Cognitive Design Congress, Lubeck: Day 2: Soren Pommer-Hansen

A fairly interesting talk, but IMO ducked some major issues, e.g. the rise in discussion about design and ‘design thinking’ (!) in business circles. One of the questioners, Cathal McKee pointedly asked whether he could give the talk the other way round.

Soren Pommer-Hansen
Philips Global Marketing
“How to sell design to business people”

“Our brand is credibility – you can see it from the blue of my powerpoint!”
We asked consumers what our brand would be if it were a person: “middle aged slightly conservative european guy”

450 design professionals out of 164,000 employees
R&D = 11% of sales

like most big organisations, sometimes too much silo thinking – but – design can be a silo too – become inbred! lose ability to communicate to non-designers…

histroy of innovation, but perhaps not great communication behind it – lots of philips inventions are mistakenly credited commonly to sony (audio cassette, CD)

philips invented the ‘play’ button…

new brand positioning

Strong user focus

| | |
designed around you easy to experience advanced

all three of these sub qualities need to be in the product for it to go to market in order to meet the new brand promise: “sense and simplicity”

A mea-culpa on complexity – moritorium on explicit new features…?
people have little tolerance for error on existing understood devices: people donöt want their TV to bluescreen
improve and deliver on the basic promise of devices

business people and design people don’t speak the same language

business people (generally) talk about existing production capabities, markets and channels…

(quotes from manolo blahnik and tom ford… on slide about being realistic about design)

Even when designers and business people speak the same language – the rarely understand each other…

Lack of shared background, “absorptive capacity”, jargon
importance of gatekeepers having translation, diplomatic spanning role.

There are different starting points and little common ground between design and business (?)
collaboration is incredibly difficult in this case.

Where can we find the common ground?

Competing logics on how people (working for the company) see the company – but what does the customer want to see it the company as?

Designer needs to understand the marketeer’s view of the business logic and the customer’s view.

(I’m reminded of the Eames sketch of what designers should think – Soren’s view is missing the societal/global view though…)

Pitching a redesign: 4 simple messages to the business

websites aligned with all consumer facing initiatives
companies change, so must website (modularity)
success only when business objectives = user requirements
no true website success without constant measuring and evaluation

Value proposition of using philips design for website as given to the business:

understand the phillips brand, the processes of product creation
can use this to align all consumer interaction points: web with packaging, product ,POS etc..

Design seen as user scenarios with business case for each.
performance tracking around design, rather than subjective arguements and debate or design by committee = gradual improvement

Picture of website printout of a product in someone’s hand as they are in the carpark of bestbuy – everything on the site is about getting to this moment!!!

Relate all your points to user-value, and user-value to business value

make sure there are some facts to takeaway – don’t just look for emotional response in the audience to the design work…

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