The session introduced the concept of ‘Design Thinking‘ – the balancing act of:
- Market desirability (people, users’ needs)
- Technological feasibility
- Business viability (economics)
It is an essential methodology, used by both Adrien Desbaillets, co-founder and managing director, SaladStop! and Steen Puggaard, Investor & Former CEO, 4Fingers Crispy Chicken, to help transform their brand and businesses by being closely attuned to changing consumer needs, and to drive profitable and desirable human-centred innovation.
Here are some highlights from the speakers’ presentations:
“The Use of Experience Design in a Post-Covid World”
by Adrien Desbaillets, Co-Founder and Managing Director, SaladStop!
Creation of Unique Experiences (in-store vis-a-vis home deliveries) across Offline and Online Channels
- While people still value the in-store dining experience, increasingly many are beginning to get used to creating beautiful setups at home either on their own, setting up virtual meals eg. SaladStop! Connect or through curated meal kits eg. Odette at Home
- Businesses must get better at engaging customers while they are in-store and then helping to shift them to online channels
- SaladStop! launched its SaladStop! Market initiative – working with local influencers eg Paul Foster & Tinoq to come up with homemade cooking paste, which customers can choose to order and cook at home with
Real Estate Optimisation x Evolution of Store Layouts
- With online sales set to dominate in the near future, businesses must re-think or re-configure their store layout amidst the changing backdrop as well as the convergence of in-store customers and delivery riders
- Contactless experience and safe distancing measures are here to stay; businesses must learn and optimise what is best for their customers in terms of experience, against what is best for their business
“Designing a Brand Experience”
by Steen Puggaard, Investor & Former CEO, 4Fingers Crispy Chicken
Importance of building a strong brand
- Brand vs brand-building; the latter is about creating specific associations in relation to a product or services
- A strong brand provides momentum in times of trouble and it is also a great way to capture, defend sales, market share and profit; be sure to invest time and money
Customer Journey – is the way to design your brand experience
- Brands have the power to design and shape the way they want their customers to interact with their service or product; if you leave it to chance, it would almost certainly always not end up the way you expect it to
- The journey will consist of different touch points eg. media, outlet or staff etc; think of them as different levers for your business that can create ‘Moments of Truth‘ for your customers
Perfecting the 4Fingers Experience
- Combination of levers ie. interior design, lighting music, food, price, seating, uniforms, colours, advertising, media, technology etc
- While technology is usually seen as a way to gain efficiency and save money, one should be using it as an enabler to enhance customer experience, and not primarily for the former
- Manage the micro and macro well
- Micro-level: Crafting and documenting the ideal customer journey and then scaling that across your touch points and outlets
- Macro-level: Determine your store’s best location, best use of space efficiency and design so that the economic realities behind running the business are also maximised
A few unanswered questions from Q&A session
Any specific advice to implementation of an O2O (offline to online) strategy?
Adrien: Translating a virtual brand into a physical space is really an opportunity to develop the brand story and an emotional connection with a customer. Covid-19 will mean that the use of space in malls, etc. will change considerably and allow for more pop-up opportunities. This could be an efficient way of creating multiple distribution points and taking over short-term leases. The market will remain very fluid over the next few months and any virtual brand should take the opportunity to connect with customers on the ground and then re-targeting them online.
Khai Seng: With virtual brands, scale and breadth of reach is already a given with digital, so the transition to brick-and-mortar needs to focus on the richness and depth of the customer experience. Diving deeper and considering every single touchpoint and orchestrating a holistic experience with smooth digital/physical handovers will be critical for success.
How to put our brands in the hearts of consumers and shift other brands?
Adrien: Always being responsive to customer feedback and taking a very proactive approach in constantly evolving your product to match their changing needs. Transparency will be pivotal in a post-Covid world and brands will need stay more consistent more important than ever.
Steen: Entering consumers’ hearts starts with delivering the brand’s promise. Do what you say you will do. Every customer interaction. That is getting the basics right and actively using the available touch points. In addition I would highlight social media which a brand should use as exactly that. Being social rather than using social media as an advertising channel. Instead, use it to develop and “face” for the brand that can resonate with the targeted customers.
Khai Seng: Getting a true sense of the customer and empathising with them will allow you to know what reaches deep into their hearts. Design research and ethnography are highly effective ways to do that, so I’d recommend organisations to consider the Frame and Scope and the User Journey Mapping initiatives by the DesignSingapore Council..
You can download all the slides from this session in the next section. If you’re inspired to see how design thinking can help transform your business and you’d like to find out more about available schemes to help you get started, visit this page. Or feel free to hit us up for a chat at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can also watch the video of the entire session:
With stiff competition and rising costs for labour and rental, F&B business owners need more than just an innovative food concept to survive. Hear from some of Singapore’s top homegrown F&B business owners, Adrien Desbaillets, Co-founder & Managing Director, SaladStop and Steen Puggaard, former CEO, 4 Fingers, on how they have used design thinking to help rapidly transform and rethink their businesses.
– – – – –
This programme is organised by the DesignSingapore Council and is part of the National Design Centre’s “Singapore: Our Home” programme line-up in August-September 2020.
To find out more, please visit
To find out more about DesignSingapore Council, please visit
Name: DesignSingapore Council