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Design Thinking

Indra Nooyi


Indra Nooyi, CEO, PepsiCo

When I first came to PepsiCo, every time we talked about products for women, people would just put it in a pink bag, or put on a pink label. And I thought: Whoa! We have a problem in how we think about innovation, not just in terms of form function—the package it’s going to be put into—but how it’s going to be used and all the way back to the early stages of the value chain. I believe deep consumer insights are really important.

So one day, I gave each of my direct reports an empty photo album and a camera. I asked them to take pictures of anything they thought represented good design

… after six weeks, only a few people returned the albums. Some had their wives take pictures. Many did nothing at all. They didn’t know what design was.

  1. design is not packaging (“should we go to a different blue?”)
  2. bring a designer into the company (Mauro Porcini, fmr. 3M)
  3. rethink the entire user experience (purpose generates margins)

Market growth alone doesn’t give you enough tailwind. You have to create your own. The way to do that is by designing products for consumers that wow them. Not just the way they look, but that every aspect of what they buy delights them.


Mauro Porcini, Chief Design Officer, PepsiCo

Indra and I are really on the same page when it comes to marketing research. In many corporations, marketing research is heavily used to validate rather than to generate insights to drive innovation.

Design is to create meaningful and relevant brand experiences for our customers any time they interact with our portfolio of products

Design is a strategic function that focuses on what people want and need

As for the return, look at consumer engagement, and brand equity.

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