Design sprint for Danone

Creating 8 novel concepts for the Chinese food & beverage market.


Define a new strategy & develop 6-8 concepts.

The water division of Danone, a leading global food and beverage producer, wanted to define a new strategy and develop innovative concepts.

Danone reached out to Board of Innovation to facilitate their Design Thinking process. They asked us to challenge the team with our grounded cross-industry expertise in new product development, and help them develop 6-8 user-validated product concepts.

“The team from Board of Innovation was very experienced in the Design Thinking process, not only on coaching but also on facilitation to drive the result. They are passionated and dedicated.” Ivy Yang, Associated Director of the Marketing Department


Elaborated concepts for 3 main personas.

Together with Danone Waters, we set the initial challenge scope based on the behavior of the people we were aiming to serve. From an original list of 12 defined personas, we tackled 3 – those who care the most about health and beverages. We knew from experience that researching extreme-user behavior would unlock interesting user insights that we wouldn’t find by focusing on the mainstream market alone.

We ran a 5-day design sprint in Shanghai with 30 employees from 3 departments (marketing, packaging, and R&D). Using Design Thinking methodologies and user insights, we defined a specific challenge for each persona, divided the participants into 3 multidisciplinary teams, and assigned them 1 each.

For the prototyping phase, we involved an amazing bartender who translated the story of the beverages into a ready-to-taste prototype. We also brought 2 great illustrators on board to help the teams visualize their solutions, and 3 scriptwriters to help them develop a narrative/manifesto for each new concept.

At the end of the 5 days, the Danone Waters teams had developed 2-3 concepts for each persona, all of which had been validated with feedback from their target consumers.


8 validated concepts.

For each persona, the 3 teams developed 2-3 new concepts, user-tested them, and backed them up with prototypes ready for tasting, storyboards, and narratives. 

By the end of day 5, the teams had experimented with Design Thinking tools and techniques, developed pitching skills, and had gained an idea about the desirability and viability of the 8 concepts.

Following this first iteration, the core team will proceed to refine the concepts, with the aim of launching some of these concepts into the Chinese market. 

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