All projects need to be clearly defined in terms of their value proposition, differentiation, and market positioning. Otherwise, your product will be lost in a sea of other brands and products in which consumers are unable to identify what you are offering and your competitors are not.
Someone once told me that any company project should mirror strategy. It was an inspired observation and it is one that I strive to apply to every project I am involved in.
The need to launch new products, make continuous improvements and to keep ahead of fast-moving competitors means that new proposals often fail to fit in with business strategy from the design standpoint.
The company’s strategy should be the filter through which we make all the decisions affecting the firm’s future. Very often we are the agents who are given the task of ‘refloating’ a company’s core meaning. Companies need to be reminded that their presence in the market lies in a raison d’être and a particular view of the world.
The strategy filter must be present in any good design or innovation. A couple of examples will show more clearly what I mean:
The CITYSENS garden continues to receive design awards since its launch two years ago. This success of the vertical garden project is not the result of luck but of the systematic application of Design Thinking and user-centred innovation. A project that emerged from a simple briefing took shape through market research, benchmarking, user interviews, field observations and a keen sense of design.
Its neutral, modern style (whose organic forms flow from a simple geometry) yields a product that is highly innovative in its sector yet which consumers see as something that is close and known. The language used is deliberately international, which is shown by the fact that the product is sold in over 60 countries.
The famous men's wallet brand ROIK is another example of "designs that mirror strategy". Since the project arrived at LÚCID, our goal was to build a brand with a marked lifestyle aimed at practical consumers who appreciate functionality and think carefully before they buy. From the logo to the packaging, they had to sense the product’s value proposition: SMALL, SLIM, EASY.
When a company is as clear about its strategy as ROIK, our work is made all the more effective because the project grows in fertile ground.
One does not necessarily have to spend a great deal of money on market research and consultancy to draw up a clear, honest, coherent strategy. We have seen large projects arising from an intuition, a need, a desire, experience in a sector. Yet what they all had in common with the aforementioned successful projects was the ability to clearly answer two questions: What is the value proposition?; Why should consumers choose your solution and not your competitor's?
There is a direct link between a successful project and the ability of its promoters to express their strategy clearly and coherently.
Once we have the answers, we can start working on how to design a discourse that fits the strategy like a glove.
Nowadays, design agencies provide the means for grasping a company’s needs and understanding both the market and consumers. This makes sure that the firm will come up with a unique, relevant solution.