Product & Service Innovation

Thinking by Doing: A new path towards innovation

Seeking real innovation means leaving old think patterns behind and taking new paths. To take this leap, design can play one, if not the decisive role in the innovation process. Designers bring methods to a project that are not “only” solution-oriented, but that also open up the possibility to arrive at completely new ideas. Through efficient prototyping, exactly the right one of these is then identified and its integrability within the organization is ensured. As designers, we have shown in many projects that we can support multifunctional teams as a driving force with our special approach and skills to this end.

Image: The design process explained with the Double Diamond model
The design process: From many ideas to the right idea
The typical design process consists of alternating phases of divergent and convergent thinking. It first opens up the scope for new ideas and then efficiently filters out the good ones. At the end of the process there are concrete, applicable results.

The design process at Iconstorm

In four phases towards meaningful innovation

Developing the next generation of products, services and experiences requires the ability to move beyond conventional or incremental thinking patterns. In the field of design, this becomes possible, as it brings together thought and action, thus making a decisive contribution on the path to meaningful innovations. In the design process, we use our instruments in four phases, each of which we tailor to the individual requirements of the project. At the end of the process, we develop a business model and an experimental prototype, which together ensure further use of the results in subsequent processes in the organization.

 

Image: Schema – meaningful innovation arises in the search field between human context, technology, as well as economic and ecological considerations
Meaningful Innovation
Meaningful innovations overcome complex problems and resolve contradictions. They answer questions that arise from the interplay of dimensions such as technology, economic interests, sustainability and the human context – and that is what makes them so successful. Design methods are a practical approach that structures the search for such solutions.

How design culture leads to innovation culture

Learning to love problems

Today, innovation projects always involve the management of complex problems. A meaningful innovation must bring together technological feasibility and economic viability, but also overcome contextual challenges posed by its users. And when aspects such as sustainability or the climate are added, the search for a solution quickly becomes chaotic. A design project is about not only accepting this uncertainty, but taking advantage of it. Its focus is the gradual approach towards a solution that is more than just an idea. Rather, it is a convincing prototype that enables us to experience an idea in the real world. This gradual process is fundamental to the design culture we have embraced – and it is a major reason why design enriches the innovation process.

Bild: Examples of Prototypes in the making
Experimenting and testing
At Iconstorm, prototypes are an elementary part of the innovation process. We use them in different qualities to validate assumptions efficiently. They range from simple models for the co-creation phase with end customers to highly sophisticated demonstrators that are almost indistinguishable from the final product.

Image: Business Model Canvas with highlightes Value Proposition
Ensuring feasibility
We know from experience: Good ideas are never scarce in a given project. But on the way from the innovation lab to marketability, a lot of substance is usually lost. We therefore use a wide range of methods to ensure that good ideas can also be validated in terms of economic viability and in other important areas. The Business Model Canvas is a tried and true tool for this task.

Design driven innovation with Iconstorm

Systematically creating new products and services

In our projects, good ideas turn into great products, services and customer experiences. To find the right one, we carefully weigh all ideas against each other. We find out which product corresponds to the positioning of your brand and can also hold its own in the market. On top of that, we clarify what performance we can expect in the short and long term and what customer needs the product must meet today and in the future. We also determine which design focus offers the greatest opportunities: is it a new technological solution or rather a new product experience? This is how we finally determine which idea promises sustainable success and is worth investing in.

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