Any entrepreneur worth their salt knows full well that the secret to a thriving business is innovation. To create products or services that meet the need of the customers is what gives commercial success to any business. Whether that need is real or perceived, companies should strive to give solutions to those needs to maintain or surpass the gains that they’re currently enjoying. If you’re hearing a lot about empathic design, it’s because this concept has been proven to be a crucial part of a business’ success. Empathizing with your customers should be a major consideration when designing for them. Read on to know more about empathic design and how it helps businesses succeed.
What is Empathic Design?
Stemming from the word empathy, empathic design is a set of techniques used in marketing strategies. These are the techniques that get design inspirations from what you believe your customers want and need. Simply put, it’s designing for your customers by seeing the world through their eyes.
Most of the marketing strategies you may now be using for your brand places sales as the top priority. In designing with empathy in mind, you’re thinking of the end-user and building a connection with them as first and foremost. No longer is it the time when you mass-produce products and hope for success, you have to aim for continual innovation.
Empathy is defined as the ability to sense other people’s emotions, in this case, your customers’ emotions. It also includes the ability to imagine and feel what others are thinking or feeling. With empathic design, you’re putting yourself in your customers’ shoes, thus, creating a design that they’ll appreciate. As we all know, happy customers equal an increase in sales and revenues.
Gathering information, analyzing it, and putting it to use is what makes a design empathic. Determining what your customers want is how you can get started. But the question is how can you identify what your customers want when even they don’t recognize it themselves?
With the advancement in technology, gathering information has become easy and convenient. This gives designers opportunities to learn what their customers need and design accordingly. It may seem like extensive work. But it’s an investment you would want to take as a business owner.
Empathic design can provide insight into what your customers want to give you a better understanding of what new products to create. You’ll understand how to communicate with them better and provide better services as well. It even has the potential of directing you to entirely new businesses you never previously thought of.
Why is Empathy Essential for Design?
Facebook, Unilever, and Johnson & Johnson are a few of the most successful companies that use the empathic approach in their business. This is proof enough that companies who prioritize empathy in their designs outperform those who don’t. This may also well be the end of the dog-eat-dog mentality that was common in business before.
Thanks to the advent of social media, it has become easy to see how a company works and even easier to call them out if we disagree with what they’re doing. Facebook has it pat-down in empathic design—they’re good at listening to what their users and staff are saying. They put themselves in their shoes and make changes based on that feedback.
Empathic design makes better designers. When designers look at the customers’ perspective, they can see the ways they can improve on that product. This is contrary to just designing what looks good and what you think will work well, without actually knowing how the product would be used.
How Empathic Design Can Help a Business
Here are some ways how using empathic design can help your business.
When you use empathy in your designs, you’ll give your customers a better experience with your product. As consumers ourselves, it’s not unusual when we tweak a certain product to satisfy our personal needs. When you look at ways your customers use your products, you’d probably be surprised to see innovations that they have discovered. Use this to your advantage and come up with a better version of your product.
Increase in Sales
Knowing what suits your customers’ needs can indeed give you an increase in sales, revenues, and even referrals. A toothpaste that cleans your teeth is okay. But when you see your customers adding baking soda in it, isn’t it about time to upgrade your product? You’ll still have your loyal toothpaste customers, but you’re also getting new ones who like baking soda in theirs.
And when you have satisfied customers, word of mouth travels fast. When this happens, not only will you be having repeat customers, you’ll have new ones referred to by your super fans.
New Product Ideas
Empathic design may have been the reason for the added fabric softener in your detergent. Having two in one product can save consumers time and money. But ideas such as this can lead you to discoveries that can introduce you to innovations for your products specifically and your company in general. You won’t be wasting time trying to think of new things to create, let your customers tell you what to do.
Empathic design will give you a higher advantage over your competition. Since you provide human-centric experiences for your customers, people will remain loyal to you. They will no longer think of changing brands or looking for something better.
One of your aims as a business owner is for your company to stand out. Empathic design will let you do that. Think of it as an investment that will provide benefits to your brand for a long time.
Companies would love to value and pamper customers. Empathic design is focused on having the customers get the best for their money. When people see your company as empathic, they will love to patronize you.
From your products to your employees, empathic design allows you to give your customers more solutions and more innovation. It also leads to higher productivity which translates to higher earnings and profits.