How Design Influences All Aspects of the Consumer Experience

Consumer Experience

With multi-channel marketing, the influence of design on the consumer experience is more evident than we may realize. The design of a brand or product impacts how consumers engage through multiple channels, thus leading to a creative and in some cases, wholly unique design per channel and known consumer preferences.

The Scoop sat down with EMS keynote speaker, P&G’s Chief Design Officer, Phil Duncan, for a fascinating segment to learn about how “design” influences consumer behavior, to explore the ways that P&G shifted during the pandemic to fully embrace innovation, and to hear Phil’s predictions on the future of design and connecting with the next generation of consumers.

For so long we believed in the exchange of the customer coming to us, but now, with everything we’ve seen, we need to go to them.

It’s one of the age-old questions for brands and marketers – how do design teams tap into the core message of a product and effectively convey it to the customer? “The success of design impact meets at the intersection of R&D (research and development) and brand organization,” said Duncan. Designers take all the fundamental elements from multiple teams, apply their design alchemy, and bring them all to life. From idea conception to product packaging to designing marketing for every outlet is top of mind for Phil and his team.

During our interview, we asked Phil how organizations can best support their design teams in planning, creativity, and production. Phil offered two key lessons:


Apply the Tenets of “Lean Innovation”

  • Duncan defines “lean innovation” as getting a product idea out to the market quickly to see if consumers are initially interested in the transaction. “If it is not delivering, reexamine how you’re innovating,’” said Duncan.
  • Fail fast and keep moving. P&G has used smaller teams and shorter development cycles, giving the design teams room to explore, and the freedom to do so.


Embrace Different Perspectives

  • By giving teams the space and support to produce the “next big thing,” you’re providing time and an experimentation phase which can ultimately sort out what is and isn’t working for a product, and more importantly, the consumer.
  • Duncan also highlighted that “complex issues take varied thinking.” Leveraging different perspectives – from team members to board members – is key to innovation.


As we discussed design and how it evolves to fit consumer needs, we also explored how P&G responded to the pandemic and the lessons it learned and is using to guide it into the future of product marketing and connecting with upcoming generations of consumers.

Resiliency, scenario planning, and fortitude are just a few things Duncan cites as ways P&G pulled through the last two, very challenging years. P&G’s top priority was keeping its own teams safe so P&G could continue to contribute to the production of the world’s health and hygiene products that were so desperately needed during the height of the pandemic. This required learning and developing new protocols which, in turn, helped P&G truly experience “innovation” at its core.

“This disruption will stick with us as we grow our business,” said Duncan; which made us pose the question, with so much emphasis on innovation, and taking time to learn and explore, what does the strategy look like for designing marketing for the next generation? Duncan replied that P&G is committed to understanding where newer consumers are coming from and where they are currently – showing up in whole new ways and with a relevant message will be meaningful to this next generation.

“By embracing learning as a strategy, you can be a force for growth and a force for good,” said Duncan. “For so long we believed in the exchange of the customer coming to us, but now, with everything we’ve seen, we need to go to them.” A good design for a brand can endure for decades, and P&G is doing just that.


For more details and our full interview with Phil Duncan, check out The Scoop interview here.


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