Design Thinking in the Retail World – Design Thinking is one of those topics that seems baffling at first but makes sense once you understand it. In a word, design thinking is the ability to comprehend challenges and devise solutions.

This is especially significant in sales and marketing, where professionals frequently design sales and marketing plans based on their intuitions, past experiences, or current trends. While this is acceptable, there may be a better method.

This is what design thinking is all about.

Ask a lot of questions and see things through the eyes of the customer to think like a designer. It may appear to be common sense, but it is not.

It is easier to establish your company’s goals and create a sales and market strategy. However, people want organizations to relate to them individually, and they want more options and greater control.

This is why it’s important to understand their needs and find innovative solutions for their problems.

Let’s look at design thinking and how it can be used to increase sales and market strategy.

Design Thinking: Five Components

The inspiration behind design thinking was the need to inject creativity into organizations that believed analytic thinking could not keep up with market innovation.

Market changes are constant, and organizations need to respond and innovate quickly. To be innovative, you need to design new solutions. This can be achieved by creating a culture where all employees use the same tools and methods as designers.

We won’t explain it like the best design thinking course from Great Learning, but we’ll explain each design thinking step and show you how they apply to market and sales.

#1 – Empathize

Begin by identifying your buyer persona. What are your customers looking for? What are their thoughts, and how do they approach them?

Empathy is the ability to see things through your customer’s eyes and relate to them emotionally. This means being able to understand their thoughts and feelings.

Focus groups can be held with your target audience or clients to survey them. It would be best to approach them open-mindedly since it’s an essential part of the process. You may be stunned by your discovery.

Empathize with someone who has a specific need. Learn as much as you can until everyone in the team understands. This way, you can focus on the problem at hand.

Marketing Application: What exactly is your buyer persona’s pain point? Price, service, convenience? You can communicate with your customers [1] by empathizing with them.

Marketers don’t just have to apply best practices and hope they work. They must also provide a relevant and amazing experience for buyers based on research from actual customers.

Design thinking is human-centric and will force your marketing team to plan outside the box. It is no longer an option to rely on last year’s survey results or third-party data. If you want to truly empathize and understand your buyer persona, you must go out and meet real people.

#2 – Define your Problem

This section combines all the information you have gathered during the empathize component to define the core problem.

Designers write human-centered problem statements instead of business goals. Instead of saying “increase sales by 5 percent next quarter,” design thinkers say, “help small businesses scale their support staff effectively.”

Your marketing messages will be relevant, clear, and powerful if you consider the human perspective. Understanding why customers purchase your product or service allows you to connect emotionally with them, telling stories that match their journey.

Determining the problem is about understanding your customer’s fears, frustrations, and hopes so that you can generate nice content to make them laugh or cry.

#3 – Idea

It’s now time to have a brainstorming session with your entire team to find solutions to the problem that you identified above.

This is where the challenge lies in thinking differently. You can make minor changes to your product by innovating in new ways. Brainstorming is free and open to all.

The team evaluates each idea and selects the ones that merit further investigation. These ideas will be moved to the next stage.

Marketers are often creative, but they can fall prey to the temptation of sticking to their written marketing strategies and content calendars.

Explore new ways to work with your team. Instead of writing down ideas on a board, teammates can sketch, draw, or even perform skits. If you’ve got a Great Learning Stanford design thinking certificate, then generating ideas won’t be an issue for you.

#4 – Prototype

Get feedback as quickly as possible on your creative ideas. Iteration is the key.

Your ideas should be tangible, a minimum viable product /service you can conveniently work with internally first and then share with customers in step five.

You can use the prototype to help you understand how your product works and quickly prototype your marketing materials, from landing pages to printed ads. You can create multiple versions of your marketing copy.

#5 – Test

After you have improved your prototypes based on the feedback received, it is time to test your final solution.

The prototype was a great way to dialogue with stakeholders and determined if their solutions were feasible. However, it is the best way to test your solution in the real world.

Tests can show if you solved the problem that you found. You must see a change in your client’s behavior [2] or satisfaction. If the solution does not work, you must be open to reworking the process. The ultimate goal is to fully understand your customers’ pain points and offer an effective solution.

You must test your pitch or copy in real-time. You must be willing to return to the drawing board as many times as necessary to achieve innovation and growth.

Conclusion

Sales reps can waste time on unqualified leads if they try to define a problem for customers without understanding their needs. This component requires you to ask customers and members of your team many questions and is a human-centric approach.

Gather information, check what works and doesn’t, and determine the problem based on your research. You might discover a problem your client didn’t know they had. After that, you can help find the solution easily. In this way, design thinking can highly help you.

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