Thursday, May 17, 2007

Do Not Be Frightened Of Design

Here's an insightful interview with Paul Bennett.

He currently leads IDEO’s Consumer Experience Design Practice globally. Clients include Starbucks, Virgin, The Gap, Proctor & Gamble, HP and Pepsi.

What can other companies learn from companies like Starbucks and Apple?

Two things: one, have a very stong conviction about who your consumer really is, and spend as much time as possible out there in the real world engaging with them. I often say to my clients that their world is not the world of their consumer – they live in cublicles and boardrooms and in focus group facilities observing their consumers “behind bars” so to speak, and that is not the way to be inspired or discover new ideas.

When you see an Apple product for example, your first reaction is often “these people really get me.” Secondly, do not be frightened of design – what both Apple and Starbucks share is an innate sense of using design as a tool for really communicating their values at every possible stage of the consumers “journey” through their brand – the stores, the ads, the packaging, the product, are all designed with equal care and attention.

Not to mention the all important and often neglected ambience factor - in terms of sound and smell.

Read it all from the smart folks over at: Design & Emotion

That's Right,



  1. Companies aren’t creative – people are!

    This article was awesome. And yes, once again, I do read your blog. As someone who is humble and hungry to learn more about design, I find myself appreciating great feedback/interviews from people who know what they are doing. Just like I study Tony Parker on the basketball court, I need to study people like Paul and HMK.

  2. Thanks James. The brain, just like the heart, is a muscle. And we all know that when you work and exercise your muscles, they not only grow bigger and stronger, they make everything you do seem a little less hard and more effortless.

    Thanks for reading James! Go Spurs!