In our previous content, we’ve demonstrated that Demand Profiles are tools that help your organization understand how your audience makes decisions while identifying their core emotional and functional needs. We've also shown how they can be applied to create effective communication strategies. While this is great, the real effectiveness of demand profiles is in how the insights around decision-making, needs and communication are translated into meaningful change for your customers.

Demand Profiles to Experience Design

The decision-making drivers of Demand Profiles, in conjunction with other qualitative research outputs such as journey maps, identify priority pain points and opportunities, ultimately impacting experience design decisions. 

This opportunity to address customer needs in key moments enables your organization to expand on the positive interactions, minimize the negative moments, and identify market gaps and underserved customer perspectives. The tactical process of generating actionable ideas and designing effective experiences occurs during co-creation and through the lens of design thinking. 

The Unique Power of Co-Creation

Demand profiles are the central tool in designing these co-creation sessions. By narrowing our attention on the key decision making drivers we’ve identified in the demand profiles, we can focus our efforts around the parts of an experience which are most impactful to customers. The research-based insights of the profiles can then be translated into real ideas during collaborative workshops. 

At Cast & Hue, our in-person and virtual workshops are inspired by the principles of design thinking, where ideation and prototyping by internal stakeholders is at the center. These workshops are unique because we are able to work one-on-one with our clients’ customers and staff to get their immediate ideas and feedback. Rather than a strategy meeting with a group of executives, different strategic exercises lead the individuals who are closest to the challenges within an organization to potential solutions.This ensures that a broad range of perspectives are represented, and the most effective ideas rise to the top. It also saves organizations time and money by designing things based on needs instead of assumptions. 

Why are co-creation sessions so powerful?: 

1. Empathy 

In order to design with empathy, we must strive to see challenges from different perspectives and evaluate a situation from every angle. Empathy interviews are part of our workshops with customers, and provide added insight to staff and leaders, who are then able to better understand the mentality of the people who the solutions must ultimately benefit. Demand Profiles set the stage for this empathetic mindset with feedback from real customers in the form of direct quotes, decision making drivers, gaps, and opportunities to improve. This allows us to take those opportunities as a jumping off point into a human-centered experience design process.  

2. Critical Problem Solving 

It’s human nature that when you see a problem, you want to jump straight into finding a solution. However, incredible amounts of time and effort can be wasted if you aren’t addressing the right problem. Delivering timeless wisdom on problem solving, Albert Einstein said, “If I had an hour to solve a problem I'd spend 55 minutes thinking about the problem and 5 minutes thinking about solutions.”

Correctly identifying the core problems that customers face is essential to designing effective experiences. Therefore, after grounding our thinking in the perspective of our customer, clearly defining a problem statement is critical to produce ideas that directly address the specific and real challenges that exist.  

3. Representation and Collaboration 

As we mentioned earlier in this article, it’s a key feature of our work that solutions are developed in partnership with our clients, their customers and their staff. By recruiting people to the workshops who represent the demand profiles, we are able to solve issues with, rather than for, those individuals we serve. 

Although you might think you know what your customers want, cognitive biases can hinder our perceptions of our customers behaviors and needs. Studies have shown that more often than not, companies make mistakes when they try to represent their customers in research. And that even more empathetic marketing managers rely on their personal preferences to predict what customers would want. 

Co-creation can save both time and money that’s needlessly dedicated to designing experiences customers don’t actually want or need. Since we can’t anticipate our customers' needs independently, the best way to address the desires of customers is to hear from them directly. 

Final Takeaways

Demand profiles, design thinking, and co-creation compliment each other to give you a complete picture of your customer’s experience, and how you can transform it to bring your organization to the next level. 

How can co-creation propel your organization to address the most important moments in the customer journey? For more information on demand profiles, design thinking, and virtual collaboration please contact hello@castandhue.com.

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