January 22, 2016

How Safeway Leveraged Design Thinking and Agile Market Research to Build a Fast and Effective Innovation Process

The Safeway consumer brands insights team is responsible for both short- and long-term innovation of 16 brands within Safeway’s private label portfolio. And Safeway’s management team had given the consumer brands group the challenge of engaging their target consumers earlier and more often. Specifically, the management team wanted them to use design thinking methodologies in their upcoming innovation projects. According to the Safeway team, design thinking combines empathy for the context of a problem, creativity in the generation of insights and solutions, and rationality in analyzing and fitting various solutions to the problem context.

Safeway’s Research Goals:

  1. Find ways to implement a design thinking strategy into all future innovation research projects for consumer brands
  2. Find a way to implement design thinking strategies within an aggressive timeline
  3. Become more consumer centric and ensure ideas generated map to an identified unmet consumer need