Design for Future
The CBA playbook to understand today’s challenges and design tomorrow’s opportunities.
There was a world before 21 February 2020. There has been a completely different world after that date.
Our habits have changed, the laws of the market and society have changed, the things that we buy have changed. The needs that we felt were most important also have different priorities today.
Everything has changed.
Even before Covid-19, we were accustomed to dealing with projects that were often highly complex. Even before Covid-19, we had to deal with market situations that were in a state of incessant, rapid development, assessing the completely different needs of different generations of consumers.
Our operational framework has always brought the interests of the different stakeholders into relation: the brand with its strengths, users with their needs, and the market with its rules and outlook.
In this sense, the success of a project was determined by the degree to which it was able to create a meaningful connection between these three viewpoints (Fig .1).
But now everything has changed. The Covid-19 pandemic has interrupted relations and habits, it has revolutionized people’s needs, and endangered companies’ future prospects. All of a sudden, brands, users and the market have found themselves in different worlds, distanced far one from another and apparently without any possible interconnections (Fig.2).
Only by generating new connections will it be possible to restart the system and give rise to new market opportunities (Fig 3).
This is a complex but necessary challenge: we cannot pause, we cannot simply wait for the storm to pass. There is too much at stake, even for those business enterprises least affected by the situation.
We ourselves are involved in this challenge in two ways: firstly as a company that recently celebrated its first 10 years of operation, and that is looking forward to ongoing growth; and secondly as consultants, whose daily work is helping brands to create meaningful, fruitful connections with their users on the market.
We are emerging from Phase 1, during which we helped our clients deal with the lockdown and its effects. Now we are moving in the direction of Phase 2, in which we have to design the future.
The shock was powerful, unexpected, and involved us all. Reconstruction has to begin, starting from the strong points. We have to rediscover a point of balance, analysing and monitoring everything that happens inside and outside the company: assessing the losses, eliminating everything unnecessary, protecting the core business, defending the company’s distinctive characteristics, nurturing relations with its stakeholders, and, as far as possible, providing energy for the development of current projects.
It’s time to restart, or at least to think about how to relaunch, and how to deal with the possibility of new lockdowns. Fresh ideas are needed in a world that may well have changed for ever.
This is the spirit with which we wish to provide our own contribution to restarting, by developing Design for Future Playbook, a brief guide emerging from many conversations with company leaders and managers. We have compiled a series of questions, constructing a framework that can help to reconnect brands, the market, and consumers. It is subdivided into three areas, each of which is dedicated to three different goals.
2.1 Rethinking relations with consumers
- recalibrating tone of voice, content and channels
- bringing the brand’s values and essence into focus
- defining the impact that the brand wishes to have on the world
2.3 Preparing for future scenarios
- refining the company’s value proposition in order to meet the new market challenges
- imagining new scenarios for the sale and/or use of the service
- rethinking the business model, to project the brand into the future scenario
Design for Future Playbook is not just a working framework: it will be our travel guide for the coming months. We will take note of both our and your questions, we will list the initial responses that emerge, and everything that we discover during the journey. We will describe the new scenarios that we see appearing.
A guide for everyone who shares the same curiosity about what the future holds in store.