Design Thinking + Design Doing = Disruptive Growth

Fjord Family

By Steven Cook,

Earlier this month, the Silicon Valley Executive Network (SVEN), a 1,200-member cross-functional and cross-vertical C-level network, hosted a “Future of Marketing Series” program about “Design Thinking and Design-Led Marketing.” Design thinking, at its simplest, can be defined as creative or design-led ways of solving business issues. Business case results show that design thinking, coupled with exceptional customer experiences, is critically important for B2B and B2C CMOs and the C-suite to adopt if they are to lead their organizations and disrupt their industries.

For this program, SVEN CEO Brian Reynard, an Apple and Cisco tech veteran, Rambus CMO Jerome Nadel, and I assembled eight early adopters of design thinking: four from design agencies, three CMOs, and one retained recruiter of CMOs. (Videos from the day are available here.)

Nadel kicked off the program talking about how and why marketing should be part of the design-thinking end-to-end approach. “Marketing and the CMO role should not be limited to ‘downstream’ product or service promotion and lead-generation,” he said. “Marketers should be involved in company strategy, product concepting, and design. User experience and marketing go hand-in-hand. Real CMO work should encompass both.”


Panelist Insight
Following are key excerpts from the design-led marketing expert panel.

Nandini Nayak, Ph.D., Managing Director, Design Strategy and Innovation, Fjord:
• “Experiences will help people make better decisions. … How people relate to brands is not that dissimilar from how they relate to people. Great experiences need to create emotional affinity.”

• “Today’s magic is tomorrow’s mundane. So how do you keep the magic in your product and service experiences going? You have to adopt a design-thinking approach. It will become fundamental to your growth strategy. It isn’t enough to have design thinking in your company. You also need to have ‘design doing.’ But it won’t scale across your company until you have a design culture.”


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