In a rare interview with Fastcompany, CEO Dietrich Mateschitz shares his thoughts about what Red Bull is all about.
What Red Bull stands for is that it “gives you wings…,” which means that it provides skills, abilities, power etc. to achieve whatever you want to. It is an invitation as well as a request to be active, performance-oriented, alert, and to take challenges. When you work or study, do your very best. When you do sports, go for your limits. When you have fun or just relax, be aware of it and appreciate it.
“Gives you Wings…” has to be one of the best Elevator Pitch I’ve seen. It is finely crafted, well thought out, concise, and meaningful.
Just like Red Bull, elevator pitches are something many companies should also take a moment to get right. This is because elevator pitches (or some say brand taglines) are a great way to communicate your purpose or what you are all about to your customers.
Do you have an elevator pitch? Does it match what you are all about? Do your customers get it? Do your customers really care? A no to any of these questions usually means a lot of soul searching is required.
The urban legend for an elevator pitch was all about a hungry entrepreneur who, in the time it took for an elevator ride from the ground floor to the top floor, had to convince a CEO of a large corporation to invest in him. It’s an urban legend as to date; there has not been any evidence that it was a successful way to raise money. But the romanticism of the idea stuck.
Elevator pitches are usually made up of a few sentences and describes what your idea, company, purpose is all about. Gamestorming (Amazon Link) has a great example on how to construct an Elevator Pitch. Get together with your team and brainstorm the answers to the following questions. Then fill in the pitch sentence at the end.
Going through the exercise involves both a generating and forming phase. To setup the generating phase, write these questions in sequence on flip-charts:
Who is the target customer?
What is the customer need?
What is the product name?
What is its market category?
What is its key benefit?
Who or what is the competition?
What is the product’s unique differentiator?
These will become the elements of the pitch. They are in a sequence that follows the formula: For (target customer) who has (customer need), (product name) is a (market category) that (one key benefit). Unlike (competition), the product (unique differentiator).
This is a good and fast way to get your elevator pitch together. It’s a great start, but it will take more time to refine it, test and validate it to get it right especially if you want to include your organisation’s purpose in it. Consider your Elevator Pitch a living document that is always in Beta.
Here is Design Sojourn’s elevator pitch, which took me about 50 tries to get right.
We help our clients leverage on Design Led Innovation to make people’s lives better.
The objective of our pitch was to get our clients to understand what we do in a nutshell, and then contact us for more information should the pitch resonated with them. So far it has been working well for us, but we are still looking to improve it.
But why is it important for your design strategy?
I have found that a strong elevator pitch is very powerful in communicating a design strategy or your design principles. While most elevator pitches are used outwards towards your customers as brand taglines, a well-crafted elevator pitch can be used to drive a design strategy internally through multiple departmental levels or business units. The fact that a well-crafted pitch often lacks jargon and is easy to understand, helps many people (especially non-designers or design thinkers) to get it immediately and thus increase the chance for a more consistent execution of an idea.
Why not try creating an elevator pitch in your next design or business strategy workshop, and let me know how it goes?
Our Design Led Innovation client consulting or facilitation sessions often involves a business diagnostic activity, that is split into something I fondly call: hard and soft diagnostics.
A hard diagnostic, aptly called as it covers hard financial numbers, covers things like market share, revenue, profit, margins etc. This is a pretty meaty and tangible discussion, with a lot of great tools such as the Business Model Canvas by Alex Osterwalder or the Lean Canvas by Ash Maurya to support the discussion.
On the other hand, our soft diagnostic activity tends to cover the softer more human elements of a business. This includes things such as values, culture, meaning, customer needs and motivation. Much of this actually falls within the realm of Design Thinking, and as far as I know, there is no tool for this.
So I created one.
The Business Design Tool was inspired by the Startup Canvas created by our friends and partners the Design Thinkers Group. I co-facilitated a workshop on the Startup Canvas at the D.Confestival in Berlin last year, and adapted it from there. Check out the
original updated Startup Canvas here. Looks like they liked our addition of the DNA and Persona modifications, and added it to their tool!
The BDT has been tested extensively on corporations both large and small, start-ups, non-profits and even government agencies (where it would be called the Organization Design Toolkit). So now please print it out as a big banner, (2+ meters wide), try it out with your clients or team, and then let me know what you think?
The Business Design Toolkit is one of the many tools we have developed to help businesses leverage on Design Driven Innovation to make their customer’s lives better. If you would like us to help you out, do not hesitate to drop us a message at our contact page.
I get this all the time.
Whenever we talk about Design Thinking’s user-centered approach to finding opportunities and understanding your customer better, someone always reminds me that one of the worlds most successful company (in my humble opinion), Apple, does not do market or user research.
Similarly, Scott Anthony writes:
It feels like a classic battle — the scientific approach of a company (Procter & Gamble when run by former CEO A.G. Lafley) that launches 80 market research studies a day versus the intuitive touch of the iconic innovator of our time.
But it’s a false comparison. Both approaches rest on the belief that you need to understand your customers better than they know themselves so you can predict what they want without having to ask them to articulate what they want.
Here is my usual answer to this: basically, what we are saying here is that there are 2 approaches to design.
The first one takes a user-centered approach to design. This is where Design Thinkers or Designers spend time in the field observing and researching humans for potential insights that can inspire and innovate. This sort of approach is ideal for organizations with large diverse portfolios and multiple types of customers. It is also a great activity to use on mature market services and products.
The second approach is what I like to call the customer proxy design approach. This is when there is someone who lives and breathes the product or service in such a totality that it becomes a lifestyle. He or she is then able to take it to the next level in an almost craft like manner all for the good of the consumer. This sort of approach lands really well for businesses developing a focused product range, or even a small niche player in a competitive market.
At the end of the day, it is all about that intuition or insights derived from knowing your customers better then they know themselves. But how you come up with these insight can be from either one of the two approaches. Personally, I prefer a combination of the two approaches simply because of my 4 golden rules of understanding humans:
1) People don’t know, what they don’t know. (To get it right, you’ll need to repeat this a few times while pausing deliberately at the comma!)
2) People don’t do what they say, or say what they do.
3) People know what they dislike, but often can’t articulate what they like.
4) People often can’t distinguish between their wants from needs, as well as why they need it in the first place.
So my 2 by 4 (2×4) approach to design led innovation basically revolves around using thought leadership and intuition for insights, and then iterating and validating with data.
What’s your approach?
The following guest post is written by Maurice McGinley, a friend and former colleague at Philips Design. While some of the points might be a little outdated, this post showcases a methodology of Design Research and Design Led Innovation that is practiced in companies who aspire to be design leaders in their industry. I hope you enjoy the treat and also the process! Also don’t forget to click on the images for a larger view.
Television’s Secret Sauce
AppleTV, Google TV, Netflix, Ikea Uppleva… So why isn’t TV disrupted already? Where is TV going?
Longer term trends in human behavior can show us where TV is headed. Technology shapes Culture but Culture determines which technologies thrive; and culture changes more slowly than technology. An earlier post looked at television’s job to be done. This post looks at the Anthropology of Television.
The history of television use can be described in terms of four dimensions. These dimensions define the value space of television and we predict they will continue to drive its future evolution:
– Availability of Content,
– Convenience of Control,
– Sensorial Immersion, and
– Social Engagement.
– Limitless choice
– Always accessible
– Immediate gratification
– All media
– Low cost
– Rental / Subscription access
– Time and place shifting
– Granularity of content
– Move to online digital media storage
– Apps provide new narrow yet deep access to specialized content.
– User generated content gets integrated with commercial content.
…as easy as breathing
– A satisfying sense of control
– No thought needed
– Navigation by recognition (not planned intention or forethought)
– Automatic, flexible content management
– Curated choices and recommendations.
– Metadata enables content discovery
– Control from 2nd Screen.
– Integrated ecosystems of products
… sweeps me away
– Sensual escapism
– Enjoyment and beauty
– Authentic and credible content rendering
– Fluid and natural control
– Increasing visual and motion quality rendering.
– More senses, more fully stimulated
– Psychology-based compression and reproduction technologies
– Integration of navigation controls with content
– Apps providing synchronised extensions to content on screen.
…how I express myself; how I find myself
– Social currency – know what my peers are talking about.
– Discover content “gems” that suit me personally.
– Expression of my identity through my choices
– Pleasure and reassurance of being part of a group
– Strong links to pop culture and fashion
– Social curation
– Playlist sharing
– Real-time sharing
Hit this link for a A3 High Resolution .pdf suitable for printing.
Maurice McGinley works at AVG as a User Experience Architect. You can follow him on Google+, on Linkedin or on his awesome UX/UI research blog: “How I got my Kink“. This post has been reproduced with permission. Credit for the project goes to Philips Design.