Nils Wollny: the three big shifts in brand strategy

Nils Wollny from Sinner Schrader kicks off by examining the misconceptions around Service Deisgn.

Warning: liveblogging

Prone to error, typos and crimes against grammar. Post will be updated and corrected during the talk and over the 24 hours afterwards. 

Who is absolutely clear what is behind the term service design? (Only a handful of the people in the audience raise their hands).

There’s a lot of confusion around the term. One of his colleagues was invited a service design summit in a client. They brought call centre agents and designers together… People have very specific ideas of service and of design, but not of service design. It’s the process of designing services – but people get confused on one half or the other of the process.

“Design is a plan for arranging elements in such  way as best to accomplish a particular purpose” – Charles Eames.

If you shift your expectations and say that service is broader that customer service. Theodore Levitt said that there are no such thing as service industries – everyone is in service in the 70s. Now we can say that every product is a service. Many products are very similar – but if we connect a lot of services around the product that enhance its experience, then we have a differentiator. Digital plays a major role in this. You hear about the Nike FuelBand, about carsharing, about Amazon. Jeff Bezos says that we don’t think of the Kindle as a tablet, we think of it as a service.

Service Design is creating valuable experience that wrap around products. It’s a process, it’s a method, but it’s not clearly defined yet. No service is just a  single service – an app, a purchase. It’s connecting these things, building connected systems that enhance the experience in a connected way. For me, as a brand strategist, it’s very interesting, because it changes the meaning of brand development in general. We see three major shifts:

1. Positioning to Purpose

What is the brand’s role in people’s life?

2. Single solutions to fully integrated systems

How does this idea connect with other ones?

3. Move from Powerpoint slides to prototypes

You’re not just talking about theoretical methods, but actually building things. Try things out, build prototypes.

We’ll see many inspiring things today, and some great practical examples.