Understanding design thinking is the first step towards outlining marketing importance to design thinking. Design thinking begins with establishing a specific goal through multiple stages of iteration, including convergence and divergence practices to solve complex problems in a way that is human-centered. The process of design thinking involves prototyping, brainstorming, interviews and observation. It involves leveraging consumer research to develop innovative new products, services or experiences. Because of the dynamic nature of design thinking, when there is a shift in markets, sometimes caused by the proliferation of technologies, there is a tendency for competitors to multiply, making products to become obsolete within a very short time. Indeed, successful organisations are those that can innovate consistently, create new knowledge and embody the knowledge in products and services that they create. Naturally, it makes sense to associate design practices with products, brand image creation, logos and packaging, with no direct links to marketing.
However, academic research and practitioner-led insights have documented the contribution of design practices to traditional marketing. One of such views documents that design thinking improve the visibility of brand positioning and marketing innovation (Stickdorn, et al., 2011). Through design thinking, marketers can understand the customer needs better by focusing on the value created. Secondly, design thinking breaks path dependency by creating radical innovation. Third, design thinking aids marketers to to restore branding as a basis for promoting creativity. Roper, et al., (2016) provides evidence to suggest that design thinking can make a significant contribution to the success of new product development.
Considering that the role of marketing is to identify and satisfy needs better than competitors, design thinking creates a system that uses the sensibility of the designer and relevant methods to match the needs of people with what is technologically feasible and what is viable for a business to convert into value for the consumer and to create a market opportunity for the firm (Stickdorn, et al., 2011). I believe that design thinking is useful for successful marketing campaigns. Marketing is relevant to design thinking and design thinking is also relevant to marketing. Because design think concentrates on aesthetics and making things desirable and also on solving problems. Marketing is no different, with uncertainties that rely on creative practice which can be fused with design thinking to create more customer and firm value. Because design thinking is a methodology that is used to drive innovation, it can also be used to solve marketing problems. It brings what is attractive to customers with what is economically viable and technically feasible for a business. Through this approach, marketers can develop breakthrough ideas whilst remaining realistic. The focus on innovation is relevant because marketers and organisations need to continuously innovate in response to the rapidly changing market demands and increased competition (Chasanidou, Gasparini and Lee, 2015). Thus, I believe design thinking is a supportive approach for resolving a wide range of business challenges that should be pursued by designers and non-designers such as marketers. Again, design thinking is a recognised way of generating ideas, which can be important for establishing successful marketing strategies.
Finally, the goal of marketing is to create value for customers, and I believe that design thinking has become an increasing part of marketing which has done better for the customer value and the philosophy that marketing has resonated.
Chasanidou, D., Gasparini, A.A. and Lee, E., (2015), August. Design thinking methods and tools for innovation. In International Conference of Design, User Experience, and Usability (pp. 12-23). Springer, Cham.
Roper, S., Micheli, P., Love, J.H. and Vahter, P., (2016). The roles and effectiveness of design in new product development: A study of Irish manufacturers. Research Policy, 45(1), pp.319-329.
Stickdorn, M., Schneider, J., Andrews, K. and Lawrence, A., (2011). This is service design thinking: Basics, tools, cases (Vol. 1). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.