Product development, brand identity, and prototyping
- Company logo and brand identity
- Prototype and testing
- Advisory board
Company logo and visual identity
We decided to develop the brand identity of the company and launched a competition on 99designs. Surprisingly, 156 logo ideas were submitted, from which a selection was made.
The number and quality of the logos was a positive surprise. On the other hand, the amount of work involved on our part was significant. Participants required feedback on a regular basis about how they should improve or change their proposal to be a better fit for the need. Nevertheless, a winner was found, and we are very happy with the result.
We also updated the website and created a Finnish version at www.procurenode.fi. At the same time, we tried to simplify and clarify the content of the website to make it easier to understand. We will continuously aim to reduce professional abbreviations and terms. That’s more difficult than it sounds.
The purpose of the website is not yet to maximize the number of visitors or generate inbound leads, but mainly to provide additional information to those interested. There are not many Google searches related to procurement and therefore search engine optimization does not make sense, at least at this stage.
Prototype and testing
During March we have been focusing mainly on product development. We had the opportunity to go out and build a prototype with MEOM Venture Studio (https://www.meom.fi/). Their approach to prototyping is based on design thinking.
Design thinking is strongly linked to experimentation and learning. The picture below illustrates the process. In the Empathize phase, the aim is to understand the nature of the problem of the potential customer. Stories and emotions related to the problem are sought. These are used to define and delimit the problem.
During ideation phase, brainstorming will generate many different angles and alternative solutions regarding the problem statement. These ideas and solutions are evaluated and taken into consideration regarding the prototype. The prototype is tested, and feedback is collected.
Feedback is important and is used extensively during additional iteration rounds. Testing provides valuable information on the users, generates innovative ideas, and provides a much more precise definition of the problem itself.
The prototype and its testing were a remarkable success. We gained a considerable amount of new information that will be used in the upcoming product development phase. We received feedback on the designed user interface. All test subjects performed the given tasks without any guidance and based on this we found the interface to be intuitive.
We also received many great suggestions for improvement of the design. In addition, we were able to outline the most critical functionalities for the first product version.
It was surprising to see how much more feedback is gained from the clickable prototype than product visualizations. In addition, the possibility to click on the menus opened some observations that could not be perceived without simulating the actual use of the solution.
To develop our business, we have started to build an Advisory Board. The purpose of the function is to bring an external perspective to the business and strengthen the ability to reflect on our own activities.
The Advisory Board is a completely new process for us and involves a lot of experimentation. The agenda for the meetings needs to be clear and structured to get the most out of it. We will have targeted themes for the meetings and typically focus discussion on specific topics.
The Advisory Board brings together expertise from different areas. The well-structured and managed board will give us a significant competitive advantage. It will help us to make choices and to focus on what is important.
The topics and themes for the board are to support the planning of our market entry and the development and operation of the board itself.