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.

The Battle for Sustainability

Brands are tumbling over themselves to find that big idea that will ensure sustainability

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Before you read this article, I want to say something to you – Brace Yourself. Hence forth, one thing you are likely going to see is plethora of new brands/products or new activities from leading and emerging brands. They are going to be so much it is likely going to plague you; loyalty, character, and a good name would save some brands in this emerging market. This is all as a result of the quest for sustainability.

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This quest is the reason for the new buzz word the marketing industry has added to its vocabulary – future proof. Every brand wants to create that killer product, execute that award winning strategy, or run that amazing campaign in a view to ensure that consumers can tell them apart from their closest competitors. This is increasingly important because as new products begin to flood the market, your brand identity might just be the life boat you need otherwise the flood might sink your ship.

This trend is largely visible in many parts of Africa and you may have or haven’t noticed.

Marketers, business owners and brand managers are beginning to pull out every last trick in the marketing communications manual; and in this battlefield only the best of strategies will win.