How can the effectiveness of an organization be improved?

Most measures to support ailing companies are aiming to improve efficiency: processes are optimized, distances shortened, costs reduced – but there is hardly efficiency to be gained regarding the inner motivation. Even worse: these measures can have a negative effect on any brand aiming to engage customers in relevant experiences! In order to create holistic customer experiences all measures have to be coordinated and orchestrated taking
the customer and the staging brand into account – orchestration forms the basis for a truly effective organization. The Design Canvas guides the orchestration by verifying coherency of relevant aspects and by posing questions that support the integration of the different aspects into a common strategy. It links these measures to actionable tools that can support organizations to increase their effectiveness.

Within effective organizations, all are pulling together!

The design canvas can support in alignment and sense-making during the conception and development of branded experiences. By deliberately relating the four aspect to each other, the canvas can avoid that dislocated design activities are conducted without a common, integrated connection to the staging brand. The canvas enables a holistic view on all relevant fields in a proposition development process and can serve as a tool to orchestrate resulting design activities.

At the same time it’s a tool box that can provide the relevant methods to develop the various aspects of a branded experience. When in use, it can highlight options to improve harmonization and alignment, but it also allows to capture new and relevant insights to improve the overall brand experience and organizational effectiveness.

The Design Canvas: A method to align and orchestrate all relevant aspects in the creation and rendering of branded customer journeys.

How is effectiveness achieved?

Customers look at the effect companies have on them – on that what they experience and if that fits to them. Only that counts!
Is the effect delivered consistent and coherent throughout, it can trigger a deep customer relationship. If the effect is designed specifically and holistically to fit the brand, it can differentiate on the market place. The effect of an organization is influenced by the quality of alignment of four major aspects:


Describes the fundament of a brand, the character of an organization, it’s values, visions and promises.


Describes the customer or person the brand wants to address – regardless whether it’s a consumer, user or stakeholder.


Describes the proposition a brand makes to its target customers, or to society at large, as well as the experiences it stages.


Describes how a brand transfers it’s purpose into concrete actions and designs all touch points in line with the brand’s personality.

Organizations can excel if these four aspect are well aligned to each other, coherently designed and authentically lived. If so, they are telling a story that comes from the heart and that motivates customers to become and remain loyal to the brand!

Canvas Orientations

Market Centricity

Describes the relationship between consumers and the market, in which propositions are placed. This relationship will exist also without the organization! Those who only focus on the market, quickly end up following the actions of their competitors, rather then staying true to themselves.

Customer Centricity

Describes the relationship between an organization and their (core)customers. This relationship can exist also without a market and is based on shared values and visions. Those who only focus on their customers, quickly can lose site on market dynamics and run the risk that their propositions fall short compared to the competitors’.

Brand Centricity

Describes the relationship of a brand to itself. This relationship is fundamental, since it’s at the basis of one’s own identity. Those who only focus on themselves, quickly run the risk to become egocentric and to lose connection to the market and customers.

Design Centricity

Describes the relationship of brand experiences and the organizations’ identity. If this relationship is coherent and consistent, customers can identify with it and develop deep loyalty. Those who only focus on their design activities run the risk to develop irrelevant propositions, not answering the needs of their core customers and the market place.

Use of the Canvas

The four “W” (the aspects of a branded experience) are always considered together, never isolated: this way individual design activities for specific elements within the experience can always be connected to an over-arching strategy.

- There is no fixed starting point within the canvas: you can start at any aspect!

- For a first time use, it’s recommended to start with WHO.

- It’s important to capture all aspects and clarify the relationship amongst them. Only then a holistic and integrated approach can happen.

- In the relationship-fields you can formulate requirements that enable the relationship – these are the requirements for a brand centered design development.

- These requirements can form the basis for strategic decision-making and the creation of a ‘meta style-guide’.

- As a strategic tool, the canvas can guide in efficient deployment of design activities and validate their effectiveness (see canvas questioning).

download the canvas
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