That’s the mission of Rob Brown, head of Marketing, Design and Responsible Business at BBVA. He shared it with the attendees at the IV Edition of Experience Fighters, one of the most important User Experience (UX) & Innovation meetings in Spain.
Speaking to a diverse group of 400 professionals from design and UX agencies, and companies whose success is based on designing unique experiences for their products and services, Brown explained the ways in which design has been playing an increasingly relevant role within large global organizations such as BBVA.
Rob Brown explained that the Group embarked on the task of increasing the number of its design experts and already has a group of 150 designers in 11 countries, all with different specialties, who work in collaboration with the other areas of the organization. “In the past five years, we have made great progress in the use of design, compared to other competitors in the sector.”
According to Brown, being able to organize workshops with creative professionals and experts in design has become one of the driving forces in the transformation of BBVA and is something required by mobile banking. Likewise, the BBVA design team has promoted courses in Design Thinking, which are training many non-designers, to become “design thinkers” In this manner, they can apply, in their day to day work, this new way of handling projects, that puts the user (the customer) at the center of all the experience.
The BBVA executive stressed that the most attractive and innovative products and services are currently being created at companies that have integrated design into their entire organization and culture. “These companies understand that design is a competitive advantage and that all employees, regardless of their role, should begin to see themselves as a designer that contributes to improving the customer experience,” he said. At BBVA, designers are being incorporated into all the business and strategic projects.
“Our emphasis is on progressing to become an organization in which design is integrated at every area, and where all the employees put the customer first, collaborate with each other and face challenges in a creative way,” Brown explained.
A pilot project with a global scope
One of the projects that goes in this direction is the pilot program “Ambassadors of Design.” It takes a select group of change agents chosen from all the strategic areas, businesses and geographies, and supplies them with abilities and guides, through a Community of Design Practice, which will eventually reach the entire organization. Each ambassador receives intense training in design leadership, project support and coaching.
“My goal is that our more than 900 projects around the world be undertaken using Design Thinking, and that our professionals have fun doing so. BBVA is innovating constantly in its way of delivering products and services, always keeping the customers at the heart of everything we do.”
What will the future be like in BBVA, with design as the cornerstone? For Brown, this will be the work of the more than 1,000 design ambassadors that are being trained. “The change has already begun. One of the reasons I came to BBVA is that I really enjoy the challenge of transforming traditional businesses into dynamic organizations in which design is integrated. I like it when this transformation supposes a cultural change, a change in the way we work.”