Blue Ocean Strategy and Design Thinking

In the world of customized business solutions, customer-centered, human-centered, user-centered have been trendy terms we’ve come across throughout our work. Service design always focuses on outside-in methodologies, where there is a need to map the market demands and focus on the needs and environments of buyers and end-users before starting any endeavor. We tend to fall in the trap of coming up with products and services in isolated silos and enforcing them on the market much too often disregarding market dynamics.

Design being a discipline that focuses on empathy and understanding the end-users can create new opportunities by giving us a correct mapping of the circumstances, needs and behaviors surrounding a new ideation process. Outside-in design thinking can help reconstruct market boundaries as opposed to just concentrating on the competition with a limited customer-base competing with detrimentally limited resources.

It is not enough to focus on what customers think they might need. As Henry Ford said: “If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.” By understanding pain-points, road-blocks and arising challenges along with mapping a chain of customers and re-evaluating an overlooked set of buyers, we can get the strategies right before launching. Combining the insights with the latest innovations in the industry can help leverage the service/ product palettes making us gain a competitive advantage.

Reaching beyond existing demands is crucial. Rethinking the experiences and various touchpoints, analyzing what happens before, during and after a service can help better understand the contexts in which our industries operate. Service design techniques are a major guide in understanding existing demands, the customer’s milieu and the environment helping us come up with more creative solutions.

It is important to be able to understand the minute details but don’t forget to try and understand the big picture operating both on a macro and micro level. Analyze trends affecting the industry, the business, the fields making up the structure of the company and customer behavior. Try to analyze complementary products and services and see how your company compares to or fits in. Accordingly, you can choose to expand into new services and products, create new offerings or alternatively reduce and eliminate the cluster focusing on a specific aspect of the service.

After the thorough research, feasibility studies can be made helping bring the concept closer to the market. Trials, prototyping, validation and testing should be done before replicating the products and services on a larger scale. Design can help offer renewal on a corporate level by re-evaluating products, services, missions, visions and internal strategies.

When used strategically, the discipline can deliver promising results both externally and internally. The right design strategy can help reduce time from idea to market by focusing on behavioral analysis and the human factor. After finding the right market, companies can follow through with building up the complementary aspects of launching.

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