Creating the total experience – Using design as a catalyst

Advertising is a combination of creativity and results. Design is a catalyst for creating the total experience. Let’s take the iPod for example…it is all about design and the user interface. The Germans invented MP3 technology. That was the invention…but the true innovation came when Apple got the design and user experience just right. Design is a catalyst that can drive revenue and profit growth with innovation. But don’t take my word for it…

‘Design is about form and function, about emotion and experience. Design is a catalyst for creating total experiences that transcend functional benefits alone and delight consumers.’ — A.G. Lafley Chairman and CEO of Procter & Gamble excerpt from the book The Game-Changer.


If you’re like me you have always known that design is an important innovation strength for your user experience. It enables us to build that bond between products and customers. Design enables you to significantly improve customer understanding. P&G has reinvented their entire organization by making innovation its mantra and using design to unlock and unleash new sources of brand, product, and business-model innovation. They understand that it’s imperative to design for the first moment of truth and yes…that design really does create value.

This is a great read for anyone who values innovation and the use of design. Lafley and Ram Charan show how P&G has revitalized market share and brands to become game-changers for their organization and their consumers. They contend that this methodology can benefit any business. I couldn’t agree more.

One segment of the book in particular is a must read for any advertising or digital organization….especially for the creative, IT and executives. It concentrates on using design to amplify the powers of your strength. Lafley shares how design was a missing ingredient in P&G’s quest to achieve superior organic growth. If you embrace good design as a true partner of innovation…it becomes a change agent that creates total experiences that transcend functional benefits alone and delights your audience. Design thinking is a methodology for problem solving and identifying new opportunities…its about imaging what could be possible – abductive thinking. Lafley goes on to explain how design can move a business from being technology or product centered to one that is experience-centered.

Now take this game changing concept to the web or interactive or CPG industry and you’ve really got something. Design is about the experience and significantly improving your audience understanding. Designing for the first moment of truth has always been a practice at P&G. I contend it has always been a practice for the web as well. So how you go to market or how something is first seen on that 1024 x 768 screen is what matters. Sound familiar? Designers understand this methodology but you’d be surprised how many others within your organization don’t fully comprehend this mind set.

Lafley concludes by stating that design enables you to build stronger bonds, trust and passion between your audience and brand by consistenly creating holistic, delightful experiences. He points out that great designers seek great understanding of their user and their context. They do not limit their considerations to what can be quantiafiably proven.

The book goes on to share great insight on innovation and change. It highlights amazing stories of how P&G dumped some of their must successful brands to align themselves behind this new initiative. It’s refreshing to know that one of the finest organizations in the world has the guts…the courage and know how to change their entire way of doing business and allowing design to be their catalyst.

If you’re interested more in reading more about the Game-Changer… here’s a brief that I pulled from


How you can increase and sustain organic revenue and profit growth … whether you’re running an entire company or in your first management job.

Over the past seven years, Procter & Gamble has tripled profits; significantly improved organic revenue growth, cash flow, and operating margins; and averaged earnings per share growth of 12 percent. How? A. G. Lafley and his leadership team have integrated innovation into everything P&G does and created new customers and new markets.

Through eye-opening stories A. G. Lafley and Ram Charan show how P&G and companies such as Honeywell, Nokia, LEGO, GE, HP, and DuPont have become game-changers. Their inspiring lessons can help you learn how to:

• Make consumers and customers the boss, not the CEO or the management team

• Innovate to grow a mature business

• Develop higher growth, higher margin businesses

• Create new customers and new markets

• Revitalize a business model

• Reach outside your own business and tap into the abundant brainpower and creativity of the world

• Integrate innovation into the mainstream of your managerial decision making

• Manage risk

• Become a leader of innovation

We live in a world of unprecedented change, increasing global competitiveness, and the very real threat of commoditization. Innovation in this world is the best way to win—arguably the only way to really win. Innovation is not a separate, discrete activity but the job of everyone in a leadership position and the integral, central driving force for any business that wants to grow organically and succeed on a sustained basis.


About Cloonan

Great Work Inspires Great People I’m always excited to see great peoples work. To hear and learn about others and share in their experiences in life, design and business. Who knows maybe someday I might learn something from you and you may read something of interest from me. Cloonan. Thinking Out Loud The opinions and views written in my blog are my personal views and insights…they do not in any way reflect or represent the views of my employer. The goal and spirit of social media is to increase communities, build relationships, share and put your personal perspective on life’s content. That is the purpose of my blog. I welcome all comments positive or negative to my own. Life is about sharing…it is about respect…it is about consideration…sometimes good and sometimes bad. Slainte’
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