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Predictable Magic: Unleash the Power of Design Strategy to Transform Your Business

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Predictable Magic: Unleash the Power of Design Strategy to Transform Your Business


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How to design incredibly successful products — over and over again

  • Use Psycho-Aesthetics to integrate strategy, design, and story… create memorable experiences… and reach consumers at the deepest emotional levels!
  •  Build products that make people feel great about themselves.
  • Embed “triggers” that generate the purchase impulse.
  • Establish “first connector” advantage: help customers overcome the anxieties that go with anything new.


  • Copyright 2011
  • Edition: 1st
  • Book
  • ISBN-10: 0-13-702348-0
  • ISBN-13: 978-0-13-702348-6

Companies invest fortunes on innovation and product strategy. But, by some estimates, 80% of new products fail or dramatically underperform every year, though a few rare products succeed brilliantly. Why is this the case? Their creators have seamlessly integrated corporate strategy with design. They don’t deliver utilitarian objects: they craft rewarding, empowering experiences. To outsiders, this looks like magic: incomprehensible, and impossible to reproduce. But it isn’t. Predictable Magic presents a complete design process for making the “magic” happen -- over and over again. Veteran industrial designer Ravi Sawhney and business strategist Deepa Prahalad introduce Psycho-Aesthetics, a breakthrough approach for systematically creating deep emotional connections between consumers and brands. Step by step, the authors cover everything from research to strategy, implementation to consumer experience. They also demonstrate Psycho-Aesthetics at work – in case studies from some of the world’s top companies, including Sprint, Medtronic, Amana, and Hyundai. You’ll see how these great companies have used Psycho-Aesthetics to go beyond the utilitarian (or even the merely “beautiful”), to build products that powerfully connect with people… touch them… move them... time and again.

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Unleash the Power of Design Strategy to Transform Your Business: Set the Stage for Success

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments . . . xv

About the Authors . . . xix

Preface . . . xxi

Introduction . . . 1

It’s the Individual That Matters . . . 1

The Model . . . 3

A Simpler Way to Innovate and Design . . . 4

About This Book . . . 5

PART I: Creation of a Design Strategy

Chapter 1 Set the Stage for Success . . . 9

Designing the Intangible . . . 9

New Rules of Competition . . . 10

A New Perspective on Design . . . 11

Overcoming the Hurdles . . . 12

Psycho-Aesthetics®: An Integrated Approach to Innovation and Design . . . 13

The Importance of Emotion—and Action . . . 15

Chapter 2 Enable Your Stakeholders . . . 19

New Stakeholders, New Process . . . 20

Why It Doesn’t Happen Naturally . . . 21

Essential Ingredients for Alignment . . . 22

Process in Action—Amana . . . 24

An Accurate Diagnosis . . . 25

A New Focus on Consumer Testing. . . 26

Building Confidence, Building Success . . . 28

Moving Forward . . . 29

Creating Meaning . . . 30

Chapter 3 Map the Future . . . 33

Designing for Tomorrow’s Markets Today . . . 37

Experience Mapping Guides the Way . . . 38

Mapping Emotions . . . 40

Engaging Interactivity. . . 42

Mapping Out the Possibilities . . . 44

Strategy Based on Understanding . . . 47

Experience Mapping and the Power of Design . . . 47

Chapter 4 Personify Your Consumer . . . 51

Redesigning an Icon . . . 51

Personas—The Mask of the Consumer . . . 53

Personas Fuel Intelligent, User-Centric Design . . . 54

What Goes into a Persona . . . 56

What You Get Out of Personas . . . 58

Using Personas to Guide Design . . . 60

Mapping Personas . . . 61

Getting a Handle on the Right Design. . . 64

A Fresh Perspective . . . 67

Chapter 5 Own the Opportunity . . . 71

On a Wing and a Startup Prayer . . . 71

Understanding a Changing Landscape . . .72

Finding the Opportunity for Follow-Up . . . 74

A Market Winning Strategy . . . 78

Opportunity Is Where You Find It . . . 79

The Benefits of Mining the Gaps . . . 79

Unearthing the Opportunity . . . 82

Choosing the Right Opportunities . . . 85

The True Power . . . 87

Part I Conclusion . . . 91

Amana . . . 94

Flip Cam . . . 95

JBL Professional . . . 96

Vestalife . . . 97

PART II: Implementation and Consumer Experience

Chapter 6 Work the Design Process . . . 101

From a Guitar Stand to a Guitar . . . 102

Set Up a War Room . . . 103

Uncovering Aspirations (of Guitar Players) . . . 104

Get Started—Fast . . . 105

The Role of Experts/Lead Users . . . 106

Back to the Consumer. . . 110

Sustainable Solution to Sound Quality . . . 111

Optimized Ergonomics for a Better Playing Experience . . .112

The Final Result . . . 113

Personalized Experience . . . 113

The Importance of Execution. . . 114

Channeling Our Learning. . . 116

Designing a New Way to Market . . . 117

Competing by Helping Others Win . . . 118

Finding a Balance . . . 120

Chapter 7 Engage Emotionally . . . 121

The Importance of Belonging. . . 122

Beyond First-Mover Advantage to “First-Connector” Advantage . . .124

The Hero’s Journey . . . 125

Why We Still Need Heroes. . . . 126

Calling Out the Benefits of a Design . . . 128

Motivating Behavior Change . . . 128

Boosting Memory and Recall . . . 128

The Creation of Heroes . . . 130

What It Takes to Make a Hero . . . 133

Basic Quadrant (Lower Left) . . . 133

Artistic Quadrant (Upper Left) . . . 134

Versatile Quadrant (Lower Right) . . . 134

Enriched Quadrant (Upper Right) . . . 135

Winning Through Creating Heroes . . . 135

Chapter 8 Reward Your Consumer . . . 139

Putting It All Together . . . 139

Greening the Landscape. . . . 140

Enable Your Stakeholders . . . 142

Map the Future . . . 143

Personify Your Consumer . . . 144

Own the Opportunity . . . 146

Work the Design Process . . . 148

Engage Emotionally . . . 150

Reward the Consumer . . . 153

Part II Conclusion . . . 157

Afterword . . . 161

Endnotes . . . 165

Bibliography . . . 171

Index . . . 177


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