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Innovation Hub

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  • Writer's pictureSamantha Sheu

Business Design: Combining human-centred Solutions with Innovation

You may have heard about business design, an emerging approach for business idea generation. A quick google search will give you an endless variety of definitions for business design. In a nutshell, business design is the process of combining human-centred solutions with innovation. It’s about focusing on customer needs and technology to create feasible ideas that improve user experience.

A famous example of thoughtful business design is the case of Heinz Ketchup bottles. In 1876, Heinz released their tomato ketchup line. Originally packaged in glass bottles, Heinz ketchup quickly became one of the most popular condiments in American households. In the 1980s, Heinz wanted to transform their ketchup packaging to better suit customer needs. After conducting consumer research, Heinz’s researchers realized that while the original glass bottle was synonymous with their brand, it was not user-friendly for many of its frequent consumers, especially those who were young children. It was difficult and would take multiple shakes to get the ketchup out of the bottle. The researchers listened to the customers’ concerns and incorporated accessibility into their packaging - inventing the EZ Squirt bottle, an innovative design that changed the bottle cap to allow kids to easily control the amount of ketchup they wanted. The design was a success - household ketchup sales rose by 12% because of the improved packaging. Heinz later remodified their bottle design a second time, placing the bottle cap upside down to make it even easier for consumers to get the ketchup out - becoming the Heinz ketchup bottle we know today.

Just like with Heinz, combining the four components of viability, feasibility, integrity and desirability into your business ideas creates a more meaningful and sustainable impact. Business design can be accomplished when businesses pay close attention to their customers' needs, generate innovative ideas to accommodate those needs and ultimately create value for their customers.

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