Thursday, April 30, 2009

Service Design

Design is both an art and action of conceiving and producing a plan or drawing illustrating the thought process behind an action.  Regardless what it is you’re designing, be it a product or service, certain things involved such as:  goals, tasks, tools, actions, and results will always be different.  However, whether you’re designing a product or service, it requires planning, organizing, and set of processes.  These processes determine the quality of your products and/or services.  In order to improve products and/or services, processes need to be improved along with the design process itself.  This involves knowing and understanding what your company is about, your products and services, your customer base, and the value that you provide your customers.

Service offerings for example, requires key strategic design choices to be effective and to get the best return on investment.  They must be relevant to the market, provide value to the customer, and increase revenue.  In addition, there are also certain product characteristics (complexity, customization level, customer knowledge, capacity) and process characteristics (technology, tasks) including touch points (customer, employees, and system interaction) to take into account.  Each of these decisions affect the final outcome measured by performance metrics (customer satisfaction, customer retention, market and economic indicators).  

Success in this area is not simply about performing a good technical task or delivering on projects.  Success is also about making a wider contribution to the success of the organization.  When dealing with service-oriented functions, value is critical.  You need to provide customer value, deliver brand values, contribute to the bottom line and deliver organizational contribution.  

These internal and external components are very important aspects to take into consideration not only to design new services but also improving existing ones.  We cannot improve what we cannot measure and more so, we cannot improve what we do not understand.

Stay tuned for our next topic on “value”. 

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Building Your Brand

This is a follow-up post to my post, Branding the Product Called…. YOU.  Brand identity is your key to success.  In order to create and establish your own brand identity, you need to make time, have the passion, focus and dedication.  It’s a brand new world out there, folks!  Branding is no longer just about tech giants like Microsoft, Google, etc. or products like Sony, Dell, Apple, Nike, etc.  We’re talking about personal brand — YOU.  

There are people who try so hard to blend in, fit in, just be like everybody else and no matter what they do, they’re just “different” and somehow, just can’t be “just like everybody else”.  Well, sometimes, that’s just it — you’re different.  Don’t try so hard to fit in when you are meant to stand out.  Embrace it!    

Strong brands stand out.  Differentiation separates them from competition.  If you want to beat competition, just like the big companies, you, too can be different.  You, too can develop your own brand.  Are you ready to take on the challenge and be the Marketing Director of your own product called YOU?  :)

Here are some tips on how you can get started in building your own brand:

  • THINK and think hard about you, what you have to offer, your value, what’s special and unique about you and what sets you apart from competition.
  • Think about what message and/or image you want to convey.  What impression will it give others?  
  • Connect your answers.  Think about your answers and determine what “brand” it’s revealing to you or about you.  Be truthful.  Is that really “you”?  If it is and you found your strong suit that you can capitalize on, create your brand statement not only for your general audience but also your target market.
  • Once you create your brand identity or brand statement, develop a strategy to promote your brand —YOU.  
  • In all that you do, ensure to think about if it is helping to establish, maintain, support and protect your brand.
  • Be consistent in your message based on your words, actions, values, and image.  
  • Maintain and protect your reputation.  This is your brand.

In your career, be clear about your brand.  Execute and deliver based on this brand.  Continue to develop your skills, hone your abilities, take on new challenges.  As you move along, figure out how to differentiate yourself from all the other very smart people you’re working with.  Later on, figure out what it takes to create a distinctive role for yourself.  So long as you’re willing to invest in yourself, continue to learn, improve, enhance your skills, you, too have the opportunity to stand out and have a chance to have that brand worthy of remark.