Innovation is too often merely a rearrangement of an existing offer. Designers/design tools have a proven ability to advance solutions from mystery, exploration and experimentation. However their tools are largely insulated within the design community. Design thinking has become blurred, losing any meaning it originally had. The annual ESOMAR Congress taking place in Amsterdam from September 18th to 21st will put the spotlight on the impact innovation has on the market research industry. Ben Wood, Mark Whiting and David Stocks from Added Value will take part at this Congress as speakers on September 20th. Their presentation will focus on how design thinking can enrich marketing and business innovation, demonstrating how marketing organisations can innovate better by enriching traditional expertise with tools from the world of design. They will present its current use and propose a meaningful role for “design thinking” in innovation:
• by focusing on individuals, moments and journeys in ethnography, insights become deeper,
• by embracing chaos and play, in brainstorms, creative teams explore beyond the stated problem,
• by iterating and early prototyping, ideas become real and develop more rapidly.

Design thinking has the capacity to deliver better ideas, realised earlier, with the relevance to redefine their categories.

About the speakers
Ben Wood is the Director responsible for the Added Value Group’s Innovation R&D and leads global innovation/NPD projects across a range of categories including fashion, fmcg, beer & spirits and luxury. Ben is also instrumental in developing AV’s digital offer AV-id™.

Mark Whiting runs an ESOMAR workshop on “Measuring Emotions” and is a frequent conference speaker. He is an expert in luxury and brand strategy development, innovation and creativity based on cultural insights. He headed the Global Research team at Moët Hennessy (LVMH) before joining Added Value in 2010 as a Director.

David Stocks works on brand development and innovation strategy at Added Value. Previously in Industrial Design, David worked in-house and freelance, designing products from toys to medical equipment, housewares, TVs and even baby bottles.

To register for the annual ESOMAR Congress click here.
The programme can be accessed by clicking here.

Have you got any thoughts to share on design thinking?

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  • Victoria Milne

    This is not a new platform for debate and presentation, but one which we, in the fields of marketing and branding, intuitively return to time and time again. Often without significant breakthrough or methodology step change, but it’s a nice topic for debate, especially at conferences.
    The crux really is in understanding, what the design process really achieves. It is not a designed product, or a fanciful piece of innovation or a seriously, sustainable piece of responsibility.
    To really capture the power of design thinking, one must forget about the content and focus on the context.
    Great design does not produce product.
    It produces behaviour.
    Culture, and the next sequence in the allegory or pattern.
    Only once the room is understood, can the product be conceived which may reside there.

    Victoria Milne
    (Qualified product designer, and brand strategy consultant)

  • David Stocks

    Thanks for your comment Victoria. Agreed that the context and culture in which design solutions exist, is of utmost importance.

    You’re also right in pointing out that “Design Thinking” is not a new topic for debate. Like others from an industrial design background I have been observing the evolution and in some respects, decline of the movement. In our paper and subsequent presentation, we’ll try to find some clarity around this and specifically communicate what design means to us, as a marketing insight and brand development organisation.

    Good point on mentioning behaviour too. You’re speaking the language of both our design ethnography and cultural insight teams. Their whole purpose is to get beneath the surface and really understand the touch points, moments and interactions between brands and people – in tandem with brand semiotic analysis.

    Happy to chat further, and in due course, get your thoughts on our presentation, if you’re interested.

    Very best,
    David Stocks