The design of a vision concept to explore the future of Solutions Group
Like any other business, Solutions Group, a medium-sized Colombian enterprise that design, produce, and install point-of-purchase advertising displays, at times need to re-invent itself, not only to survive in the market but also to drive society to the sustainable future. To address these needs, it could turn to applying so-called futures techniques, such as scenario thinking and technology road-mapping, which are commonly used by managers in corporations to create a company’s long-term innovation strategy. However, these techniques are too complicated, too resource-intensive, and too far-fetched. In view of this situation, I have developed DIVE: Design, Innovation, Vision, and Exploration, a design-led futures technique for SMEs. DIVE consolidates the learnings from our previous studies on concept cars, an established design practice used by large automakers to explore and communicate the future, which was adapted to fit the needs and limitations of SMEs in any industry.
During the last quarter, a group of four design master students, part of the Joint Master Project at TUDelft, have applied DIVE to explore a preferable future of the shopping experience, which can inspire new ideas for Solutions Group. They have identified a domain, defined a vision statement, and created the vision concept ‘Inventienda 2031’. After that, they facilitated a workshop where they use the vision concept to spark a conversation with the company, and produce a roadmap for the future. At the end of the assignment, they also developed a concept product of an upcoming product, ‘TiendaTastes 2025’.
If you want to know more about DIVE follow this link.
The timeframe for this vision concept will be 15 years from now.
The scope will be the tienda de barrio (the convenience store at neighborhoods).
Therefore the domain is “a personal and conscious way of traditional shopping while making use of the existing technology in 2031.”
The design question fitting with this domain: “how will people have a personal and conscious shopping experience in a traditional way in 2031?”
If you want to have more insights, here is the Chapter 1 of the report: 1_Domain
For each user, the shopper, the channel (the ‘tendero’, the shop-owner) and the brand, vision statements were created. Each vision statement is accompanied with a persona (see the figures in each case).
Vision statement: “Solutions Group wants to help the shoppers to have a convenient, authentic and social shopping experience, while using the facilities of contemporary technology, and to be more informed about the products they purchase.”
Vision statement: “Solutions Group wants to facilitate the use of contemporary technology for tenderos to meet their customer’s needs while maintaining and improving their competitive advantages.”
Vision statement: “Solutions Group wants to help the brands with their environmental and social responsibility, next to creating exposure by using contemporary technologies in the tiendas.”
If you want to have more insights, here is the Chapter 2 of the report: 2_Vision_Statement
Inventienda is a smart application/platform that helps the shopper and the tendero to communicate with each other to have a more modern and convenient shopping experience, but that remains personal. It also helps the tendero to be more organized in a digital way and allows the brands to give better information towards their customers. Doing research and case studies in their own country will help Solutions Group to gain valuable and strategic knowledge that can later be applied in South America and in the distant future be used globally. In the end, tiendas represent an important amount of small neighborhood shops and convenience stores that can be found in any country. Having this unique market position will gain Solutions Group a strong competitive advantage compared to their competitors who are not entering this market (yet), and this will help the company to differentiate from the other point-of-purchase advertising displays companies.
If you want to have more insights, here is the Chapter 3 of the report: 3_Vision_Concept
Here the video of Maria Alejandra using Inventienda to buy at Doña Monica’s tienda.
Based on the recommendations captured during the conversation with the SMEs representatives, the students developed the concept product of an upcoming product, ‘TiendaTastes 2025’. Here the video of the concept product.
If you want to have more insights, here is the Chapter 4 of the report: 4_Recommendations
If you want to have more insights, here is the full presentation ‘TiendaTastes 2025’: 5_Concept_Product
Javier Ricardo Mejia Sarmiento