The hype was there. Mr Digitalist himself, Ville Tolvanen, said in the beginning of Digitalist Design Forum that he had waited for the event for three years.
But did the event deliver? Not so much. In my opinion design was not really in the forefront of the forum as there were plenty of presentations about branding and marketing.
The four-hour forum was started by Andreas Roselew, who is a managing partner at Grow Partners. He shook the audience by stating that there is a hype around all the service design concepts such as co-creation, growth hacking and customer centricity.
“I think we are experiencing a silent bubble”, he stated and referenced the dotcom bubble of the late 90s and early 2000s.
According to Rosenlew, very few service designers manage to pull things together so that it actually creates cumulative value.
“There are a lot of service designers running around being evangelists”, Rosenlew said. In his opinion most of the current Service Design is generic.
“It’s based on generic insights and it results in generic solutions”, he said.
In Rosenlew’s opinion there needs to be a direction in all design and it needs to be consistent and continuous. That is the only way to create value in the long term.
In order to achieve that designers should concentrate on holistic design and take into account the whole customer journey and life cycle and also different senses such as taste, feel and smell.
Fazer decided to simplify to amplify
The most interesting case that was presented in the forum was in my opinion Fazer’s Head of Marketing Päivi Svens’s presentation on how design has become a strategic capability for the company.
When Fazer started focusing on design, each candy label had its own head who could decide on everything. Now after a long process the design has been streamlined.
The whole process started from chaos. When everybody tried to get new products out as cheaply as possible, mistakes started to happen. Wrong ingredients were printed on labels and Fazer had to call some products back.
This woke everyone up. The process was too complex. First goal was to make better processes. They were all broken into pieces and built up again. After that it was time to start writing a design strategy.
In the end the in-house design team at Fazer wrote down the most self-evident design principles and called it their design strategy. After getting a few prizes on the new design the whole company was excited.
Fazer’s design strategy is based on the tenet simplify to amplify. When the brand is simple across all products, it starts to amplify itself and produces more money under the bottom line.
The author Noora Penttinen is a journalist and a recent Service Design student who believes in creative chaos and thinks that best ideas appear at four in the morning.
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