Applying Design Thinking to Business Strategy

Applying Design Thinking to Business Strategy

GUEST POST from Art Inteligencia

Design thinking is a powerful approach for driving innovation and impacting business results. By combining a creative mindset with business strategy, design thinking is transforming the way companies go to market and strike competitive advantage. With design thinking, business leaders can rethink processes, products, and services, identify customer needs, and better serve their customers. For example, car companies are leveraging design thinking to focus on developing a user-driven customer experience in order to stay competitive and differentiate. Here, we’ll explore how design thinking techniques are being utilized in a business context and how they’re changing the way business leaders drive success within their companies.

Design Thinking in Action: Two Case Studies

Case Study 1 – BMW: Design Thinking Enhances Customer Experience

When BMW launched its “My BMW” app in 2012, the company sought to create a groundbreaking user experience that was centered around the customer. BMW was not only looking to move away from conventional thinking but also to go beyond its own customer segmentations and brand loyalty programs. BMW’s design thinking focused on creating a new way for customers to interact with the car, using features such as remote operation of the windows and lights, and other service information and booking features. With design thinking, BMW changed the customer experience, transforming the car from a reactive device to an active member of a connected lifestyle.

Case Study 2 – Microsoft: Design Thinking to Stave off Disruption

As cloud-based products started to gain traction, Microsoft faced the challenge of staying ahead of the game in a disruptive environment. Microsoft’s design thinking focused on creating customer-centric solutions to meet customer needs while keeping close to the technology trends. Teams at Microsoft decided to focus on user experience and initiated programs to create a “design language” focused on creating a consistent and user-friendly experience across devices and products. This language was applied to popular products such as Office 365, Skype, Teams, and Xbox, creating an ecosystem of connected products and services across devices and across platforms.


Design thinking is transforming the way business leaders drive success in their companies. By applying creative techniques to traditional business strategies, companies can identify customer needs and develop solutions that are tailored to customer requirements. In this article, we explored how BMW and Microsoft achieved success by integrating design thinking into their business strategies. With these examples, one can see how design thinking is changing the way business leaders interact with their customers and their organizations. With a focus on user experience, design thinking is helping companies stay ahead of the competition in an ever-changing technology landscape.

SPECIAL BONUS: Braden Kelley’s Problem Finding Canvas can be a super useful starting point for doing design thinking or human-centered design.

“The Problem Finding Canvas should help you investigate a handful of areas to explore, choose the one most important to you, extract all of the potential challenges and opportunities and choose one to prioritize.”

Image credit: Pexels

Subscribe to Human-Centered Change & Innovation WeeklySign up here to get Human-Centered Change & Innovation Weekly delivered to your inbox every week.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *