Prototyping and Serious Play to Test Concepts

As we play Innovation Games® with clients, we are finding that the need for client inclusion in the design and development process is accelerating. Clients know that change is happening, and fast. The valuable lifetime of a product, a brand or a company is shrinking. Whether it is the Internet, 3D printing, transformative new products or dramatically new business models, there is a lower cost of entry and a greater ease of design and development.

At Simon Associates Management Consultants, we help our clients deal with change by using our tool kit to enable faster testing, trial and prototyping. While we always believe that things should be built with the customer or from the customer backwards, the value of engaging with customers to test concepts in user labs offer crucial opportunities to see how things might actually work before they are introduced into the market place.

As such, we have protoype imagebecome advocates of prototyping. Add to that the value of observational research and anthropological methods to observe people actually using a product or experiencing, for example, a healthcare office. We urge clients to think about how they could reduce errors and detours in product development and product effectiveness.

Prototyping comes in all different styles. For us, it could be an early stage model or concept that can be replicated or learned from. Existing product testing and observation can be done at any stage in a product or a service lifecycle.

We help our clients develop these models and concepts by working with the company, their retailers, middlemen and distributors, as well as the ultimate end-user. To do this, we use a variety of tools: Innovation Games, Blue Ocean Strategy® thinking and often ethnography. Once built, we work with end-users to validate.

Our focus typically is in three areas:

  1. The development of a Re-Branding Strategy. SAMC has used these techniques to help clients re-brand their organizations and their products across multiple categories including healthcare, events marketing, construction industry and consumer products.
  2. The development of service offering that satisfy consumer needs in innovative ways. This includes services in healthcare, in the customer care industry, in the financial services category among others.
  3. Defining new products. We have helped organizations prototype new product offerings engaging consumers or for B2B clients, their distributors, suppliers and end-users.

If you are ready to include customers in your design process, perhaps we can be of help. Contact us when you are ready to talk.