RKS is an innovation consulting firm delivering human-focused solutions with global impact.
Founded in 1980, RKS utilizes design as a strategic tool advancing client’s ability to focus on people’s needs and aspirations while creating sustainable business results and benefits to society. Working domestically and globally and having won over 150 major design awards, RKS credits Maslow and Campbell’s work as the foundation for its systematic and pragmatic set of frameworks, setting the stage for the creation of experiences that motivate and reward audiences.
What we do
RKS collaborates to contribute value to many different categories, including: healthcare, consumer packaged goods, appliances, housewares, sustainability solutions, entertainment, consumer electronics, transportation, lifestyle accessories, industrial products, retail, social innovation and many more. We provide services that span the entire process from conception to implementation, including: research, strategy, design, engineering, brand communications and coaching. Our solutions build on business priorities while empowering and rewarding consumers, ultimately compelling them to share the joys of their experience.
The RKS team has created disruptive design and innovation for recognized industry leaders including; Unilever, PepsiCo, Intel, Apple, LG, Medtronic, JBL, Fender, Nissan, HP, and many other highly respected companies. By developing team approaches and embracing a collaborative mindset between all disciplines and stake holders, great relationships that generate great results are formed. And, when team work and ingenuity are combined with our research and strategy tools, great results are achieved time and time again.
Repeatable and Scalable Methodology:
We bring the team focus onto the psyche and psychology of target audiences and channel through our wide variety of Research methods and Strategy approaches. Ultimately our highly-evolved Psycho-Aesthetics® methodology integrates all findings of pain points and insights, and builds the narratives that identify opportunity zones and trajectories for brand and offering in ways that stake holders and contributors value.
Decades of Results:
Our legacy of accomplishment starts in 1980, at a time when the field of Industrial Design had evolved from its craft stages into a recognized profession. Through the decades, RKS has contributed to the transition into a knowledge and experience-based profession that is now strategically involved in corporate collaboration and leadership. Today we contribute the further value creation of the profession through the innovation of the Catalyst Case study Program which defines design by its best examples, to social cause and global reach.
RKS is comprised of a multi-national team of creative and business professionals with expertise in diverse fields and industries. We select from like minded high caliber professionals and firms from across the globe to collaborate alongside our designers, strategists, engineers, and MBAs to realize effective design solutions for our diverse domestic and global clientele.
RKS’ social-cultural diversity enables greater understanding of audiences, helps us better identify and understand trends, and form more integrated partnerships with our clients. This diversity also enables us to better understand how the world thinks and feels, contributing to our insights, innovations, and game-changing solutions. When the best people and right attitude are coupled with proper vision and our overarching mission inspiration, innovation and celebration become commonplace. It is our people and our processes that provide the strategy-fueled inspiration to create design that delivers, experiences that excite, and innovation that ignites viral demand.
Predictable Magic is the long-awaited publication of the inspiration RKS founder Ravi Sawhney had in the seventies while working on the first touch screen interface at Xerox (PARC). Over thirty years later, and after exhaustive study and implementation, that inspiration has emerged as an insightful business text co-authored by Deepa Prahalad and published by Wharton Business Press.
Predictable Magic has been excerpted by Business Week and lauded by Fast Company as one the best design books of 2010, while international journalists have described it as “a book that comes as an appeal to reason, especially for those who search in vain for consumer insights only among dreary research numbers and complex marketing models.” Innovation magazine’s review stated “Predictable Magic will appeal to anyone interested in reading about the success and sustained success of design projects,” while Core77 concluded, “Once the usage of a product can be turned into an emotional experience, less focus is required by the sales force because the customer base itself is evangelizing. In the era of social networking, some of these discoveries now seem evident, but RKS has been doing it for decades. Industrial designers on the cusp of the new social era would be well served to pay attention.”
Predictable Magic explains in a step-by-step process how business success is created and fostered through design as a strategic tool that powerfully connects consumer's needs and aspirations with rich and memorable experiences. Psycho-Aesthetics, the heart-beat of RKS' replicable innovation process, is brought to life for readers through the EMPOWER framework, incorporating the contributions of Abraham Maslow and Joseph Campbell, as well as illustrative success stories depicting breakthrough innovations for diverse clientele in many highly-competitive industries. The end result is a remarkably simple and strait-forward technique business and design executives can leverage again-and-again in their pursuit of consumer-centered innovation. In doing so, Predictable Magic holds revolutionary potential to help leaders from all industries foster a needed new design mentality within their boardrooms and organizations as a way of better reaching that elusive goal - Predictable Magic.
“In Predictable Magic, Deepa Prahalad and Ravi Sawhney lay out a simple but powerful methodology for turning deep consumer insights into attention-grabbing, expectation-defying designs ”
Thirsting To Do Right
RKS is the strategic partner of KOR Water, and was an early equity investor in this sustainable business because of our shared passion for their vision and mission. KOR has the right sense of culture and a sense of ethics and responsibility to the world that aligns with our own—creating designs that make consumers feel good about themselves every day of their lives.
When it comes to drinking water, people want to do the right thing—for their health and for the health of the planet. However, they need solutions to disposable bottles that work, fitting into their lives so that behaviors truly change. Sustainable hydration shouldn’t require sacrifice of style or convenience, and we’re proud to have been a partner in establishing KOR’s “Better Me, Better World” philosophy in practice through designs that consumers enthusiastically embrace.
KOR Water first engaged RKS to develop the KOR ONE Personal Hydration Vessel. Declared "one of the sexiest industrial designs of the year" by Cool Hunting, the KOR ONE became an immediate hit with the blogosphere when it debuted in June of 2009, and has been featured in major motion pictures (Iron Man 2) and on numerous television series. More recently we’ve helped KOR launch three new product lines moving down the price pyramid, all aimed at accelerating adoption and advocacy in personal sustainable hydration through considered design. Learn more at www.korwater.com.
Designing a More Successful Design Profession
Design affects our everyday lives, from programs that encourage savings, improve sustainability, and benefit the environment, to intelligent and ergonomic designs that let baby boomers live independently longer. Designers know best that they are making an incredible contribution to business, for people and for the planet; however, their knowledge wasn’t being shared with the right audiences. RKS CEO Ravi Sawhney wanted to change that, and collaborated with the Industrial Design Society of America (IDSA) to create the Catalyst program illustrating the profession’s strategic, humanitarian and ecological value. By bringing depth, clarity and transparency to the industrial design process, the Catalyst® case study program is currently working to help reveal the profound importance of the profession to business and academic audiences.
The IDSA Catalyst program provides a library of cases investigating design’s contribution to market performance and improving lives, and offers designers the tools to better make the case for their profession’s strategic value. The series of in-depth cases explore how design has been leveraged successfully to generate revenue, or to positively address the social challenges of the day using intelligence, creativity and compassion—including great design examples from Toyota, Coca-Cola, Siemens, OXO, Apple, Oral-B, Whirlpool, Black & Decker and others. The program now supports professionals and consultancy owners developing pitches to win clients, and practitioners and students in the academic world. The Catalyst case program continues to demonstrate that good design equals good business, and accelerate a broader understanding of design’s strategic impact under the leadership of IDSA’s CEO Clive Roux and current Jury Chair Bob Blaich, FIDSA. Learn more here.