Designing Branded Enterprise Experiences – Erik Roscam Abbing, Zilver – INTERSECTION 2014

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Designing Branded Enterprise Experiences – Erik Roscam Abbing, Zilver – INTERSECTION 2014

I was stalking in the break with a fellow Dutchman on how interesting it is to have a conference with not only designers but actually people who are not from a design background and to see how much our interest sort of converge and overlap where you might say that the design industry is more and more getting interested in in business and in laying a more an organizational foundation for design we’re on the other hand you see a lot of enterprise architects here being very interested in service design approaches in design thinking and I think we might be arriving it’s sort of the same domain here today and we’ll probably end up diverging from there in all kinds of different directions but at least we have some common ground here today and I must say I’m very pleased by this by the setup of this conference and by the people who are here on the other hand it’s a beautiful day outside and there’s drinks downstairs so I can imagine that your attention span is limited so I’ll get going yes the brand perspective I I personally have a love-hate relationship with brand and I’ll I’ll show you why later but let me start by by throwing some statements at you my first statement being we’re all looking for these experiences trying to develop these experiences that are innovative and seamless and cross-channel and unique and relevant and makes us heap of money right that’s sort of it’s against be the holy grail that we’re looking for and whether you’re a surface design or a customer experience designer or an enterprise architect or whether your frontline staff this is more or less what we’re after and my second statement is that if you want to build that kind of innovations that have those attributes it’s all about coherence and coherence is a word that I’ll be coming back a lot today I think coherence is the one thing that we we need as a foundation for innovation and coherence is basically the enterprise brand I think the way I frame the brand and of course I’ll come back to this later is that it builds internal coherence for organizations to work from to take decisions by to to focus on to to develop these guardrails that Dion was talking about this morning and this enterprise brand if you build as well and if you if you co-create it it can really be a very solid foundation for sustainable growth much more than customer insights per say much more than unique capabilities per se much more than a competitive edge much more than differentiation I think this this enterprise brand can be the foundation for for solid growth so we’re talking about brand I mean brand really i think that the concept of brand sort of got stolen from us or or we’re stealing it from them i don’t know but if you look at brand from an advertising perspective it’s so very different from what i’m talking about today so let’s briefly give you a little tour of history and it all started here right branding livestock I mean brand in Dutch Browns means to burn there he is the man himself Melvin flew brand and is that it’s your brand is that from bronze do you know the origin of your name here L from and what is off-brand off and then I still don’t get it but branding livestock was basically a sign of ownership and I guess if in a very primitive understanding of brand it’s still a sign of ownership right if I see the apple logo here that means that Apple has created this product interestingly enough if you see how at some point products start to move away from the manufacturer into the store so this sign of ownership becomes even more important because the own the original owner isn’t there to sort of signify the quality so this says Procter & Gamble they have created this soap and I have this associate with Procter & Gamble okay it’s probably going to be a good soap so I buy it from someone you and you are not procter and gamble but you have a store in soap right so this sign of ownership becomes a sign of quality interesting first step in how branding started developing and then it gets to sort of transforming

functionality into meaning you know so the brand becomes studebaker different by design I mean what the hell does that mean but somehow they’re no longer I mean they’re talking about functionality right so–okay so you can fit a lot in this car but they’re capturing that functionality transforming it into some kind of meaning some kind of emotional appeal where they say we’re different by designs too big um so you’re branding becomes much more than a sign of quality it becomes a sign of meaning it becomes a sign of sort of emotional appeal and and that goes on in the 50s you know there’s no match for mercury style so we sort of start believing that this car runs and that it does functionally what it’s supposed to do and and branding becomes this extra layer around the product of meaning if you if you read for ghanti talks about meaning a lot meaning style appeal I feel connected to this product all these things that have nothing to do with how it operates and how it functions now that’s where it kind of goes wrong I mean then you get coca-cola and we all know that Pepsi tastes better right in blind tests we all know that so it gets to this whole lifestyle where I mean you have carbonated water with a bit of humor in it but hey we all want to pay three four five euros per bottle because you buy this whole lifestyle so branding becomes so detached from the product that it gets a bit dangerous because it means that the product can be anything and there’s this layer of branding around it’s sort of a shield or a facade that we actually buy into and that’s where it really goes wrong and there you get nike doing child labor instead of hiding behind their brand right this is I think the the highlight or let’s call it like the dip of branding this is I think where was this 1999 maybe anyways in two thousand Naomi Klein wrote no logo and thank you very much Naomi Klein because she sort of shook up the whole branding world and says brands are evil and their capitalist vehicles for for basically ruining the lives of little children and blah blah blah she overdid it a little bit I think she was partly wrong because she blamed things on branding that weren’t really about branding but what she did do is sort of turn things around and said hey listen your brand is not something you can hide behind as an organization or your brand is a window to the world and you should open it up and basically if you do bad things you do bad things to your brand and then you do bad things to your whole company so the brand is no longer facade to hide behind no it becomes a very vulnerable very important aspect to to live up to so all of sudden is no longer just about making promises it’s about living up to promises now living up to promise is all about innovation experience design service design right so that’s where also you see sort of shift from branding being owned by advertising to fulfilling brand promise being owned by us you know by designers but people were involved in innovation people involved in product design and experience design UX you name it and then moving on in time and person of the years you I think this was 2006 where brands are no longer directive top down by brand managers controlled in a sort of a very well controlled environment no brands are owned by you by us we we are the brand we own more or less Facebook or do we I mean it’s interesting right it’s always this do we really I mean if you look at threadless threadless is his website where we can all upload our t-shirts and other people can buy them and the whole business model is this community based model that Dion was talking about this morning who owns this I mean obviously there’s people who own the brand trust threadless but there will be nowhere without the community so the whole value proposition is around the community and I find this very interesting because again this is a whole new game this is a whole new way of branding this is not top-down branding this has nothing do with with advertising with creating this brand promise this is all about co-creating and experience together and that together makes the brand so what you see is there’s there’s a group of people who have developed the value proposition there’s a group of people who are co-creating that fell we fail your proposition and the brand is all about that very intricate relationship that is happening there and there we get to my definition of branding I think branding is really about building a coherent vision on the relationship that

an organization aspires to have with its stakeholders so it’s all about that relationship right it’s all about branding is not about who i am i mean i can you see that a lot in small companies when they say my brand values are and i stand for this and this and this now then if you go to the fast moving consumer goods they will say are we have researched and we have customer insights proving that our brand should be this and this and this and this right so they have to complete outside in perspective I think it should be somewhere in the middle it should be about this relationship but I have something to offer and you have something that you want from me but hey you have also something to offer to me and it’s about how can we build this relationship so that’s a bit of a different perspective on branding then people from advertising might adopt right I think that’s the kind of branding we’re talking about when you were talking about enterprise branding and when we talk about the kind of branding that can actually drive innovation so let’s having said all this having sort of set the stage let’s look a little bit closer at innovation I said earlier that innovation is about coherence it’s about convergence that’s interesting I mean I I was taught in school that innovation is all about creativity it’s all about divergence coming up with new ideas and if you look at the aesthetics of innovation Derrick talked very nicely about art and business the aesthetics of innovation is all about this kind of stuff right these very creative rooms I mean this is an office I have no idea what it is but this is google office we’re all made to believe that if you want to be creative and if you want to innovate you need to be in these kinds of places the aesthetics of innovation are all about messiness and post-its and teamwork and this kind of stuff I mean I think innovation and creativity would look differently if 3m would decide to adopt a different color palette but we all know these images so well post-its on the wall wild scribbling this is this what innovation is all about and now I kid you not this is creative furniture and I’m sorry for the essay p people in a room because they’ve been involved in the hustle plotner School of Design Thinking but seriously this school has created a line of furniture that’s supposed to help us be more creative they’re standing height tables because if you want to be creative you have to stand up and they are white boards that you can drive around because you need to be flexible I mean seriously people I say WTF is this really what helps us innovate is that really so important that we create this aesthetic of innovation I think personally and this is a bit of a bold statement we do not really need more ideas that’s not really what we need right i mean look at the innovation funnel it’s full of ideas we have ideas by the zillion we’re trying to reduce ideas right we’re all working very hard to get rid of all those ideas so we end up with these three good ones all right so is it really going to be helped to have more post-its with more ideas here I’m not sure I don’t think so this is a report that blues came out with in 2010 where they they researched thousand companies and they looked at what made them successful in innovation they found out a very interesting thing where investment in R&D used to drive in innovation results so basically the more you invest in R&D the more successful innovation would be the more successful you would be at innovation this report proved sort of a tipping point where actually they said spending more on R&D won’t drive results its strategic alignment so can you align different departments together can you align silos and organization a culture that supports innovation right a culture which is like a shared understanding a vision may be shared values the ability to be creative autonomy co-creation collaboration that will drive innovation much more and then they research what that does to you know thirty percent higher enterprise value growth etc I cite this report because I think it’s so very interesting and it sort of proves a different paradigm on creativity and innovation it’s not so

much investing in R&D ideation spending money on getting people to cook up new stuff no it’s building a platform a shared platform of vision and values where people can innovate from a culture that supports innovation why is that if you look at enterprise problems the problems that we’re dealing with that require innovation that require a new approach they are often very open complex dynamic networked you know how it is you know their problems are it will be fined they don’t really have a very fixed description of what they are right we don’t really know what the problem is before we start solving it they’re complex meaning they actually it’s all these different elements related to each other so if you start to tinker at one end stuff at the other end starts moving they are dynamic meaning they change while your work on it they’re constantly changing so change is a given and their network meaning you have all these different interdependencies between stakeholders these are the kind of problems that we’re dealing with and they’re often called wicked problems or at least it will define problems and I think to deal with these kind of problems certainly you don’t need more ideas post-its are not going to help people it’s not it’s not going to we’re brainstorming no please let’s not brainstorm or you know to solve these kinds of problems you need rigor you need a very solid foundation to work from you need to know what you’re doing you need focus you need to make choices you know you need to allocate resources to the right kind of activities and not to the wrong kind activities so what these companies need i think is rigor focus and structure that help them basically kill the bad ideas and grow the good ones what I like for companies to do is not think of funnels like this because they’re a waste of money let’s see if we can reduce all that stuff and have a funnel that goes like this and then bring in knowledge from other companies was that oh you want me sorry it’s my presentation so that’s what I talked about when I say they need coherence and that’s what I talked about when I when I say innovation is about coherence less about divergence more about convergence less about breath more about depth very much about making the right choices and and making the right choices and focusing that is where the enterprise brand comes in and that’s where I think the enterprise brand can really help so you remember this definition right the relationship and organization sparse to have with his stakeholders now Milan in his book frames the enterprise as this whole intricate networked system of organization partners suppliers customers etc I’m a very simple human being and I have still you know the inside world in the outside world I’m sorry I know it’s going to be more complex in this but this sort of simplifies what I think most organizations these days look like and then you have this nice figure eight shape where innovation processes tend to go like this you know there’s some kind of research in the outside world whether it be designed research market research market data anything that gives you input you start to make sense of the data and you internalize it and then you focus you make choices you draw conclusions you say here we have something to work with here we have a certain data point that stands out that we can work with or here we have a particular interesting insight that really triggers our imagination or whatever you do you make some kind of choice here and I think this is the aspect that is often overlooked you innovation is about making choices right you make a choice here then you design then you implement and the loop starts over now the interesting thing is that we see an intersection here right so to stay with the theme of the conference this intersection has sort of a lens shape and this lens is what I want to talk about a little bit more it’s a Polaroid lens so it does it focuses and it filters which is interesting about Polaroid what it does what this lens does basically is you have all these internal drivers for change right you

have certain capabilities resources you may have certain IP you may have I know maybe you’ve developed a new technology maybe you’ve acquired a new company there’s zillions of internal drivers for change that are possible and then there’s the customer and what this lens does it better be help you focus all these possibilities into something that is relevant for them because if you don’t do that you end up throwing stuff at the market and hoping it went it will land somewhere what this lens does is help you focus it helps you make the right decisions and sort of say if we bundle these resources it will become relevant for the outside world if you don’t do that you’re basically shooting with the gun of hill now this works the other way around as well but it works as a filter so you have all these external drives for change right you have trend reports and you have customer behavior research and you have lord knows what you can think of new technologies competition it gave me anything that happens in the outside world that makes you think who we need to innovate we need to do something here we need to to act and there’s the enterprise and again this Polaroid sort of filters and says okay this may be relevant but this may be not relevant and this little trend here or this insight here will leave to the competition you know I think again if everything would be completely relevant you would be paralyzed right you will be completely against a wall not knowing what to do so again what this lens does it helps you make choices it helps you say mmm that’s a very interesting customer insight but this is not our target group or it helps you say that’s a very interesting technological development but we’ll leave that to our competition because that’s not our focus now right so again this filter really helps you to innovate in a way that’s very focused and not just all over the place if you combine the two views you get a really interesting animation that doesn’t really add anything to the story but had to do it this one is also in the book we all know this I think it was originally coined by by Tom Kelly from ideal if you innovate you have to look at desirability you have to look at viability and feasibility these are the three pillars of successful innovation will they want it you know will customers wanted will we make some money on it and can we make it right so customer business technology great model very interesting but I think something’s missing who wants to make it guess what’s missing I think personally should we do it should we actually do it I mean I can think of a zillion products that are viable desirable and feasible and still I’m not remotely considering to put them on the market because it’s not for me to put them on the market it puts it’s for someone else to put on the market right I think the Apple iPhone could be viable and feasible and desirable for some soon but still they don’t do the iphone you do a different phone why because your Samsung we design and they’re not Apple right so the whole brand perspective mrs. in this very fundamental model and the brand perspective helps you decide okay it’s viable okay it’s feasible okay it’s desirable but should we actually take the time and invest the money to do it or should we leave it to competition so again it’s about focus again it’s about making the right choices and innovation is not there’s there’s zillions of innovation opportunities that fit three domains but there’s only very few that actually sit in the middle and i agree with you you say that’s where the enterprise vision comes together and I think this enterprise vision is basically your brand is basically what we’re talking about here so does it match your brand this kind of using the brand this way in innovation means and this is this is directly from my book it’s a source of inspiration for ideation then a sort of this guardrail where you don’t want to stray across and it’s a filter in the end now usually the brand police within companies will will sort of put that filter in the end and say sorry it’s not on brand so so ditch the concept is it’s not it’s not going to market I think what we what we need to do is build brands that have this inspirational role and have this guiding role now these this guiding role is interesting because that was what we usually think of us like design

principles or as design guidelines but they are basically Enterprise guidelines their innovation guidelines they’ll help you they tell you what to do what not to do what to focus on what not to focus on this is my son and he loves to climb trees and he loves to climb trees not because it’s feasible or a viable or a desirable he loves to climb trees because he can because he wants to you know because maybe up there the view is better than down here and if not he’ll at least enjoy the climb now I think this is what innovation should be you know this sense of curiosity the sense of sort of organically wanting to go somewhere because you can because you have the ability because you have the vision or the the will to do something not necessarily because your competition does it or because you’ve read a trend report that tells you to do it no just because you can and I think framing the brand is a driver for innovation is framing it as looking at innovation as something very intrinsic and organic and authentic not as something that you need to do Dion talked this morning about disruption it can come from the outside but then it always hurts like innovation-driven from the outside always is very painful we don’t want to change if someone forces you innovation from the inside self disruption mmm that’s that tastes a lot better you know because if you want if you have the ambition and the aspiration to do better it will be much easier and much less painful and will actually be a very pleasurable process so how do you build these kind of brands how do you do that I think there’s a as if when I was making this presentation I discovered something brand building as an isolated process I’ve never seen it succeed you know hiring a brand agency to sort of come up with your four core values and then doing these endless programs of implementing that into the organization and having people it will learn the four values by heart I don’t think it works so let’s look at a different way of building brands first of all I think brands should have four dimensions from an organizational perspective they should be authentic and original so she should match what you actually can do it shouldn’t be made up there should be something that actually fit with who you are where you come from what you’re good at for the customers perspective should be relevant and meaningful right they should tap into real insights as you tap into real human needs from a marketing perspective marketing communication they should be inspiring and engaging and challenging a sort of aspirational you know they should sort of set the stage and then from a product development perspective or a service development perspective or in an innovation perspective they should be understandable and usable and practical they should actually guide innovation they should actually help you make choices right you can typically map companies here like a typical fast-moving consumer good company would be very much here right very much based on customer insights and very much inspiring and engaging but if you go to a product manager who has to develop the new taste ice cream they’ll say let the branding people talk I’m I have my I have my own KPIs right they don’t feel connected to the brand at all then you have these sort of nerd brands these small technological based companies that typically sit here very much product based our brand is about actually the quality of the weld of this thing or something you know they would frame that aster brand and customers would say I don’t care as long as it doesn’t tip over so it’s it’s sort of a nice exercise and I think smack in the middle is where the best brand sit right where when we think of good brands they manage to to cross these chasms and to combine the best of both worlds I think building these kind of brands is they sort of emerged from experience design so you don’t build a brand first and then start to design the experience no they actually emerge from the experience design while doing design work you start to discover what it makes what makes you tick and what actually works for you and what customer insight really match your core values etc and then you let them

infuse the experience design process so there’s there’s research there’s design there’s research designed as Len sits there in the middle and while you go through their process your brand becomes manifest and it becomes more and more tangible and more and more usable and more and more differentiated so basically I’m making this statement that service design processes or experience design processes build brands and help to make brands manifest and I’ll take you through a couple of tools to ER to show you what I mean so while developing these experience innovations you discover which customers really click with you in which don’t you start to discover which core capabilities are actually relevant to your market and which are not you start to discover which value propositions make sense in which make not so design as a way of creating brands has been for me in my in my practice very successful much more so than sitting there and and cooking them up and coming up with values or whatever it’s much more this joint a shared experience of going through a process of experience design that has built powerful brands for my clients so I’m going to take you through a couple of tools just to sort of show you how we would do that so typically a project that I’m involved in starts with context research customer research where we have these online diaries that we use it’s a tool we develop basically to enable people to keep a diary of their experience call it seven days of my life com now first what we do and I loved what Dion said about working out loud the first thing we do is invite our customers to keep a diary for themselves right they are usually also the user of the products of services that we work for they also hold insurances they also have a telephone communications provider they also bank so we ask them to keep a diary themselves so rather than saying we are the company you are the customer you keep a diary and then we go into that no we think it’s much smarter to think of yourself as a customer as well so that’s the first mechanism that we use the second one is that we give access to our client while these Diaries get filled so they can see progress they can comment on it they can they can copy-paste whatever they do it’s completely open to them and again it’s working out loud because we are currently involved in a project where it’s really hard to recruit people and they see that it’s hard to recruit people and the Diaries aren’t filling up very quickly so okay so they see that it’s part of the process part of the learning process of doing this kind of research then we do what we call Co analysis so we are not the type of consultancy that then close the door and sit there and analyze the data and we hang it up on the wall and we invite our cust our clients so these are all this is a project we did for eBay people from different ebay companies across the world going through these Diaries what do you see what do you read what stands out what what what what gives food for thought but so again it’s it’s a communal approach to research and it’s much more powerful than isolating it coming up with insights writing them up and handing them back to the organization a lot of our work involves around at home interviews we always take the client right so we we firmly believe that this is not something we should do now is something we should do together because there’s nothing as confrontational and inspiring and enlightening as a good home interview for someone who is usually behind their desk all day you know who you can bring in customers to the focus group room and you can put them behind a mirrored wall etc they’ll bring them to the house bring them to you know bring them to the real the real people and and confront them with it with their own their own customers again that data gets ko analysed which means not only read through them but Co synthesize so come up with insights pinpoint where the real interesting quotes are etc then based on the basis of that we may do customer segmentation and again the interesting thing is we may have interviewed only 20 people and how can you how can you segment on that right i mean there’s no statistical basis for segmentation but we always do it anyway and it always ends up being more useful than the piles of segmentation reports that they

already have that are based on quantitative data so because it’s so close to the heart and so close to the real people and because they’ve been involved you can suddenly say hey we see these two segments there’s John there and there’s an there and they’re actually to customer segments and you know n is 1 there’s no statistical proof for that but it clicks with them and it helps them to design better and I think that’s what it’s about then when we for example when we make personas and there’s one thing we’ve learned that is personas are not only inspirational tools they can also be very closely connected to business metrics if you create them in such a way that you can actually validate them so we’ve learned how to create personas that in large-scale questionnaires you can have people answer a number of questions and they’ll end up in a certain persona which means that per persona group you know how large they are you may know what the net promoter score per persona is you may know the number of complaints per persona so all of a sudden is no longer a fluffy design tool just for inspiration no it’s a business tool right and again it’s a way of co-creating the understanding co-creating this brand fishing together where you also involve the business guys the customer intelligence people in what is usually the kind of customer empathy that is reserved for design or marketing right so you get a much more holistic understanding of the camp of the customer and it’s much better ingrained in all the layers of the organization and throughout all silos the same goes for when we do customer journeys and we’ve done a great session this afternoon there’s a lot of metrics here in the top row so we try to use a lot of business metrics and allocate them two stages in the journey not because we find it so enjoyable to do but because it helps to get other people on board that think differently that are maybe not so interested in the soft side the inspirational you know customer insight site but they’re interested in KPIs and metrics and NPS and complaint levels incher and and all that stuff that you can measure so why not combine the two and again get a whole bigger group of people on board around these kind of tools and instruments then typically we would design these these principles and again like I said design principles help you sort of guide experience design and and and make sure that you don’t go overboard what we try to do is not only have those be nice guidelines but actually design what kind of value do we derive from these principles and how we’re going to measure this so we give the experience dashboard not only to the service designers or the experience designers or the UX people but actually to the customer intelligence people and so now measure the effect now make sure that this is actually happening in practice and that people are actually happy with the result and then when we do a touch point audit we look at touch points not so much from the perspective of do customers like it are they happy with it but is it on brand is it a unique touch point that’s different from competition so for a website or for a call center experience or for a bill can we do it in a way that is connected to our brand and is not something generic and unique just some examples of how these different service design tools can help you build a brand and help you focus in innovation I’m coming to the end and i want to show you this last slide this is a call center in Manila where I did a project this project for virgin mobile Australia a virgin mobile have off source there there call centers to Manila because it’s the same time zone and their english is okay and they’re half as expensive and they got all these complaints from the call center they got complained after complaining it was such a horrible experience so friggin said something needs to happen and luckily enough they said let’s first send someone over there and do some research with these people and see what’s going on before we start looking for a different call center or we start to put it in Australia anyway so we went over there and we worked for a week with these people and we did a lot of role-playing and we did a lot of sessions around how would you resolve this call and how would you work with this problem and these people were absolutely amazing

they were fantastic they were perfectly able to deliver an outstanding customer experience why didn’t they do that because they had lots of metrics and scripts to go through when they had 49 points they needed to cover in each call and the whole way of managing them was horrible so it was the company not it not the people what I’m trying to say with this with this last slide is basically you can research your customer all you want and you can delve deep into the lives of customers but until you’ve understood your own staff and your own people you’re never going to build that match you’re never going to build that relationship so again this lens helps you to say yes we understand the customer now but now let’s go inside what do we need to develop to in order to get liver that experience and I think this combination of inside out outside in thinking is very much required for experience design and I think the the brand is a very good way of framing that and and and and providing that with the right of focus the right foundation and the right inspiration and that’s it you can contact me here if you want them very curious about your comments thank you very much