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Visionary brand strategies require visionary product strategies: Centering product experience is imperative
Consumers today are more likely to develop their own perceptions about brands instead of passively accepting brand-crafted messages. More than ever, these perceptions are developed through product experiences, placing them firmly at the centre of the brand experience (Sterling, G. [May 2018] ‘Survey surprise: 90% of consumers report being brand-loyal’, available at: https://marketingland.com/survey-surprise-90-of-consumers-report-being-brand-loyal-248401 [accessed July, 2020]). For a product company, a visionary brand strategy needs to anticipate shifting consumer behaviour to build a differentiated and durable product experience. But instead of taking the consumer into account as they plan for future innovation, too many brands find themselves reacting to different futures. Instead, companies can harness the methods and techniques of design and innovation strategy, a discipline that combines business strategy with consumer insights to anticipate and create robust strategies based on meaningful, future-driven product experiences. Megatrends, high-level trends that reflect evolving customer expectations, articulate what consumers are looking for in a brand experience — and what they will continue to look for over the next five to ten years. Analysis of these trends, combined with an understanding of emerging technologies and how they are simultaneously changing the way consumers experience products, are important drivers of a consumer-centric, future-driven approach that leverages tools such as forecasting, scenarios of the future, backcasting and visions of the future. This paper provides practical steps which brands can take to rethink their product strategy in support of a more powerful, more durable brand experience. But underlying all of these steps is a shift in mindset.
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Ryan Chen is Director of Design and Innovation Strategy at Bresslergroup. Ryan’s unique combination of creativity and business acumen contributes to his work as a design and innovation consultant. Ryan has an MBA from the University of Oxford and a BA (Industrial Design) from National University of Singapore. Formerly Lead Designer at Tupperware and Senior Designer at Philips Design, his designs have won prestigious international awards, including the iF Design Award, Red Dot and Good Design. An expert in design strategy, design thinking and user research, Ryan has worked globally and across industries, helping organisations, including Samsung, Sony, Rocket Internet and the Singapore government find their innovation edge.
Mathieu Turpault is Managing Partner, Strategy and Design, at Bresslergroup, where he provides high-level guidance to the strategy, research and design disciplines, as well as direction on design activities company-wide. More than generating solutions for complicated problems, Mathieu approaches design as an exercise in evoking emotion. And he believes emotional appeal can be rationally and analytically designed. Before joining Bresslergroup, Mathieu worked for Elfi Corp.’s Brandt Division in France, where he designed exclusive cooking appliances for the European market. Mathieu has won numerous awards, including the Industrial Design Excellence Award (IDEA), Medical Design Excellence Award (MDEA) and dmi: Design Value Award from the Design Management Institute. Mathieu holds a master’s degree in industrial design from École Superieure de Design Industrielle (Paris).