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Leverage Design Thinking in Marketing – What we learned in the PING Studio


To kickstart the autumn season and also to celebrate the beginning of Helsinki Design Week, we put up our first PING Studio of the second half of 2018 on the theme of Design Thinking. Obviously, this is a total buzzword and and everyone talks about it lately, so we wanted to shed some light in this fuzzy topic with some amazing speakers and topics that definitely sparked the discussion in different kinds of ways.

What is your purpose?

Design as a purpose is not only something that is ultimately a very Finnish thought, but also the base for many companies and their culture. Function over form is usually the way of thinking in Finnish design, before anything is built and designed, the purpose and the practicality and the goal are the main incubator of any ideas. Ville Tikka of Wevolve dove deep into this topic to really lay the groundwork of this, almost philosophical, topic, and got us all thinking.

How can brands and companies use their purpose in order to design their structures and strategies, and what impact does this have?

Design Thinking in practice

Tuulia Hyvärinen Clarion Hotel Helsinki ja Reetta Turtiainen Helsinki Design Week

To make all these theoretical principles more tangible, our cases showed how companies have successfully implemented design thinking in three totally different examples. Helsinki Design Week and Clarion Hotel Helsinki collaborated on an initiative last year in an effort to make Clarion the design destination for locals. By organising events and get-togethers really targeting the Helsinkians, they didn’t only raise awareness amongst design lovers in the city but also made the hotel the top place for staycations.


Jari Ullakko Avaus Marketing Innovations

How design can be implemented in service marketing was outlined beautifully by Avaus, who told us about their case of SnapSkan – which turned selling a product into a service. To increase sales in something as seemingly lame as tyres, they turned into a high-quality, life-saving service with a device that scans peoples car tyres to determine their need for new ones – so by designing a service around a product.

Julius Haukkasalo Evermade

Evermade ended our round of cases with their presentation on how they designed a whole new website system, to enable the marketing department of their client Slush to take ownership of their website without having to use their agency as a middleman. We know the struggle, that every little change in websites often has to go through the developers of the website, which is time consuming and inefficient. By creating a system that’s designed around their clients needs, they solved this issue not only for their client, but also created a whole new way for brands and events to work their own website.

Design in Influencer Marketing?

Every PING studio ends with a Q&A session, to put our theme in the context of influencer marketing, which is what PING works with on a daily basis. We

ask professional content creators who fit the event topic to provide us with insights of their side of the spectrum, and answer questions from the audience.

Lottie Saahko of the She Lives Her Dream, that’s encouraging young people mainly to take their life into their own hands. As a professional graphic designer and  a content creator for many years, she stands out with her perfectly curated and designed visuals, on all her channels, which outlines why visual branding as an influencer is as important as branding for companies.

Because as an influencer, you are a brand.

Design is a USP and a part of how you build your content – also when it comes to collaborations with companies. AlexAlex is a stunning content creator and video producer whose striking personality is the shining star of all her content. She has designed her content around the feeling of her message. Both believe strongly in the power of collaborating with the right brands, with the right understanding and the trust that it takes to leave the execution of a cooperation in the hands of the content creators. Because the design of their brand is evidently what makes them influencers.

AlexAlex and Lottie Saahko interviewed by Jaakko Tapaninen


What did we take home with us?

Design has many aspects. It’s not about only visuals or tangibility. Our lives are filled with design and different purposes, from service to strategy, to an experience and to feelings and that thinking design is not a straight-forward process.

Missed the event? Check our live stream from the PING Studio here.

How to grow your destination awareness with influences? Read here.

Why Human to Human is the new norm of marketing? Read here.


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