“When you really listen to another person from their point of view, and you reflect back to them that emotional understanding, it’s like giving them emotional oxygen” – Stephen Covey
Early in my career we did a workshop where we were broken up into teams and were given the opportunity to role play various customer types. We were given personas and descriptions of their problems and needs. There were a few a-typical personas that proved to be the most powerful in terms of empathic insights.
According to the Hasso Plattner Institute of Design at Stanford great points of view can fit “onto a bumper sticker”.
The sticker: User + Need = Point of View
According to the Hasso Plattner Design Institute the state a point of view will:
- Provide focus.
- Allow you to determine relevancy of competing ideas.
- Inspire your team.
- Empower colleagues to make decisions independently in parallel. • Fuel brainstorms.
- Capture the hearts and minds of people you meet.
- Save you from the impossible task of developing concepts that are all things to all people.
- Be something you revisit and reformulate as you evolve.
While designers always bring an angle to their work, it’s just as important for business owners and merchants to also think like a designer when solving problems for their business and or customer.
Beyond understanding need, it asks that we understand the user, and to understand them well. By digging deep we begin to cultivate empathy by not just listening, but resonating with their troubles. It is in understanding the user emotionally that we become more clear on the various hierarchies of needs that inform decisions. design needs and the various things they consider in the decision funnel.
Campaigns can also be empathic and address needs emotionally. REI’s #OptOut compaign proved to be of major success in terms of resonating with their customer. The “tone” they took mirrored the exact feelings of their user group. This in turn created a wave and viral push across social media. The campaign elevated awareness and served as a catapult of their brand and business in a time when Sporting Goods/Outdoor Retail has seen its share of slash and burn.
By getting real clear on the people you seek to engage with via. products or experiences, the more clear you will be about the problems you need to solve and the better you will be at providing this “emotional oxygen” referenced by Stephen Covey. While the work is a little clunky at first I have found that it can serve as the grease in the wheels of a business that needs a “push” in the right direction.
Photo Cred: Tower View Jonas Nilsson Lee – www.stocksnap.io