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Design Owns the Holistic Consumer Experience

As we discussed in the last post, Design’s Role in the Company of the Futureyellow-metal-design-decoration 2

“The ultimate role that I see design playing at the company of the future, is that true design leaders have the ability to not only see the entirety of the holistic view for the consumer > brand relationship, but also can dive way down at the micro level to see how a specific interaction communicates or fulfills the brand’s promise.”

Design in the C-Suite

With the assumption above, the future of business and opportunity for growth is creating revenue models based on how a consumer experiences the brand. And by experiencing a brand, I don’t mean solely its communications message or using a product itself, but more around how the brand is fulfilled at each touchpoint and how that relationship continues to grow without disruption. This view of the consumer>brand relationship as the growth function of any business truly changes the way an organization needs to prioritize and structure in a new way.

Enter Design in the C-Suite.

Holistic Consumer Experience

The major problem with the way that traditional organizations are set up are by profit centers or functional groups. The goals and objectives that are set from the top down in organizations like this usually revolve around sales, cost efficiencies and profit margins, which create these siloed groups working towards a goal that only benefits their internal organization. The problem here is that the end consumer doesn’t simply have a relationship with one part of your organization. They have a relationship with the entire organization at once and don’t care about how it might be structured to support business objectives.

What’s missing in the C-Suite is an owner to the ideal, holistic consumer experience. One that is designed to not only communicate but fulfill the brand promise at each touchpoint, all while growing and evolving the relationship overtime which then leads to business results. This is the design function in a management role at its finest and satisfies the assumption we made above. Once this holistic experience is defined and understood at the top levels of an organization, then each business unit or functional group would have both top-line and bottom-line goals and objectives that not only support the growth and efficiency of the business but also the growth and evolution of the consumer experience. This also creates new opportunity to build incremental revenue streams based throughout the experience.

The holistic experience becomes the holy grail for future business growth.

Fulfilling the Brand Promise

We all understand how advertising and marketing communicates the value and feeling of our brand promise. It’s an easy way to get your point across about your organization. What is meant by the “fulfillment of the brand promise” is using the way a consumer interacts with your brand and product to actually experience the brand promise. We’ve seen this in the physical past of design through things like the feeling of how a car door closes, the sound a bottle of water makes when you open it, and the ergonomics of a walkman. But now, we live in a data-connected, multi-channel world, where user experience and relationship management is just as important as the physical design of a product.

This world that we’re living in now is defining, determining and DESIGNING an individual consumer’s relationship with the brand and product. We now have the opportunity and responsibility to use data science, relationship behavior and design thinking to design how a consumer makes their way through Awareness to Consideration to Purchase to Repurchase to Advocacy. From an organizational perspective, these are separate business units, from a consumer perspective this is their entire relationship with you.

Prosperous, individual consumer relationships are the key driver for future growth.

Key Takeaways

As the behaviors and needs of consumers are shifting, business is changing. We must respond as an organization to build stronger relationships with our consumers. The way to do that is:

  • Embrace design in the C-Suite
  • Develop a holistic consumer experience to define how your brand should build relationships with each consumer at each touchpoint
  • Build functional and business unit goals and objectives based on the consumer experience
  • Design the ideal relationship with the consumer across the organization 

About the Author: Paul Miser is the CEO, Co-Founder of CHINATOWN BUREAU, a digital product studio and consultancy headquartered in New York City. By providing strategies and products, CHINATOWN BUREAU helps their clients become digitally-powered organizations. He can be emailed at paul@chinatownbureau.com.

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