A lot of people have a tendency to assume that strategic planning and strategic thinking are the same things. While it may appear that this is the case, they are actually different. Strategic planning incorporates collecting data and figuring out the right path to go down for the project or business in question so that the goals can be achieved. Strategic thinking, on the other hand, involves everyone, at all levels of your time, continually locating and contributing to the activities that add to the success of the organisation. With that in mind, in this guide, we are going to take a look at how you can put together a tactical design strategy for your business or project.

How to implement strategic thinking in design

To implement strategic thinking in design, you need to observe company goals and search for trends around these goals. Practice viewing the bigger picture and why it’s vital to the client.

You should also make note of any problems or issues that are raised throughout the design process, and be sure to communicate these with everyone on the team.

How do you create a design strategy?

Let’s take you through the steps to follow:

Define your brand

The first thing you need to do in order to put together an effective strategy is to define your brand. Who are you? That’s the first question that you need to answer. You then need to determine what you stand for and what makes your brand unique. This involves looking at your competitors in the market and figuring out what makes your business different from the crowd.

A lot of business owners find that defining their brand is more challenging and difficult than they expected it to be. Nevertheless, branding is an imperative part of creating your design strategy. You cannot think about where you’re going if you don’t know where you are at the moment.

For further information, read our post on why branding matters

Because of this, it is vital, to be honest with yourself during this part of the process. You need to be realistic about where your business stands at present. This is the only way that you will be able to plot a clear and effective path for moving forward.

What are your goals?

Now that you have defined your brand, you can start to think about your goals. What do you hope to achieve? You need to outline what your ultimate goals are.

If you don’t have a clear and evident direction in terms of what you are aiming to accomplish, it can be extremely challenging to put together a strategy that is both effective and purposeful. You must know where you want to get to in order to put together a route.

After all, you wouldn’t get in your car and simply start driving, would you? You need to know where your end destination is first and then you can figure out the best route to take.

Carry out your research

Research can often be a boring and difficult part of the process, but it’s a very important one. It is a vital part of ensuring that you comprehend all of the aspects of your audience, the market you operate in, and your competition.

As a company, you must comprehend where you sit within the market and how both your competitors and your customers view you.

In addition to this, you need to have a complete understanding of the needs and wants of your audience. It is not enough to just know who they are. You need to understand what drives them and what they are looking for.

The type of design that is right for your company is going to be hugely influenced by your audience demographics, and this incorporates their goals. This is why it’s of huge importance to carry out extensive research at this stage. If there are any gaps or you do not carry out your research as effectively as you should, it is going to show later in the project, as your design will not fully fulfil what your consumer base is looking for.

Find any gaps and make sure you fill them in

You may have noticed a few gaps through doing your research. Are there any customer needs that are not being met at the moment? What sort of issues is the industry facing at the moment? What are the fresh opportunities that you can capitalise on?

The greatest way to differentiate yourself from your competition is to make sure that you are actually doing something different. Reinventing the wheel is not going to get you anywhere.

By creating fresh and new solutions to current issues, you make sure that your brand is valid and exclusive, and you also generate a tangible point of difference that your potential customers and current customer base will recognise.

Turn objectives into strategy

At this stage, you have got all of the information you need. Now, you must piece it all together. You need to consider how you can turn your insights from research and objectives into a design that is compelling.

Of course, this all depends on what your goals are and what your research has unearthed. However, you need to ensure that all of the elements of your site have a purpose, and this is why the prior stages regarding research and asking yourself some key questions is so critical.

Measure results from your efforts

Last but not least, the best businesses out there today do not remain stagnant. They continue working on their efforts so that they can get better and better.

The only way you are going to do this successfully is by reviewing your efforts so far. Use data so you can find out what is working and what is not working.

You will then be able to make the tweaks that are required to push your business forward.

Contact us today for more information

If you follow the steps that have been provided, you will have all of the ingredients needed to ensure success. However, if you have any queries, or you need an expert strategic creative agency, all you need to do is give us a call on 01908 04 06 08 or drop us a message via our contact page.