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Authentic Brands, Design Thinking and Wicked Problems
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Authentic Brands, Design Thinking and Wicked Problems


What is an authentic brand? How can Design Thinking help your organization tackle wicked problems ? This brief presentation is from a talk Keith Gerr gave at the University of Oregon's Digital Arts …

What is an authentic brand? How can Design Thinking help your organization tackle wicked problems ? This brief presentation is from a talk Keith Gerr gave at the University of Oregon's Digital Arts and Product Design Program. The class is taught by Zara Logue, Adj Asst Professor/Design Community Liaison

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  • 1. Authentic Brands, Design  Thinking and Wicked Problems University of Oregon: Contemporary Design Talk Keith Gerr, Director of Strategy – Opus Creative 4.15.09
  • 2. What is an Authentic Brand? • Value Delivery – Does what it is supposed to do – When it doesn’t do what it’s supposed to do, the  company fixes it • Values Resonance – Company consistently acts in accordance with a  value system that is identifiable to you – New Social Contract vs. Old Social Contract
  • 3. “Products without aesthetics are  uncompelling; brands without  meaning are undesirable; and business  without ethics is unsustainable.” Marty Neumeier, President Neutron LLC
  • 4. Brand is behavior – it is not logos,  color palettes and slogans
  • 5. Is any brand truly authentic?
  • 6. The definition of authentic is personal What are your expectations of quality ? What is your tolerance for shenanigans? Are you willing to forgive? What’s the threshold between preference and loyalty? How open are you to change?
  • 7. So how does a brand attempt to be  authentic?
  • 8. Companies and the brands they  promote must fundamentally give a  shit about it’s employees, customers,  partners, shareholders and the rest of  the world
  • 9. Stay true to the origin story Promote defensible attributes Act in accordance to a stated values  system Have open dialogue with the world
  • 10. Understand the role your brand plays in a persons pursuit of self‐identity Respect the head, Touch the heart,  Satisfy the gut Don’t be afraid to repel audiences Value design thinking
  • 11. Design Thinking “The premise is that if you tap a designer, or a  designers’s problem‐solving approach, to tackle  standard business problems, you will get game‐ changing results.”  “With their emphasis on charts and data, marketers  often practice inductive thinking (if X, then Y). Design  thinking, by contrast, is more a case of abductive thinking – more a creative  leap that attempts to solve a  problem in previously unforeseen ways ” Source: Thinking By Design, Brandweek
  • 12. We need more Design Thinking people People who are not afraid of jumping to solutions  before the problem has been completely defined People that embrace rapid proto‐typing and the  spirit of iteration People who recognize the inter‐connectedness  of all things People who use multiple mediums to elucidate an  idea
  • 13. The world is full of wicked problems “Varied as they are, these problems share some key  characteristics: each is unique, difficult to define, and often  linked to other issues” Roger Martin, Dean Rotman School of Management How do we solve world hunger? How do we reverse global warming? Can the internet be made safe for kids? Would we all benefit from a global currency? 
  • 14. Let’s use Design Thinking to solve wicked problems “Design contains the skills to identify possible  futures, invent exciting products, build bridges to  customers, crack wicked problems, and more. The  fact is, if you wanna innovate, you gotta design.” “Design is rapidlymoving from ‘posters and toasters’  to include processes, systems, and organizations” Ilya Prokopoff and Fred Dust,  Partners, IDEO
  • 15. Hand‐shakes are nice but collaboration is more meaningful The Law of Requisite Variety: Only variety absorbs variety “So when dealing with high‐variety – with complex challenges – we  can only hope to address them by bringing to bear an equal amount of variety in the form of people, information, knowledge,  experience, relationships and their influence.” David Komlos, CEO Syntergrity Let’s value each others contribution  during the design journey
  • 16. Now go disrupt something