academy.

And just so you’d know; O2 Academy is the first advertising school in the Middle East and Africa, aside from South Africa, to win the Loerie awards.” The school participated in a Facebook challenge targeting students at advertising schools across the Middle-East and Africa. The students of O2 Academy won bronze for their campaign against cholera – Thisisafrica.

Let's Talk Strategy

"CULTURE EATS STRATEGY FOR BREAKFAST" IS A FAMOUS QUOTATION ATTRIBUTED TO THE LATE BUSINESS MANAGEMENT GURU, PETER DRUCKER.

Strategy is inevitable for success in business, career and life in general; well planned, calculated and very well thought-out actions, designed to produce long-term results.

Franklin Ozekhome, Chief Strategy Officer, bschool and founder @TINK Africa

Franklin Ozekhome, Chief Strategy Officer, bschool and founder @TINK Africa

TINK Africa’s bSchool, the new school of Strategy and Innovation kicks-off a new session on the 11th of February, 2017 and if you love strategic thinking, planning and innovation, then this thought leadership platform is for you. Beyond everyday account planning, strategic planning, and brand planning, Franklin Ozekhome, one of Nigeria’s top marketing strategists and former Head of Marketing & New Business at Insight Publicis, will be taking selected students through the grains of Innovation BizKit - a bespoke programme for entrepreneurs, creative and marketing professionals, Digital Planning, Consumer Insights Modeling, Trends Marketing and Culture Analytics  - both as a tutor and mentor.

The Ministry of Strategy course has been stuffed with more than just enough juice to transform a planner into a one-man army of intelligence analyst, thinker, marketing maven, trendspotter, thought leader and consummate marketing professional across industry disciplines.

Ozekhome, in an exclusive chat with the TINK team, commented that "he was on a mission: working assiduously with likeminds to develop the next generation of business strategists, marketing strategists, brand strategists, and media and account planners."

"My passion is to help brand management executives, entrepreneurs, creative and marketing professionals, to amplify themselves with the requisite tools, knowledge, ideas, resources and platforms, so that they can become innovators and masters of their universe."

There are nine Strategy components that Ozekhome will be exploring with students at the Ministry of Strategy Program. They include:

  • Product Development
  • Consumer Insights Mapping & Segmentation
  • Communication, Media & Channel
  • Content Design
  • Business Intelligence
  • Brands & Branding
  • Design Thinking
  • Markets & Marketing
  • Digital Planning