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Overcoming the Hurdles

The importance of creating emotional connections comes as no surprise for business leaders engaged in the strategy, innovation, and design process. Regardless of organizational function, those involved with creating new concepts or taking ideas to market are likely to find themselves frustrated in confronting two major hurdles:

  • Information overload—There is no efficient way to process and prioritize the volumes of data and research that exist in most corporations today. The market research industry is estimated at a staggering $19 billion2 as consumer behavior and demographics can be studied in exhaustive detail. However, the vast majority of consumer purchase decisions are made on an emotional basis and experts estimate that up to 95 percent of buying behavior originates at a subconscious level.3Although information is abundant, insight can be in short supply. Traditional market research reveals very little about the consumer's emotional triggers in the decision process in a way that can inform design and strategy.
  • Inadequate models for collaboration—Even in the most enlightened organizations, fostering collaboration between executive and creative teams brings special challenges. The differences in tools, education, and perspective frequently lead to delays, battles, unsatisfying compromises, and uninspired results. However, companies that find ways to resolve these issues can create an important source of competitive advantage.

As a design firm, we have had a unique vantage point in this debate. We have collaborated with companies in many industries for almost 30 years. At its best, design is an excellent method for creating organic growth, brand awareness, and meaningful consumer experiences. It also remains one of the most underleveraged tools in many organizations. We knew that we wanted to do more than help firms create one-time product success. Helping clients build brands for the long term requires understanding how to build and operationalize consumer insights and demands by developing an efficient collaborative process to enable repeatable success.

But that does not mean that companies looking to understand and incorporate design need to upend everything that they know. Sweeping corporate reorganization is not always a realistic (or effective) option, especially when a company is engaged with maintaining its competitive position. Moreover, changing the course of strategy and the inner workings of companies are not areas that design firms were traditionally consulted on. Therefore, the tools that we developed to lead innovation do not rely on a given corporate culture or executive champion. They are also not dependent on complex financial modeling. Psycho-Aesthetics guides the design process by creating dialogue and collaboration among stakeholders and empathy for the consumer.

Predictable Magic shows those interested in driving change how to move beyond brainstorming and create the consumer insight and collaboration needed to achieve breakthrough success—no matter your industry or company size.

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