Thanks to New Colombo Mobility Grant a 3rd yr group of Murdoch University Graphic Design students spent 2 weeks in Singapore working with the Salvation army to address some issues with their second-hand stores.
The team worked together to create strategies that aimed to help The Salvation Army address issues such as a lack of awareness about their second hand stores, education about the Salvos, as well as a negative stigma towards second-hand shopping. The strategies that the team co-designed with the Salvation Army aimed to re-educate the public, encourage customer interaction, and to help re-brand The Salvation Army, with the intention of promoting their community services and to inspire positive experiences.
The project began with an Initial Research Stage by investigating the Salvation Army operations in Australia and overseas.
The second phase of our research involved further developing our understanding of the needs of The Salvation Army in Singapore. Our project manager, Erica Mason, organised a meeting between our group, The Salvation Army and the Red Shield Industries’ representatives. Shortly after this, we would visit and research into the individual Salvation Army Family Hubs throughout Singapore.
We began investigating into The Salvation Army’s competitors in Singapore to help us see what works for them and how we can help The Salvation Army stand out. This was an interesting area to research because unlike Australia, where we have charities like St. Vincent De Paul and The Good Samaritans, The Salvation Army in Singapore does not have any direct competitors that do similar community work. However, we did find many stores that shared the same interest in recycling and wanting to make the shopping experience fun for customers.
During our research, we performed a few Design Thinking exercises to help us understand what resources and capabilities we have available to us. Understanding this helps us to develop an effective and appropriate strategy to address the initial problem. Parts of this exercise also enabled us to explore what The Salvation Army wishes to accomplish by addressing these issues. This furthered our empathy and passion for The Salvation Army’s work and has motivated us to see the problem on a personal level as well as a professional level.
Intentions and Visions
This exercise inspired us as a group as we got to see how our personal visions and intentions align with those from The Salvation Army. We found that we had shared ambitions to make a positive change and provide help and care to others. Having shared goals helped us to empathise with the representatives and motivated us to create the best work possible.
We went on to outline the individuals that had a relationship with the Salvation Army, as well as the depth of their connection to the group and the problem. We then looked into the relationships these stakeholders had with each other and how they would come into contact with each other. This gives us an idea of who to focus on when addressing this problem, as well as giving us an understanding of how they all connect. We can use this information to help us devise strategies that reach the right people in the right way.
Another workshop we completed with this information was to put together a table that explored our insights into various stakeholders groups. Stakeholders are groups or individuals that are affected by the operations of the Salvation Army. The table expands on what we already know about each stakeholder, what we want to happen, while also identifying any strategies that are currently in place and outlining any resources/ data that we may still need to learn more.
We also wanted to learn more about the individual stakeholders who would be affected by any changes made within The Salvation Army. In order to accomplish this, we went out to interview people who fit into the various categories of stakeholders we had established. These are some of the notes we took from these interviews.
After completing our interviews, our next step was to develop an empathy map. This exercise allows us to empathise with Singaporeans who benefit, use, or want services from the Salvation Army. We mapped out what they hear, see, do, say, as well as their pains and gains. These were mapped out in regards to their responses from our interview research conducted in Singapore. Through this, we have a deeper insight into their attitudes and behaviours towards the Salvation Army, both as an organization that provides aid, but also as a retail brand.
We developed personas based on the Stakeholder Outcomes activity to represent the more notable people from our research. A persona is defined as a specific character that is created to help us to empathise with the stakeholders and understand the issues they face when coming in contact with a brand. We used the personas we created to help us get a better grasp of our target audience for our strategies.
Redefining the Problem
After all of our research, we felt that we had a comprehensive understanding of all of the core elements of this issue. From here, we had enough information to redefine the problem.
We had collated all of our research. Now it was time to start thinking of ideas!
Developing Our Ideas
After all of our research, redefining of the problem and re-framing our thinking, it was time to develop concepts and strategies that could potentially assist with the core problems.
Together in two groups, we started thinking about potential concepts that could align with our strategy. We began to brainstorm by using our user experiences to inspire ideas on how and when a customer would come in contact with The Salvation Army. After we brainstormed in our groups, we came back together to present our ideas to each other. We worked together to see if there were any ideas that we could link or if any stood out amongst the group. Our ideas focused around history, branding and customer interaction.
Three Proposed Concepts
During this brainstorming, three main concepts stood out as the best options to potentially ease the awareness, education and branding issues that have been causing the lack of foot traffic.