By Linda Permenter, Class of 2017
On January 26, the Marketing Fellows enjoyed a design thinking workshop hosted by Frog Design benefiting Shelfbucks. Frog Design is a global design and strategy firm headquartered in San Francisco with offices all over the world, including Austin. Frog boasts an impressive and diverse list of clients like Nike, Intel and FEMA. Shelfbucks is an Austin-based startup that has developed technology that allows shoppers to interact with products, displays and store shelves from their smartphones. The in-store personalized promotion platform benefits both the manufacturer and retailer with increased sales and data collection.
The brilliant folks at Frog kicked off the class with a brief presentation of their philosophy and process. They believe that “experience is everything” and focus their creative design efforts on enhancing the customer experience. In order to think creatively on demand, Frog recommends lateral thinking over traditional linear thinking. Lateral thinking involves thought exercises like: “remove an important attribute from an object and consider a useful arrangement of the remaining components.”
Frog helped us exercise some creative thinking to address a business challenge proposed by Shelfbucks CEO, Erik McMillan: develop impactful store experiences that provide distinct benefits for the shopper and meet relevant needs for the manufacturer and retailer. They designed and facilitated a workshop wherein groups of 5 students considered the lifestyle and needs of a specific persona, uncovered her motivations for a shopping occasion, and explored ways to improve her in-store shopping experience with Shelfbucks technology. Whether it be a 63-year-old retired man with high blood pressure on a fixed income or a 29-year-old married mother of two with a part-time job and no spare time (actual personas provided by Frog), the Marketing Fellows proposed innovative ways to successfully integrate Shelfbucks into their shopping experience.