29 July 2008

P&G goes for design thinking

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Olay
Business Week reports on how Procter & Gamble is using design thinking to crack difficult business problems. In the words of Cindy Tripp, marketing director at P&G Global Design:

“The analytical process we typically use to do our work—understand the problem and alternatives; develop several ideas; and do a final external check with the customer—gets flipped. Instead, design thinking methods instruct: There’s an opportunity somewhere in this neighborhood; use a broader consumer context to inform the opportunity; brainstorm a large quantity of fresh ideas; and co-create and iterate using low-resolution prototypes with that consumer.”

The article cites olayforyou.com as an excellent example of this type of reframing.

“The experience is simple yet conveys a deep understanding of the myriad factors that make up your specialized needs. Analyzing your responses, the system quickly assembles a tailored set of recommendations for a regime that is designed to meet your age and stated desires.” […]

“With this seemingly small enhancement, Olay will also differentiate itself in a highly complex, competitive market; speed up the time in which it understands and can build new solutions for its target prospects; and build a database that will enable P&G to reach out directly to its customers on a personal basis (which is a rarity for consumer-product companies).”

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