Design Thinking Market Research

Design thinking starts with a precise objective to solve a problem for the customer. Designers develop numerous iterations of solutions, ideas and prototypes to tackle intricate problems in a manner that provides value benefits the end user.  It is a discipline that uses designer techniques and sensibility to match consumer needs with new technologies.

The Rise of Design Thinking Market Research

Coca-Cola, Apple, Nike, IBM, Whirlpool, and Procter & Gamble are all design-led companies.  Because of the extraordinary success rate of these corporations, design has progressed beyond making objects. Organizations now want to learn how to think like designers and employ design principles in their workplaces.

By making solutions real for customers through theatrics, film, models, and emotional stimulus, the insights gained are more profound and more valuable. Design thinking also takes the risk out of innovations by understanding their advantages more profoundly, before investing in any launch activities. Organizations can increase innovation success rates and improve creative delivery with a design thinking led approach.

Practical Uses of Design Thinking Market Research

Design thinking can be applied to any process, regardless of size or scale. When used for market research, it allows companies to think like customers and identify their real needs.

For example, upgrading poor quality photos on a website, and changing a website’s rating system can fundamentally transform the online experience on popular websites.   It can transform a customer experience from a lackluster transactional experience to one that passionately connects with customers’ hearts.

To inspire design, guidance and action, we conduct:

  • Ethnography
  • Co-Creation
  • Focus Groups
  • In-Depth Interviews

The beauty of design thinking market research is that it is forward-thinking and aims to create a better future, in addition to a single problem.   

Why is Design Thinking Market Research Important?

Hasso-Plattner Institute of Design at Stanford, colloquially termed, has proposed a five-phase model of design thinking:

  • Empathize – with consumers
  • Define – the needs of consumers (their problems, and insights for solving these problems)
  • Ideate – challenge assumptions and come up with creative, innovative ideas and solutions
  • Prototype – design real-life, workable solutions
  • Test – the solutions

This five-step model emphasizes the human element. It begins with companies listening to the consumers to find out what their needs are, and developing solutions to make life easier for them. The solutions are carefully modeled and tested to ensure that the end user is satisfied.

One of the best examples of the use of this process is Apple Inc., which has consistently delivered a bevy of instantly desired products over the last decade and a half – iPod, iPhone, iPad, iMac – making it the world’s largest company by market capitalization and cementing it as an all-time great brand.

Why Design Thinking Market Research can be Useful

In the face of growing uncertainty, the old tools of planning and analysis as a marketing effort or a method to manage business are less and less efficient. Marketing also faces uncertainty, and as a discipline is too dependent on “best practices” that are becoming less effective or relevant. Design thinking is excellent because businesses can apply the same methods to other challenges that aren’t interactive or physical.

Times have changed. Communication styles have changed. Consumer behavior has changed. Businesses must move with these changes if they want to stay current. Design thinking takes the challenges of new communication styles and modern consumer behavior, and makes it manageable, enabling companies to see the core issues.

Design thinking offers researchers a more profound understanding of their customers as individuals, because of its human-centered, iterative approach to the difficulties they experience and its accent on making innovative concepts feel real.

This has made it possible for the rise of practical, intuitive product development and research design.