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Leading through Crisis with the Power of Design

Hung Vu • September 07, 2020

The current global pandemic has tremendously impacted people’s lives, health, family, daily routine and ultimately how business operate. Adapting and enduring change is a constant now. The outbreak is driving many commercial and social activities online, with the internet being a critical link to get things accomplished throughout the day.

Further, customer behavior towards online channels is rapidly changing with the shifts likely to retain in the post-pandemic world as well. Hence, understanding the path to purchase of these new online customers and providing them with human-centered user experience is crucial. With the accelerated need to strengthen experiences, design plays a vital role in creating value for businesses and connect with consumers in a meaningful, memorable way.

In fact, a well-designed experience is not just a “nice to have” but a “must have” to generate relevant user value and win customers. In a recent survey, 86% consumers claimed their willingness to pay more for a relevant, engaging user experience. This push for simple interactive user experience is separating the innovative companies from the ones with limited focus on designing value for their customers.

The Power of Design

COVID-19 is changing online usage and creating challenges to online selling and service like no one imagined before. This is where design becomes essential in creating value for businesses and connecting with consumers. Design showcases organization’s mission and helps them stand out of the crowd. In fact, in a recent survey, 78% of consumers said they would choose a relevant, engaging experience over the price of products/ services. This ensures that every second counts when we connect with customers, and design-led experiences are top of mind.

With digital usage expected to increase, the world is being pushed into an era of greater focus on experience and value creation. This will further separate innovative companies from the ones that did not focus on designing value for their customers.

Invest in Design

Design is a huge business growth factor. the most innovative and fastest growing companies in the world are leveraging design thinking as a disruptive differentiator to effectively create a deeper connection with their customers.

According to a recent study by DMI institute, over the last 10 years design-led companies have maintained significant stock market advantage, outperforming the S&P by an extraordinary 228%. Out of a pool of 75 publicly traded U.S. companies, just 15 meet the criteria. These companies include Apple, Coca Cola, Herman-Miller, IBM, Intuit, Newell-Rubbermaid, Nike, Procter & Gamble, Starbucks, Ford, Starwood, Steelcase, Walt Disney, Whirlpool, and Target. Design has had a huge impact on their innovation and customer loyalty, making design-led companies the market leaders.

Design puts Customer Value First

In diverse markets, customers decide which businesses win. The intent of design is to put customers in the driver seat. This fine point also extends to employees, partners, suppliers, and other key stakeholders, a critical step in fulfilling customer needs.

Design starts with empathy, anticipating customer needs, and then exceeding their expectations. Organizations should have discussions with their clients focusing on:

  • Delivering ROI and the bottom line
  • Creating intense customer loyalty
  • Adapting to the needs of continuously changing customers base
  • Pivoting the organization to serve customers in a meaningful way
  • Training employees on personalized care
  • Changing mindsets from transactions to relationships

This design-led approach focuses on treating their business as a service and helping organizations innovate faster and grow in new ways to exceed customer needs creating value.

Design is more important now than ever.  Organization will not only survive this crisis but thrive in the new normal when they put customers first, use empathy, and focus on creating intense brand loyalty through carefully designed experiences. Read the full article here published by CEO World Magazine.

About the Author
Hung Vu

A Managing Partner at Brillio, Hung is a strong creative practitioner and strategic leader with over 24 years of experience, focused on combining strategy and branded digital design to create compelling user experiences

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