AdWeek Europe: Five Guidelines To Create Great Customer Experiences By Using Design

AdWeek Europe: Five Guidelines To Create Great Customer Experiences By Using Design

A design-led business “ignores its own needs to focus on those of the customer.” It is a prerequisite for optimising the customer experience, which is top priority for marketers this year.

What is a design-led business and why does it matter?

This was the question asked by Nick Turner, chief creative officer EMEA, SapientNitro Razorfish, as part of an Advertising Week Europe session on design-led business.

David Burnand, head of marketing for Northern Europe, Adobe Marketing Cloud, set the scene by citing Adobe’s Digital Trends research showing the top priority for marketers in 2016 is optimising the customer experience (Adobe is’s parent company). And the three key areas around improving the customer experience are strategy, culture, and design.

“Having a design-led business is really key,” Burnand said.

Turner then set out what it means to be a design-led business. “It’s a business that ignores its own needs to focus on those of the customer,” he said. “It’s customer-obsessed.”

He offered five guidelines for brands aiming to reap the rewards of using design to create great customer experiences. Firstly, he said, understand and anticipate customer needs.

Secondly, disrupt before you’re disrupted. Turner’s example was insurance giant Aviva, where chief digital officer Andrew Brem has opened a “digital garage” to tap into east London’s startup community, and “been encouraged to break every rule in the book, and not feel constrained by traditional ways of doing things in the industry.”

Thirdly, Turner said, “design experiences that exceed audience’s expectations.” He cited Airbnb, whose platform solves the problems of both travellers and people who want to rent out their property. For travellers it addresses what it means to rent a room in a strange city, for example by operating seamlessly across desktop and mobile. For those putting their property up for rent, it created a programme that not only helps them to be a better host, it helps them market their property better.

Fourthly, Turner advised, design experiences that are better than real life. His example here was Audi, which has opened digital dealerships under the Audi City brand in London, Berlin, and Beijing. Giant screens allow potential buyers to see the entire Audi range, something that wouldn’t be possible with real cars in a traditional dealership.

Turner’s final point was to design experiences that create unbelievable loyalty. Spotify, he said, has used data to create compelling features such as the Discover Weekly playlist tailored for every user, and the Year in Music that shows users what they have been listening to. The pay-off for the Year in Music was massive sharing on social media, creating huge word of mouth.