How does co-creation help design thinking?

By Reach Brands

Right now there’s a real buzz around design thinking and creative intelligence – and the need to prioritise design within the overall development process.

What is design thinking? It can be described as a series of steps to guide the innovation process – the meta-name given to the activities involved in creating a new idea. These steps can involve finding new perspectives, ensuring better understanding of issues and delivering clearer communication of ideas.

We believe that the key is a human-centred design ethos and methodologies that are powered by involving the consumer. Success lies in understanding what people want and need in their lives – the things they like and dislike about the way a product is made, packaged, marketed, sold and supported. Today, we deduce this by listening to multiple views, using intuition, old school analytical business methods and creativity.

But to understand what consumers will want and need in the future, we need to understand what they really do, rather than what they say they do. This also means closely observing people in order to identify problems. Then, we need to frame these problems in a compelling way, in order to create solutions.

When it comes to solutions, the old saying “two heads are better than one” rings true, as long as one of those heads is a consumer. After all, consumers hold the key to helping solve problems that are relevant to their lives. Products and services that use this information to fill a gap in the market are much more compelling and relevant – and therefore more likely to sell.

The moral of the story? Get the right people involved from the start to help develop and select ideas – and get consumers working hard to help creatively solve problems that they encounter in their everyday lives. Using consumers will result in human-centered creative solutions to real-life consumer problems. Co-creation should be a key design thinking tool.

By Zoe Tuttle, Strategist at Reach
Contact Zoe