Using Design Thinking to Stand Out in a Crowded Market

Using Design Thinking to Stand Out in a Crowded Market

10 years ago, to hire a taxi you’d call to book, wait on hold for several minutes, book the taxi and wait at your location with some hope it would arrive.  In peak times this could be over an hour if your taxi wasn’t hailed by another passenger in the meantime. You’d pay cash or credit card and be at your destination.

It was a taxi, it got you from A-B, it was just painful.

Fast forward and to now and to hire a taxi you open a rideshare app, click a few buttons. You are assigned your car can see its route and have transparency on its arrival.  Payment is automatic and it is so simple and easy you tend to take taxi’s or rideshare options more often as a result.

It is the same as taxi, it gets you from A-B, it is just painless. In fact, in some cases it is delightful.

The difference is the customer experience. Walker predicts that by 2020, customer experience will overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator, and it is easy to understand why from this example alone.

As marketers, we often look at differentiation through the four P’s of product, price, promotion or placement to do so.  Progressive marketers are now looking the additional layer of the customer experience to create that differentiation.

86% of buyers are willing to pay more for a great customer experience
73% of buyers point to customer experience as an important factor in purchasing decisions

So how can we review the customer experience and create strategies that help us stand out from the crowd?  These four tips stem from the principles of Design Thinking which gives us a structured methodology on which to frame our ideas.

Deeply define your current and ideal customers
Did you know that bagged salads came from supermarkets observing households prepare dinners and observed the time, energy and rotting tomatoes in the back of fridges? This was a deep understanding of how customer behave not just their gender, age and income.

But it doesn’t have to be an observational study – there is so much data we can access in relation to online search behaviours which is a great starting point into real behaviours.

Defining your audience informs us where to target, the type of creative that will be appealing and the content that is interesting and likely to get higher engagement.

Know your competition
You can only be different if you understand the playing field. What is their product like, their pricing, their branding, their experience? What other options exist? Benchmarking your business against these competitors can be a great way to challenge yourselves to see openings for opportunity.

It is also a way to future proof your business. With a number of disruptors coming onto the market in various industries it is wise to be up to date on your competition.

Knowing your competitors can help you define and deliver your unique selling proposition and how this appears in your communications.

Understand your customers buying journey
How do your customers discover you, choose you, buy from you and use you?  What do they think, feel and do at each stage of their current journey? What is simple, easy, magical, delightful, painful and frustrating at each of these stages?

You can then work to promote the aspects of the customer journey that are amazing and then develop strategies to overcome the aspects that are painful.

Imagine a different world
Imagine if you could enhance the aspects that are already amazing and then take the aspects that are challenging and make them good, if not great. Start by ideating in the traditional way and then determine which of those ideas are feasible, reasonable and prioritise by those that make the most impact.

You can then publicise your customer experience and use it as a key strategy to attract and retain your current customers.

Cure Collective runs structured Design Thinking sessions to help you differentiate in crowded markets, stay competitive and to ensure your creative, communications and content is relevant to your audience – rather than being expensive wallpaper. If these are of interest to you, don’t hesitate to get in touch with the team.