Design thinking is regularly talked about in business, but design is often relegated to a supporting role.
Two years ago, I spent a couple days at IDEO, seeing their approach to design thinking first hand. IDEO pioneered much of what the business world knows about design thinking.
IDEO calls it human-centered design. In contrast, many organizations follow heritage-centered design.
I once attended a brainstorm for a 120-year-old brand of baking flour. We had a room of talented cross-functional thinkers, but every idea we came up with was declared off limits. We couldn’t create new SKUs, change the packaging, change the formula, experiment with the brand, create marketing promotions, or change any other dimension we could imagine.
Too often marketers limit themselves by not questioning constraints. Some constraints are essential. Yet too many constraints can create tunnel vision. This is particularly true for brands that have a long heritage.
I love the classic IDEO case study on Nightline, where they completely re-imagine the shopping cart using design thinking. It always inspires me to think about other products and categories that can be similarly re-imagined.
But it requires thinking of design as more than the package burst.
(Marketoonist Monday: I’m giving away a signed print of this week’s cartoon. Just share an insightful comment to this week’s post. I’ll pick one comment by 5:00 PST on Monday. Thanks!)