SDN: You have over 20 years of experience in Marketing and Management. It seems like a large shift from marketing to service design. How and when first did you become interested in the service design field?
Yigit Kulabas: I believe Service Design and Marketing are tightly related. Both practices have a mega common denominator, which is the customer. In both practices you ask similar questions: “What does my customer want? What are her/his needs? How can I get her/his attention? How can we meet the expectation and satisfy them?” So from that perspective, I do not see this as a large shift. Possible outcomes for running the two practices together include increased customer loyalty, effective touchpoints, well defined customer journeys, service excellence, and growth. In addition to all of these, Service Design is an important vehicle for development of new services. There are lots of hidden services to be discovered within any product. Service design helps you to convert smart ideas into execution.
So far I worked for Microsoft, Ericsson, NCR, Oracle, and finally Turkcell. My latest role was the Chief Marketing Officer for Corporate Business at Turkcell, the leading mobile operator in Turkey. During my entire career I worked in marketing, strategy and business development roles. Service Design was always a part of the execution. We developed marketing programs, innovative new services and lots of customer engagement initiatives. I was introduced to SDN through the Service Design Global Summit. I am proud to be an active leader in this community.
As a marketing expert who is part of the service design field, how do you understand the relation between brand and service design?
Brand and service design are also tightly related. This time the common denominator is innovation. Innovation makes brands fulfill their promises. And service design plays a vital role in bringing innovation to life. The innovation can be incremental, that is to say based on existing systems, business models and paradigms. Innovation can be disruptive – based on emerging systems, business models and paradigms. But whatever the case, at the end it should be human focused. Today, Service Design is the hidden hero behind many of the disruptive innovations. In short, brand, innovation and service design are strongly connected to each other.
Along with a couple of colleges, you are now opening a new SDN chapter What do you think is the potential for the development of a SD community in Turkey?
SDN Turkey is committed to raise awareness of Service Design in Turkey. We aim to foster a community of people from different pillars of the discipline’s reach. SDN Turkey focuses value creation in three important areas: Advocacy, Education, and Connection.We will also do lobbying and evangelism at all levels.We will start with a roof-top meet & greet event for its launch on February 19. The event will be an opportunity to bring together members of the local network (professionals, agencies, and academia) and discuss service design in Turkey.
Now that you are a member of the SDN board, how do you see the Service Design Network and your role as a member within it?
SDN has a very important role in the advocacy, evangelism and development of the Service Design practice. As a network devoted to the practice, we have a huge potential to pass the “tipping point” and grow the market. I believe, it is time to realize the potential through increasing demand from the business world. As a new board member I am excited. We are on the edge of a brand transformation. It is not only a change in the look and feel of our logo or web site, but also our brand promise and the way we communicate.
SDN is happy to have you as a new member of our team. Thank you for your time!