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Bringing ideas to life

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Bringing
ideas to life
Bringing ideas to life
Today, there are so many
competitive products
jostling for attention that
there is an ever urgent
need for differentiation,
stand out and innovation.
Traditionally, designers would focus on the creation
and embodiment of a product, whether that be a
consumer or FMCG pack or product. They would
be given design briefs that were fairly well defined
with regard to objectives, functionality, target                     Michael Webster, Associate Director
users, markets and so forth, but they would have
                                                                     Design now involves scoping, defining and
had minimal involvement prior to that point. Today,
                                                                     coordinating opportunities, as well as embodying
there are so many competitive products jostling
                                                                     them - in short, innovation.
for attention that there is an ever urgent need
for differentiation, stand out and innovation. And                   Design is more than just the physical manifestation
this is where the designer’s remit has changed.                      of something - there are numerous factors that
Now, design is more deeply embedded in the                           need to be considered. First, there is the brand
front end, ahead of the brief - finding new uses,                    - how should that be expressed through not only
new markets, new opportunities derived from                          the physical form, but also the interaction and
consumer insights and new ways to create value                       experience of use. Then there is the user - who
- and in the navigation of that whole process.                       is this and what are their needs? You then come

Confidential. © Seymour Powell Limited, 2010. All rights reserved.
to the product itself - what is the context for its                  the relationship between product and brand, and
use? Why is it needed and what affects how or                        enables consistency between user and brand.
where it will be used? And how will it benefit the                   Fully understanding your brand DNA brings
business? Next up is the manufacture - how will                      clarity and precision to otherwise subjective
it be made? Of what? And where? And what                             and emotional issues and embeds emotional
technological advancements can we learn from                         understanding throughout the business.
other industries? And, of ever growing importance,
                                                                     And finally, there are trends. It is important to
there is the environment - how can we design it to
                                                                     understand the way the world is moving if you’re
be sustainable? And what does sustainable mean?
                                                                     not going to be left behind, beyond the comfort of
Designers need to juggle all these factors as                        ‘your’ market. By looking at the world around you,
they design a product, but how do they manage                        sitting at the heart of people, society, business
this process? One way is to break the process                        and technology, design involves having a full
down into three areas of focus - clarity, vision and                 understanding of the context and relevance for
delivery.                                                            new products, both now and in the future.
Clarity: The first step is to understand the space,
both physical and emotional, that the product will
occupy. Before you can make something better,
you need to know who, what and where you are.
There are various tools available to find the truths
to inspire and focus our creativity in the right
direction.
One tool is ethnographic research, where
consumers are observed on what they actually
do rather than what they say they do! This is how
to learn about people - their latent, as well as
their real needs and emergent behaviour - within
the real life situations in which the product will be
used.
Another tool is brand DNA. This is the definitive
expression of a brand’s design essence – both
its tangible and intangible elements. It defines

Confidential. © Seymour Powell Limited, 2010. All rights reserved.
Vision: The next step is to define what the product                  inspiration with perspiration and experimentation
should be, or could be, and why - a vision for the                   with expertise.
business to get behind, where future scenarios
are worked out and relevant solutions provided;
and where clarity of context and the ability of the
designer to envisage a better future fuel creativity,                Ideas are brought to reality by
the lifeblood of design.                                             a managed, systematic and
Vision is crucial to the successful implementation                   creative process. A fluid, non-
of a project. It provides something tangible for the
business to believe in and work towards. It gives
                                                                     linier process that combines
confidence and reassurance that it is making the                     thinking with doing.
right decisions. And it can help the business to
see beyond the way things are now, and towards
a better future that can transform its long-term
prospects.
Delivery: Once a vision is in place and people have
bought into it, the final step is to deliver on that
vision; to preserve and champion its original intent
and develop it into an implementable reality. This is
not just a question of how it performs (aesthetics,
interaction etc) but also how it works (mechanically
and practically) and is to be manufactured. That
means building, testing and prototyping to learn
empirically and iteratively, working with partners
when necessary to make it happen. This is the
heart and soul of innovation - it is not enough
merely to talk about innovation, or just to generate
concepts around consumer insights, it has to be
delivered if it is to profit the business.
And that managed systematic creative process
is what brings ideas to reality. A fluid, non-linear
process that combines thinking with doing,                           To find out more please contact nichola.rinks@seymourpowell.com

Confidential. © Seymour Powell Limited, 2010. All rights reserved.

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Bringing ideas to life

  • 2. Bringing ideas to life Today, there are so many competitive products jostling for attention that there is an ever urgent need for differentiation, stand out and innovation. Traditionally, designers would focus on the creation and embodiment of a product, whether that be a consumer or FMCG pack or product. They would be given design briefs that were fairly well defined with regard to objectives, functionality, target Michael Webster, Associate Director users, markets and so forth, but they would have Design now involves scoping, defining and had minimal involvement prior to that point. Today, coordinating opportunities, as well as embodying there are so many competitive products jostling them - in short, innovation. for attention that there is an ever urgent need for differentiation, stand out and innovation. And Design is more than just the physical manifestation this is where the designer’s remit has changed. of something - there are numerous factors that Now, design is more deeply embedded in the need to be considered. First, there is the brand front end, ahead of the brief - finding new uses, - how should that be expressed through not only new markets, new opportunities derived from the physical form, but also the interaction and consumer insights and new ways to create value experience of use. Then there is the user - who - and in the navigation of that whole process. is this and what are their needs? You then come Confidential. © Seymour Powell Limited, 2010. All rights reserved.
  • 3. to the product itself - what is the context for its the relationship between product and brand, and use? Why is it needed and what affects how or enables consistency between user and brand. where it will be used? And how will it benefit the Fully understanding your brand DNA brings business? Next up is the manufacture - how will clarity and precision to otherwise subjective it be made? Of what? And where? And what and emotional issues and embeds emotional technological advancements can we learn from understanding throughout the business. other industries? And, of ever growing importance, And finally, there are trends. It is important to there is the environment - how can we design it to understand the way the world is moving if you’re be sustainable? And what does sustainable mean? not going to be left behind, beyond the comfort of Designers need to juggle all these factors as ‘your’ market. By looking at the world around you, they design a product, but how do they manage sitting at the heart of people, society, business this process? One way is to break the process and technology, design involves having a full down into three areas of focus - clarity, vision and understanding of the context and relevance for delivery. new products, both now and in the future. Clarity: The first step is to understand the space, both physical and emotional, that the product will occupy. Before you can make something better, you need to know who, what and where you are. There are various tools available to find the truths to inspire and focus our creativity in the right direction. One tool is ethnographic research, where consumers are observed on what they actually do rather than what they say they do! This is how to learn about people - their latent, as well as their real needs and emergent behaviour - within the real life situations in which the product will be used. Another tool is brand DNA. This is the definitive expression of a brand’s design essence – both its tangible and intangible elements. It defines Confidential. © Seymour Powell Limited, 2010. All rights reserved.
  • 4. Vision: The next step is to define what the product inspiration with perspiration and experimentation should be, or could be, and why - a vision for the with expertise. business to get behind, where future scenarios are worked out and relevant solutions provided; and where clarity of context and the ability of the designer to envisage a better future fuel creativity, Ideas are brought to reality by the lifeblood of design. a managed, systematic and Vision is crucial to the successful implementation creative process. A fluid, non- of a project. It provides something tangible for the business to believe in and work towards. It gives linier process that combines confidence and reassurance that it is making the thinking with doing. right decisions. And it can help the business to see beyond the way things are now, and towards a better future that can transform its long-term prospects. Delivery: Once a vision is in place and people have bought into it, the final step is to deliver on that vision; to preserve and champion its original intent and develop it into an implementable reality. This is not just a question of how it performs (aesthetics, interaction etc) but also how it works (mechanically and practically) and is to be manufactured. That means building, testing and prototyping to learn empirically and iteratively, working with partners when necessary to make it happen. This is the heart and soul of innovation - it is not enough merely to talk about innovation, or just to generate concepts around consumer insights, it has to be delivered if it is to profit the business. And that managed systematic creative process is what brings ideas to reality. A fluid, non-linear process that combines thinking with doing, To find out more please contact nichola.rinks@seymourpowell.com Confidential. © Seymour Powell Limited, 2010. All rights reserved.