Virgin Atlantic talking about needing to be different to prosper

Virgin Atlantic Airways Head of Design and Design Council member Joe Ferry outlines how investment in design has led to innovative products and services that encourage more people to fly Virgin.

Anyway, like Apple has Steve Jobs, we have Steve Ridgeway, our CEO. He was quoted last year – I think it was in the Sunday Times – as saying that Virgin Atlantic doesn’t have the right to exist. Great. It exists because it’s been successful by being different, and I suppose that’s where I come into it, really, because we exist by having product and service differentiation. Essentially, if we’re competing with an airline on a route, they’re probably flying the same aircraft as us, they’re flying to the same destination and price is very competitive. So the thing that separates us – because we don’t have a massive route network – is our product and service, and design is a big element of that.

You can link to the full interview here where he talks about how as head of Service & product Design for Virgin Atlantic, they use their investment in Design to create an outstanding service experience for their customers.

This is brand discipline!!

If anyone wants another example of how Apple take the care and effort to control how they express their brand, then this image is a brilliant example. If you are in a Service business ask yourself how often your customers see variations in your offer, whether it be through staff clothing, greetings or consistency of service experience.

The way Apple ‘thinks different’ in this instance is paradoxically ensuring by ensuring some things actually stay the same. Most companies don’t possess the brand discipline to stay the course. In this way, Apple certainly think differently.

You might not have access to someone like Steve Jobs as a CEO, however you can (and probably should) take some of the lessons they provide to ensure you provide your customers an outstanding customer experience.

Thinking Differently is a choice

Finding new and better ways to do anything requires you to approach whatever it is differently. Apple were the first to capture and promote their approach so publicly. However, thinking differently is not owned by them, it is owned by anyone who wishes to challenge the status quo in their industry or area of focus.

So putting Apple’s approach to innovation way to one side( lets leave others to debate that), just thinking differently when approaching current problems or challenges is a really good start if you want to find new and better ways of solving anything. In our instance, we apply that belief to helping organisations care for their customers better using a Service Design approach.

Enjoy the Think Different Manifesto which Apple have stuck to with great discipline stuck to for decades – not falling for the features and benefits trap of many companies.

Think Different

(Apple Computer Ad Campaign)

Here’s to the crazy ones.

The misfits.
The rebels.
The troublemakers.
The round pegs in the square holes.
The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules.
And they have no respect for the status quo. You can praise them, disagree with them, quote them,
disbelieve them, glorify or vilify them.
About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them.
Because they change things.

They invent.    They imagine.    They heal.
They explore.    They create.    They inspire.
They push the human race forward.

Maybe they have to be crazy.
How else can you stare at an empty canvas and see a work of art?
Or sit in silence and hear a song that’s never been written?
Or gaze at a red planet and see a laboratory on wheels?
We make tools for these kinds of people.

While some see them as the crazy ones,
we see genius.
Because the people who are crazy enough to think
they can change the world, are the ones who do.

One line on Service Design

Just a short one in keeping with the topic of this blog entry.

We get so caught up in the process of what we do sometimes , that I find it valuable to step back sometimes and just remember why we do what we do. Sourced from 31 Volts One line of Service Design, which Marc Fonteijn and the team launched over 12 months ago, so nothing new here, just a nice simple reminder, one more theory based, the other, the end result.

Nick Marsh from Sidekick Service Design said : ‘Good service design is the process of deliberately crafting our experience and delivery of services, to make them more valuable for the people that use and provide them.’

Marc’s says service design is: ‘When you have two coffee shops right next to each other, that each sell the exact same coffee at the exact same price. Service Design is what make you walk into the one and not the other.’

Simple stuff and but never the less, very useful.