Who do you want your customers to become?

Sitting in Jim Kalbach’s workshop “Rapid Mapping for Sprints”, as part of Google’s Sprint Conference organized by the amazing Kai Haley and her team, I learnt about the power of maps in aligning user needs with business value.

Image by Adaptive Path

Maps, whether it be journey maps, experience maps or service blueprints, are not about the map itself (the noun) but about the mapping (the verb). They are less about the artifact and more about coming together with stakeholders and finding alignment. They are about storytelling and insight deduction. About understanding users, the roadblocks in their journey and finding opportunities to serve them.

Jim outlined several methods and tips for making actionable maps. One that stood out to me was The Ask. This is an effective technique that can be used to shift conversations. At each point in the journey ask this question: Who do we want our customers to become? For example, Google Search empowers it’s users to become expert researchers. Cannon doesn’t sell cameras, it creates photographers. Are you asking your customers to be something they want to become?

At each point in the journey ask this question: Who do we want our customers to become?

When I think about all the brands I know and love, they empower me to be someone I want to become.

So the next time you are defining a journey or building a new product or feature, think about who you want your customers to become? You might just find a new opportunity.