Understanding The Journey

Last week, my marketing team and I organized an event for the wine marketing community called The Exchange. Held twice per year, it brings together interesting thought leaders from inside and outside of the industry to speak about innovation and creative approaches to marketing wine. 

The theme focused on counterinutitive thinking and the spark came from a book I read last summer by IDEO CEO Tim Brown. The book is called Change by Design and you can read more about my review of that book in an earlier post. 

The book inspried me to bring togeher several great thought leaders to our event. Included were CMO's from large and small wineries, a CFO from Pandora and an expert from Walmart on the category. We had an industry legend, Jean Charles Boisset speak passionately about wine and marketing and a really innovative wine thinker (Robert Joseph) spoke and led the panel conversation. 

We were lucky to have Clark Scheffy from IDEO speak to our group to kick off the event and it coincided with the launch of IDEO's new book, Creative Confidence, which was just published by the brothers who own the company, Tom and David Kelley. This is an absolutely must read book for anyone seriously interested in the creative process. (Don't just take my word but Seth Godin said the same thing). 

If you and your firm are looking for a new way to think about bringing a creative spirit to your work, don't miss this title.  I devoured the book on my flight home from Napa and can't wait to reread it. It is filled with exercises and ideas to stretch the imagination and thinking of any marketers. 

Let the Journey Begin 
Clark’s presentation focused on a core theme as he discussed how the company likes to look at design as a journey. How does a consumer experience a product or service? When you observe consumers using the product and you see it in situ, you start to unravel aspects of opportunities that would be missed if you were just designing for design sake alone. 

"What is the journey and how can you dissect it to understand opportunities?" 

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Clark provided us with a chance to hear how IDEO worked with Jet Blue to understand the journey of travel. They weren't focusing in on how to redesign a plane to make it more comfortable but instead were looking at the entire process of making a reservation, getting to the airport, schlepping your bag through the terminal and on and on. When you write down these steps and take apart each component part, you can find places to innovate that can bring a new experience to a common (and sometime broken) service.

He described how they uncovered this wonderful opportunity to allow a customer drop their bag off and have it placed for them into the overhead compartment above their seat. Eliminate the hassle, the stress and make the experience much more pleasant. Customers were willing to pay for this fee too so it might even be a new revenue source.

How might we...

In this beautifully illustrated book, there are countless examples of stepping back and seeing the context of your experience with a product. Beyond the product, how is it used? They frequently ask questions starting with "how might we" to open up the world of possibilities. 

The book mentions some design work involving an ice cream scoop. When they observed people in their homes scooping ice cream, they found a repeated pattern of people licking the last little bit off the scoop when they finished the task. So designing a scoop without any sharp metal parts or movable pieces became important in understand the way people use ice cream scoops

As I finished reading Creative Confidence, I unraveled the cover because I couldn't quite figure out what the green writing was on the book jacket. I should have known. I plan to hang this up in my office as a nice reminder. 

Unraveling the Cover of Creative Confidence 
If you are looking to widen your horizon and think with creative confidence, pick up a copy of this book. Let the journey begin...

Notes: If you enjoy my posts, would you share it with your marketing friends? And check out my new book on Amazon. At $2.99 it is a great value. 21 useful lessons based on my marketing experiences. A paperback version will be published in a few weeks for those who like to hold a book in their hands. 

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