Design Thinking

A Route to Innovation

Design thinking has gained visibility as a route to innovative solutions. The design firm IDEO was one of the earliest companies to gain notoriety for using this process as the basis for developing new products and redesigns for clients in a wide range of industries.


At Breakthrough, we seamlessly leverage critical elements of design thinking to uncover insights and support innovation for our clients. We combine both qualitative and quantitative research to move from the divergent creative ideas to the definitive and actionable.

Understanding the Customer's Journey

Our first step is to develop a deep understanding of customer needs – not just what they say, but also how they think, how they feel, and what they do. Ethnographies, interviews, and other hands-on techniques allow us to develop an intimate level of empathy and appreciation of their journey process. The resulting insights are a springboard for why-and-how laddering and brainstorming ideation. From the many, clusters of ideas emerge that are then quantitatively tested as “concept prototypes.” We also develop segmentation hypotheses for evaluation. A second qualitative round serves as an additional iteration for concept prototype refinement and how best to communicate with a more targeted group of customers. The results come alive via customer personification and stories—recommendations you can use.
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