‘Initiative Ravensburg’ is a joint venture between Ravensburg city council and the local economic forum, effectively acting as the ‘city marketing department’.
tackle was assigned to help improve the cooperation between the ‘Initiative’ and the small, owner-run retail businesses of the city center, to better adress their specific needs and integrate them more in the development and execution of city marketing activities. Within this scope, we initiated a workshop series branded ‘Gemeinsam – besser – Ravensburg’ working together with business owners and representatives of the city marketing initiative to develop approaches for a more active cooperation between the different stakeholders.
In a first workshop defining the status quo, we collected views, emotions, needs and anticipations regarding the current situation of everybody involved. Combining narratives and visualisation, we were able to drill down to a range of challenges, their interconnections and causes, making the current state tangible and workable.
When analyzing the results, two important patterns emerged – a clear wish of the business owners to better support their collective interests by pulling together and a need for more transparent, direct and open communication about marketing measures planned by the city marketing initiative for more integration in the decision process.
Following this discovery phase, the next workshop focused on the development of ideas and concepts to work towards sustainable solutions for the perceived challenges.
Working in two groups, one group came up with a concept for better cooperation and support between the business owners to establish a lobby and create attention with joint projects. The second group combined their ideas to shorten the path communication and cooperation efforts take between Initiative Ravensburg and the business owners and make it more efficient. These approaches will now be further developed and elaborated by small workgroups dedicated to the topic.
It was great to see how even participants that at first were skeptical about our design-led approach quickly developed trust and a good deal of joy working on the challenges visually and hands-on.