Research is everything. In every walk of life, being well informed is the key to success. Your customers aren’t going blithely into their purchases. Far from it – the myriad of ways they can research your brand proposition, products and services mean it’s almost impossible to uncover the benefits (or detractors) of buying into you or one of your competitors.
But this should now just be common sense, deliver what the customer wants. Customer centricity is what it’s all about. So if we take it as a given that you’ll not launch into a wholesale re-design or new organisational strategy without first undertaking a period of discovery – there’s one other aspect you need to consider. Speed.
If you’re going to use R&D to inform your roadmap (as of course you will) then gone are the days of 4-6 month discovery phases that lead to drawn out waterfall development projects and behemoth releases. Be guerrilla, be agile, utilise rapid processes and product layers such as Qubit, Splitforce and Optimizely that allow you to implement and validate change fast. If you’re talking about your brand or business being agile and adapting to the new consumer market, you need to reflect this in the way you work – else it’s just words.
Words alone will fail you.
Looking to front of mind conversations – it seems creatively led businesses can often be at risk of driving change without first having built a business case for, or having tested their assumptions. It’s less about behavioural economics and more about gut instinct in high fashion for instance. Last week I was chatting with the VP of Digital for a luxury fashion brand, known to be a leading light in terms of digital innovation. A UX testing plan had only just begun to become a priority. Despite their outwardly digitally advanced appearance – it had been the exiting CEO who’d driven innovation on instinct, and from the top down. Testing wasn’t on the radar. But whys that? The case for testing is a hard one to argue against.
When testing had been suggested previously – it was the creative force in the brand that categorically said ‘no’ to their work being, well, tested.
It’s a certain level of inward facing assumption that the brand guardians/team know what their audience want. They may know the brand piece for sure, it’s their job afterall. You don’t build a global luxury empire without knowing your brand. But it’s way more complex that than. How to deliver the brand experience across multiple channels takes cohesion between multiple teams and new ways of ideating, co-creating and executing. This was the realisation when the CEO and driving force for ‘innovation’ had now left the building.
Times have changed, teams need to transform, new frameworks for delivery are needed. Take a look at the best practise guide we authored for Econsultancy on how to drive innovation and change through rapid R&D. Goes a long way to steering brand teams towards new ways of thinking and doing.
Need more convincing? Check out these reasons to test. Still need convinicing? Come and talk to us, you’ll be converted for sure. Better yet, pick a fight with Ferg our CX Director and the author of the Econsultancy report in our Lab Culture group.
I’m preaching to the converted? Well then jump onboard and let’s work together.