Due to the Design Thinking movement, the range of design in corporate management has widened from “shape and color” of products to the total business plan. Interactive and user-experience designs have become more important, in addition to conventional product and architecture designs. This has triggered a variety of new discussions in which design activities can be sources of innovations because they increase expectations for human creativity in our connected society. Four research manuscripts that show such new views of design activities are proposed in this special issue. In the marketing studies context, these new views of design should be promoted.
BOP businesses have been increasing in Japan. However, many Japanese companies that are too accustomed to conducting conventional marketing with wealthy clusters of consumers seem to be struggling to understand BOP market needs. According to Hart and London (2011), the classic definition of BOP is 4 billion people in the world with an annual income of less than $3,000. However, this definition is too crude from the viewpoint of practical marketing, in which actual living situations, including regional, cultural, and economical factors for each consumer, are more important. In this study, we redefine BOP, which has been focused on by Prahalad for 20 years, and we explore the realities of a BOP consumer cluster based on consumer surveys in Greater Jakarta, Indonesia. We also propose a new framework of design thinking, including a new method of participatory observational research for consumers. This is referred to as DIVE (Diversity Inclusive Visionary Enhancement), and has been developed based on a series of consumer surveys in a new product development project for BOPs.
This paper introduced hypotheses on the benefit of cross-functional involvement of professional designers in new product development activities, especially into technology development. To examine the return for both invention and new product development, we surveyed cases of innovative products and 90 international design award-winning products. Our investigation revealed that involvement of designers promotes (i) new technological idea creation, (ii) improvement of productivity of the technology development team by stimulating a common understanding of the goal, and (iii) bridging technology between firms or functional teams. These technological achievements contribute to realization of new products based on innovative concepts. We also found that these technological contributions are not rare phenomena. We cannot affirm that the contributions are designer-specific, but we are able to introduce several hypotheses about the innovation creation process in cross-functional teams.
In this paper, the future direction of innovation and creative thinking are discussed. First, we distinguish “quantitative innovation”, which emphasizes convenience for consumers and efficiency for society, from “qualitative innovation”, which brings about changes in lifestyle and culture. In modern society, it is necessary to shift from quantitative to qualitative innovation. Second, innovation design is defined as the act of bridging science and technology with society through products. This definition suggests the following three possible starting points for design: first, “needs-led” design begins with recognition of societal changes; second, “seeds-led” design begins with discovery or development in science and technology; and third, “product concept-led” design begins with generation of a product idea aimed at bridging needs and seeds. One-hundred cases of postwar Japanese innovations were mapped onto a two-dimensional plane with the type of innovation and starting point of design as the two axes. As a result, many qualitative innovations were classified as “product concept-led” design. We also discuss creative thinking that contributes to qualitative innovation, and we conclude that creative thinking using synthesis, concept blending, a combination of product and situation, and a metaphor based on synthetic, creative thinking is effective for creation of qualitative innovation.
In recent years, researchers have focused on innovations launched from emerging countries, as “Reverse Innovation” proposed by Govindarajan, Immert, and Trimble (2009). Several cases of innovative products developed in emerging countries have been reported, but there are few studies of differences in innovation processes involving idea generation and selection. The main purpose of this study is to examine the characteristics of developed and emerging countries that cause unique innovation through a series of comparative experiments on product ideas. After establishing three hypotheses, the experiments were conducted using graduate students from two developed countries, Japan and Sweden, and three emerging countries, Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand. To simulate a realistic innovation process, the experiment consisted of three parts: the participants developing ideas, experts evaluating the ideas, and then participants selecting ideas over several group discussions, so that points in the innovation process that differed between developed and emerging countries could be discerned. Differences in both idea generation and idea selection were found. The participants from emerging countries proposed ideas with less novelty and lower investment risk, but also selected ideas with greater confidence, compared to the participants from developed countries. In the study, we also discuss the steps in the administrative innovation process that people from developed and emerging countries should focus on for checking differences against design thinking.
Research on destination brand has been performed in the tourism marketing field since the mid-1990s. Studies of the brand perspective on destination started from changes in the tourism environment, such as expansion of tourism opportunities, increasing re-visitors, and a continued segmentation strategy from competitive destinations. In particular, the target of destination brand equity has been examined based on sustainable competitiveness of the destination. However, research on destination brand equity still has a number of problems. The aim of this study is to investigate the characteristics and future issues of destination brand equity, as well as summarizing research on the destination brand.
Previous studies have shown that customer-perceived value is based on service quality and customer satisfaction. The main goal of this study was to examine the effects of service quality on overall customer satisfaction mediated through acquisition of culture. A questionnaire survey was conducted among 122 visitors to an art museum. The results of structural equation modeling indicated that (1) acquisition of culture had a positive effect on overall customer satisfaction, (2) the exhibition method and interpersonal service had a positive effect on acquisition of culture, and (3) facility comfort had a positive effect on overall satisfaction. The findings suggest that acquisition of culture plays a key role in linking service quality with overall customer satisfaction. The theoretical and practical implications of these results are discussed.
Most articles on place branding point out the positive role of strangers, but only a few studies have discussed the acceptance of strangers by communities, and why they collaborate with communities. This paper examines the collaborative process and conditions for its promotion between communities and strangers in intermediate and mountainous rural regions, using mixed method research. The analysis identifies three aspects of acceptance: acceptance formation, exchange promotion, and value co-creation, which are classified according to the degree of accumulation of social capital. The types of strangers (opener, visitor, partner, specialist) accepted depend on the level of social capital. This also suggests that a platform that can be transformed by accumulation of social capital to promote exchanges and collaboration with strangers is necessary.
In the Japanese retail industry, the Drug store business is one of the most growing retail formats. Major drug store chains are conducting M&A, expanding merchandizing from cosmetics and health & beauty products to include food categories, producing private brands and providing loyalty programs in order to meet customer’s various shopping needs and are attracting many customers. Under such competitive circumstances, SATUDORA HOLDINGS, which runs the Sapporo Drug stores mainly in Hokkaido, takes a unique business approach and has reconstructed their brand strategy. Unlike major Japanese drug store companies, their main focus on business strategies has been to establish a strong regional chain store format, thus creating a strong and engaged community with loyal customers and acquiring inbound needs. Furthermore, they invest and consider the effective use of AI in the retail format.
Through an in-depth interview with the CEO and analysis of the business model, this case study advocates the following meaningful points to support a new business model approach to retail; 1) construction of regionally-circulating Customer Relationship Management, 2) the new role of the regional retailer in regional marketing, 3) new role of the sales channel in the creation of community value, 4) the importance of creating customer engagement and 5) sharing the emerging concept of collaborative consumption as a new relationship between the retailer and the customer.