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.

Fast and Nearly Furious

IN A WORLD WHERE TIME IS SEEMINGLY INSUFFICIENT AND LEISURE IS LUXURY, SPEED IS KING.

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Many times, when we see movies containing scenes with high speed car and bikes, high way chases, and speed in combat, we feel that pulsating burst of excitement because it is a reflection of what we actually truly want. Do you remember the last time you waited for a bus for longer than normal, or you had to stand in a long queue for you to get your order, or you tried to open a web page that seemingly took forever to display? I know you do, because I know you remember how you felt – awful.

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No one wants to wait so long for anything anymore which is why every business have adopted the culture of a high speed chase – you need to quickly respond to that customers’ need before your competition does. Everyone is in a race for sustainability and one major way to achieve that is customer centricity. If your business is centered around your consumer, your business is most likely going to stay afloat as it will have the speed and agility to evolve with the consumer as quickly as the cycle takes place. For example, just a few years ago people didn’t have any problem waiting 3 to 4 working days to get an order they made, but now if your business is counting response time on a per second basis, you are bound to lose more customers than you make sales.

This trend is largely evident in the world of digital, where the combination of mobile telephony, online payments, sales data and analytics technology have experienced massive increase in speed in terms of in order and delivery time, and network signal.

This is amazing to say the least. What do you TINK?

The Quickie

NO ONE WANTS TO WASTE TIME, THE QUICKER YOUR SERVICE THE BETTER THE CHANCE YOUR BUSINESS HAS AT SURVIVAL

Source: Pexels

Source: Pexels

We live in a fast paced world where the patience of everyone is obviously growing thinner by the second. In fact, today I was experiencing poor network reception and I was immediately upset with the service provider even though I couldn’t see them but I was upset regardless. Interestingly, this poor network reception I speak of only lasted for about 5 minutes, but I remember how that a few years ago I was very patient with my computer, how that if I clicked on a website I’d have to wait an average of 10 minutes per click before accessing each content – no exaggeration here, I don’t even know what hyperbole means.

Speed right now is the new trend in Africa, no one wants to spend a whole 10 seconds standing in line to buy a product, every online content must be viewed almost immediately after the tab has been clicked, no one wants to wait for food that takes forever to cook –which is why there’s something called fast foods. People have become impatient, they can’t sit still for a passport and when they do, you should be able to give them the photo immediately after. Transportation can’t be left out; little wonder why there are high speed trains today.

Source: Pexels

Source: Pexels

Expresso coffee, instant noodles, high speed internet, instantaneous connectivity, low turn-around time, instant delivery, quick fix, fast track and so on, these are terms Africans are becoming increasingly familiar with in terms of marketing communications. If your business is slow someone faster is surely going to knock you out of the market soon.

This trend is gradually sipping into the climate, I mean, just yesterday it was January and here we are in November preparing to close out the year. Well, time is too precious for anything to waste it.

If you must excel in whatever it is you are involved with, you must improve speed and efficiency. It isn’t enough for you to be quick but you must also deliver top notch products as your customers, a.k.a the African consumer will demand nothing less.

Be fast, be efficient and you’ll win in Africa.