Djuice and brand innovation in service design – part 2

9 July 2014 15:44

(updated: 18 December 2016 15:47)

Djuice and brand innovation in service design – part 2

The Brandslation process for djuice started as most service design process would: Understanding the current situation and gathering insights from customers, employees and the company. A series of workshops were conduced, and a lot of material regarding the organization was made available by djuice.

The first part of the blogpost is here

The Brandslation Process

Finding the Service Personality: Framing the brand from the customer’s perspective

The Brandslation process for djuice started as most service design process would: Understanding the current situation and gathering insights from customers, employees and the company. A series of workshops were conduced, and a lot of material regarding the organization was made available by djuice.

Fig. 1. The Brandslation process up to the definition of the Service Personality’

The customers’ insight part was done in two separated workshop (Fig. 1: Exp.1 and Exp.2). On the first one, customers with more than 2 years of djuice were invited, and it focused on understanding the brand image; The second workshop, developed from the outcome of a series of six interviews with customer that had been with djuice for less than 3 months, focused on understanding the customers’ current experience. Although each workshop had a focus, both explored the current experience and the brand image, and also the desired experience.

The third workshop (Fig. 1: Exp.3) focused on employees’ experience and rendered insights regarding not only their perspective working with the organization, but also on their relationship to the customers and customers’ reoccurring issues. There was also an exercise to understand how the employees see the brand, and great insights on challenges in delivering the service experience were gathered.

Finally, there was a workshop with the management team of djuice. This was essential for understanding how djuice sees themselves and to position djuice against Telenor and competitors’ brand. This also led to great insights regarding the business behind the brand and the organizational limitations.

To sum up, the workshops gathered insight from the customers, employees and the company, related to the past (image), present (experience) and future (desires) of the brand and service experience. On the top of that, there was a plethora of material sent by djuice regarding their competitive environment and their brand platform that was essential for the next phase.

After organizing the insights gathered so far, the project moved towards the first generative workshop (Fig. 1: Gen.1). The first step was to understand the brand identity, and for such, we needed the help of the management team. As the brand descriptions were spread across multiple documents, the management team was the most qualified group to synthesize the brand identity properly.

Once we had a good description of the brand, we could start developing the service personality. This was done by aligning the outcomes from the explorative workshops with the brand, and resulted in a series of desired qualities (adjectives) for the brand experience. These qualities were later grouped by meaning affinity, and from this clustering exercise the personality traits emerged.

Brand Experience Manual: Delivering the brand experience proposition

The Brand Experience Manual is a tool to communicate the brand experience proposition to New Service Development (NSD) teams, and to help them design services that embed the brand into the new experiences. The focus here is to align the service experiences, so they are all consistent with the brand.

To do so, we developed a series of steps for the NSD teams to understand what the brand experience is, and help them design for the brand’s Experience Proposition. Following, we introduce the main parts of the Brand Experience Manual, and briefly explain their use and ‘raison d’etre’. 

 

Fig. 2: The elements of the Brand Experience Manual, and how they were developed

  • The Experience Proposition is a statement that summarizes in a couple of sentences what experience the brand wants to deliver to the customer through the service interactions. It the present case, the Experience Proposition was developed based as an expression of the Service Personality.
  • The Service Personality expresses who the brand is and what is the brand’s relationship with the customer. It helps to create a deeper understanding of the experience, as it expresses whom the customer will be interacting with. Although it is presented as a set of traits, it is meant to be understood as a whole. This means that, even if some traits might seem very generic, it is the interaction of those that create the Service Personality for the brand.
  • Tone of voice, in this case, extends a bit beyond the conventional meaning of the word. It is meant to reflect the main characteristic of the Service Personality, and, in a sense, is like an overall Principle that should always be active. Also, there is the need to adjust the tone. The voice is always the same, but the tone must be adequate to the circumstances.
  • Principles are guidelines that help to embed the brand experience into the services through the design process. As with the Service Personality, the Principles might look a bit generic, but there are two details here:

1 – The principles headings (e.g. “Make Things Simple”) are mnemonic clues to more a much complex meaning. For example: “Make Things Simple” can de done in many ways. What the principles does is to define what is the right way of doing it.

2 – As a colleague noted, the principles are important not only for the ones you choose, but also for the ones you don’t. This says a lot about the Experience Proposition. There are many good service practice guidelines, but not all of them apply to the brand’s Experience Proposition. It is about finding the right ones.

  • Moments are examples of an ideal journey where the principles were applied. These examples serve as inspiration and help to express the desired brand experiences, adding a bit more of a descriptive feeling to a very prescriptive document.

Balancing different perspectives

During the development of this process a discussion emerged regarding how to frame the Brand Experience Manual: Should it be focused on describing what is the experience we want to create; or should it focus on prescribing how to deliver the experience through the service design process?

The manual developed for djuice, although having a strong bias towards prescribing, also tries to include descriptive elements by integrating the moments section as a way to express the desired experience from the Service Personality. Also, the Experience Proposition describes what the desired experience is.

Finally, although the Brand Experience Manual is meant to be used by both service designers and internal teams, the structure of the manual should consider their target audience. This was a relevant note from a colleague, and helps to explain the prescriptive focus of the Brand Experience Manual developed for djuice.

Organizational Reception

The development of this research with djuice seems to have value not only for its outcome, but also on the process itself. Throughout the process, the company gathered feedback from customers and collaborators. There was also a great deal of organizational reflection that was catalyzed by an internal process on re-thinking the brand that was already taking place before our intervention started.

At the end of the process, a presentation was held with stakeholders from djuice and Telenor Norway and the general reception was very positive. Further work has included a workshop focused on helping the djuice team internalize the findings, and an implementation plan is on its way.

An important reflection from this process was the importance of an active leadership in the organization, and the importance of further work in integrating the Brand Experience Manual with the work being developed internally by the organization.

References

Clatworthy, S. (2012). Bridging the Gap Between Brand Strategy and Customer Experience. Managing Service Quality, 22(2), 108-127

Edvardsson, B., & Olsson, J. (1996). Key concepts for new service development. Service Industries Journal, 16(2), 140-164.

Kahneman, Daniel. Thinking, fast and slow. Macmillan, 2011.

Karjalainen, T. M. (2004). Semantic Transformation in Design: Communicating strategic brand identity through product design references. Helsinki: University of Art and Design of Helsinki.

Motta-Filho, M. (2012) The Brand Experience Manual: Addressing the Gap Between Brand Strategy and New Service Development, Proceedings from the 2012 International Design Management Research Conference

Further Reading

Customer experience in the brand context: branding through services instead of branding of services

Special Thanks

I would like to thank djuice and Eggs Design for enabling this process to happen; Simon Clatworthy and Erik Roscam Abbing for the valuable feedback and discussions regarding this research; and all the people involved in this research, so many that I can’t list here. In this process I learned that a PhD is not the outcome of one mind, but a report of a huge and collaborative process, written by one, but made by many.

*Brandslation is a registered trademark of AHO (Oslo School of Architecture and Design) – 2013