It's not a sexy concept. It means hard work. But business (not interior or architectural) redesign is what many retailers are beginning to focus on. Retailers are realizing that they can't simply keep making incremental changes to their businesses and expect to get ahead. A fundamental shift in how retailers create value is underway. Those that consciously focus on their business design (how they make and keep promises) will be the winners. Here’s where the new business designs will be aiming:
1. Changing Quadrants
In 2011, we'll see more businesses switch from designs that yield premium price to designs that deliver maximum value. In economist terms that moving from the top right quadrant (high value, high cost) to the bottom right quadrant (high value, low cost).
2. Keeping Promises
We've all witnessed brands make promises that their operations can't keep—to the detriment of the company. In 2011, we'll see more emphasis on the keeping promises side of the equation. Everyone now understands that you make more money by keeping promises than by breaking them.
3. Design Is a Business Tool
In 2011, we'll witness more discoveries about the power of design as a business tool. It is, in my opinion, the only discipline that can tie multiple parts of the organization together in a customer-centric way.
4. Everything Else
Social media, personalization, near instant mid-experience feedback, RFID, near field technologies, mobile, mid-experience feedback, kiosks, digital signage, culture, and collaboration will all play their part, but I believe, that companies who coordinate all these independent efforts through Business Redesign will lead the pack. Business design means taking control of what value you create and how you deliver it to customers. Companies and brands that focus on Value Creation will win. If you can identify exactly where you create value for customers and measure it (in customer's terms), you will know where to make investments, adjustments, and your brand will be more valuable for it.
Retailing is a tough business. Transitioning to new ways of doing business doesn't have to be. Business Design brings ease of use to the entire enterprise.
Mike Wittenstein, founder of Storyminers, is a practicing customer experience consultant and speaker with over two decades of experience. His work has taken him to more than 25 countries and he has helped over 400 companies with his expertise in using customer experience design as a strategy for increasing sales and profit.