Allied Productions | Grand Rapids Video Production, Photography and Digital Media Agency
THE INTERSECTION OF STRATEGY AND STORY

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The Intersection of Strategy and Story

VLOG: Design Thinking and Our Video Production Process

"Our Process Digs Deeper"

We've had a few questions from readers about what we mean when we say "our process digs deeper into understand your business and your consumers" and our answer is surprisingly simple; Design Thinking. Simply put, we use the tenants of design thinking to help design our strategy, video production, and photography work.

What is Design Thinking?

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Besides being an insufferable buzzword in many corporate circles, it's a methodology comprised of the many habits, tools, and mindsets designers employ when creating products and services. The basic model revolves around gaining a deep understanding for your consumer (empathy), ideating, building (prototypes), iteration, and delivery. Stanford and their d.School popularized the methodology, along with firms like IDEO. Visit their sites for an in-depth understanding, and for access to a massive set of free tools and training opportunities. 

Why Design Thinking, and How Does it Work With Video Production and Photography?

 Journey Maps look a lot like storyboards...and some even include storyboards in their design/templates. The fit between video production or photography and design thinking is natural and powerful. Design is cross-functional within a production, across demographics, businesses and cultures because it roots itself in empathy and doing/creating "things." Nothing is more powerful than communicating through tangible artifacts/experiences and not briefs/decks. 

Journey Maps look a lot like storyboards...and some even include storyboards in their design/templates. The fit between video production or photography and design thinking is natural and powerful. Design is cross-functional within a production, across demographics, businesses and cultures because it roots itself in empathy and doing/creating "things." Nothing is more powerful than communicating through tangible artifacts/experiences and not briefs/decks. 

The methodology is a natural fit for our strategy work, but tools like Personas, Journey Mapping, Storyboards, Storytelling, and many others naturally fit into our creative process for developing (designing) video and photo content. If we can understand a the business's goals, and the consumer motivations, problems, and needs through their lens we can produce much more meaningful content. 

I'll use the Persona tool as an example. This tool helps designers synthesize a vast amount of research, and observation into a living fictional character that embodies their target consumer (there can be many personas). The persona usually includes a photo, name, description of the fictional character's life, their social, emotional, economic, and cultural drivers as well as their needs or problems. It's easy to see how this information is useful for a designer, or team looking to create a new product or service, but if you're an agency/production company having this information elevates your offering. You're not just working off of a creative brief, or executing against a set of requirements, you're making informed decisions on word choice, casting, blocking, set design, music, and a million other variables throughout the production process. 

This seems like a lot to take in...

It is. It really is. Applying these tools and methods is really a cultural/mindset change for most organizations. It means approaching your work in a different way, and re-framing most of your interactions. Design Thinking is not a step-by-step fool proof process, it's a methodology that you'll use in a structured, but unique way for each project based on the client, consumer, timeline, and budget. We can't hold your hand through the journey, but we will be using our "Not Film Tools, Tools" series to explore some examples, and ways you can incorporate into your video production, photography, and everyday work.