In the highly competitive mobile phone market, network operators are constantly looking for an edge and one strategy pursued by Vodafone involves deeper customer engagement. On several occasions, the company has asked PDD to enhance this approach by contributing innovative product and service design knowledge.
Brief: PDD helped Vodafone to explore and define a new retail-related business concept that would add value to customers. PDD had to visualise the idea so that the company's senior managers would approve future development. By creating a series of user stories and a prototype device, PDD helped the concept's in-house sponsor to gain the internal support needed. This led to PDD taking charge of the user-experience prototyping phase of the project.
Response: The network operator also asked PDD to investigate an innovation style known as co-creation (or co-design). This advocates working directly with customers to develop compelling service and product concepts. To help demonstrate the value of co-creation to an internal Vodafone audience, PDD developed a set of guidelines specific to the company's own processes and corporate structure. Vodafone had already judged the quality and usefulness of a series of controlled co-creation sessions, and these assessments helped PDD select the right content for the guidelines. After understanding how and when Vodafone would use co-creation, PDD decided to print the guidelines as a quick-reference book aimed at two distinct user-groups. The part aimed at designers focused on how to conduct and manage co-creation sessions, while the sections for business executives provided a rationalised approach to integrating co-creation within the innovation process. Written in plain English and using info graphics, the book gives Vodafone a useful, tangible and easily accessible tool that guides staff on co-creation techniques and applications. Throughout the relationship with Vodafone, PDD has used a unique blend of design expertise and consumer market knowledge to underpin its insights and innovations.