Designing business futures
Today, mainstream products and services are leaving money on the table. Across industries, the cost to reach customer niches is declining and the demand for lifestyle-specific products is rising.
We see consumers with new or health-conscious diets challenging the food industry; people with increasing life-spans making the healthcare and financial industries scramble to service commitments; communities questioning the role of local retail as shopping moves online. Thriving through such market inflections is challenging. It requires:
Our design sprint delivers the critical first step by conceptualising three different product-market scenarios. Our creative work is also carefully crafted to serve as a powerful tool for strategic decision-making and business alignment, empowering successful execution.
[ FAQ: When can a design sprint help a business? ]
The ten day Wisdom design sprint
In the first phase we frame the challenge and design the project hypothesis to bring focus. Then we brainstorm over fifty early ideas. We purposefully practise naive, uncensored thinking, explore divergent directions, and make explicit all our assumptions and intuitions. This creates the space to reach a new understanding of the challenge in the next phase.
In the second phase we focus on the customer and their needs. We map the customer journey to discover where we can have most market impact, then use ethnography to reveal a new understanding of the challenge. We source "extreme" interviewees with unique viewpoints and behaviour, vital inspiration for our design process.
In the final phase we create three different business visions, placed along a spectrum of risk and reward: one incremental, one ambitious & one radical. This assumes that no solution is right in absolute; indeed clients often incorporate elements from multiple concepts in the path forwards. Each concept is supported by a low-fidelity demo, a high-level business case and go-to-market plan.
The sprint deliverables:
three concepts, three possible futures
Every sprint delivers three different concepts: incremental, ambitious and radical. Ultimately, the path forwards will incorporate elements from all three, but delivering three distinct concepts brings to life three possible futures that will trigger a leap in ambition, clarity and consensus. This is how we successfully "provoke" decision-making, and enable leaders to confidently align their organisation on the right business future.
1. The Incremental Concept is designed to build on and protect existing market position, keeping the client up to date with market conditions and consumer needs.
2. The Ambitious Concept proposes a more significant innovation investment, which can expand existing market share and position the client ahead of competitors.
3. The Radical Concept lays out a disruptive and challenging vision of the future, involving both the highest level of risk and the largest potential commercial reward.
[ FAQ: Can clients consult with Wisdom without a sprint? ]
In the second phase we focus on the customer and their needs. We map journeys to discover where we can have most market impact, then use ethnography to reveal a new understanding of the challenge. We source "extreme" interviewees with unique viewpoints and behaviour to trigger market insight and inspire our design process.
In the final phase we create three different concepts, placed along a spectrum of risk and reward: one incremental, one ambitious & one radical. Each concept is supported by assets that make the design process tangible and the business vision clear: a) a low-fidelity demo, using a mix of free-hand and digital visuals b) a high-level business case and c) a go-to-market plan.
Parenting products for new gender norms
The idea of a “traditional family" is an anachronism. Same-sex marriage, legal across the U.S. since June 2015, underlines the need for appropriate childcare offers, not based on heterosexual assumptions. The work of parenting is not always shared either: 26% of U.S. children are raised in single parent households.
How might childcare products and services better respond to the needs of these families, from play to sleep, sport to schools?
Experience sharing about depression
In 2016, 65 million anti-depressant items were prescribed in the UK. Depression is the most predominant mental health problem worldwide, and is estimated to affect roughly 20% of U.K. adults. Yet it retains heavy social stigma, which results in people suffering alone, deprived of community support and therapeutic dialogue.
How can we reduce the stigma and maximise information sharing, to best help those impacted?
Luxury apparel loved by women, size 16 & up
The Average American Woman now wears a size 16-18. However most retailers still consider above 16 to be "plus size". For these able-bodied women, buying clothes is an alienating experience. They are particularly discriminated against in premium apparel, dominated by fashions' unrealistic body expectations.
How will the needs of this woman be better met by luxury apparel?
Air travel for senior citizens
Even for a fit, frequent traveller, flying can be physically and mentally trying. For many seniors it presents such a terrifying ordeal, they choose not to travel at all. This is a significant missed business opportunity because this segment has both disposable income and leisure time to travel often.
How might we serve this segment better, and for example, ensure signage readability, reduce waiting time, alleviate luggage struggles, make toilet facilities always accessible or create in-flight well-being?
Some challenges we are excited to work on in the future:
A mortgage process for the self-employed
It is painfully hard for "precarious workers" to get a mortgage. Independent workers will comprise 50% of the work force within the next 10 years.
How will this massive and growing customer segment manage their life finances, when it is next to impossible to secure loans predicated on "recurring income from an employer”?
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