Meet Morgane Le Beguet: Associate Strategy Director
Morgane, Associate Strategy Director focused on business design, brings her business background and design knowledge to every project.
In this role, Morgane leverages her business background and design knowledge to quantify the potential impact when considering design options and scenarios. She helps clients assess risks and make critical decisions about investments and go-to-market strategies, to ensure that business models are viable and products and services resonate with consumers.
We sat down with Morgane to talk about the latest advances in design research, how to apply business rigor to a design problem, and why planning a wedding in France requires management skills.
Tell us about a time you solved an intimidating design challenge.
Some of the most intimidating design challenges involve determining the future of an innovative idea and how it will become a product, brand, or business strategy. In one recent project, for example, we had to integrate an exciting new technology into a common household product that had the potential to change the way users interact with it.
I focused on building a viable business strategy—from use cases to revenue streams, ROI, and consumer benefits—while my colleague John Anderson and his team were leading the technology development. At the start, nobody knew what the product offering might look like or if consumers would go for it. With so many options to study, we introduced constraints and made educated guesses about consumer behavior, sales channels, and where the market might be headed. We used tools like discovery-driven planning and piloted experiments to test out business hypotheses and assumptions with real consumers. It was the type of challenging project that leverages the breadth and depth of talent at Smart Design and shows how disciplines including strategy, interaction design, and technology work in concert to find the best solution.
So what is business design strategy anyway?
Business design strategy refers to the application of design methodology through the lens of business. At Smart Design we conduct quantitative and qualitative research, create quick prototypes and run experiments, to come up with recommendations that solve business challenges. A well-rounded strategist knows how to layer on a business perspective to provide clients with a holistic solution—a good design that consumers want and also makes sense for the bottom line.
“A well-rounded strategist knows how to layer on a business perspective to provide clients with a holistic solution—a good design that consumers want and also makes sense for the bottom line.”
What are the new frontiers of your discipline?
I’m always in awe of how digital technology is constantly giving us new tools and platforms for market research that helps us better understand the nuances of consumers. With our clients, it’s really exciting to see how much this continues to build awareness of the value of human-centered design innovation and increases our client’s appetite to co-design with their users. We use the same tools to amplify our skill set and juice up the design process to identify trends and bring ideas to life. This will only accelerate in the years ahead, enabling us to move faster and make strategic recommendations that are more differentiated and innovative.
What is the most exciting aspect of your job?
I get to wear two hats at Smart Design which allows me to do mixed-method research and also be a business designer. In the first, my role is to work through iterative loops of qualitative and quantitative research, while in the second I add a business perspective to this process. The most exciting moment is when we can experiment and test different hypotheses until the narrative unfolds. You look at the data, discover insights, ask questions, and tap into ideas. Then after weeks of research, everything begins to make sense, and you can figure out what the strategy will be.
“A leader is a coach and a partner that deeply cares about their team’s needs—a lesson I bring to every project at Smart Design.”
What influences your work?
I started as a business consultant and helped a lot of startups with financial planning, strategy, and sales. Some were successful and others not, and that’s when I often learned the most. Yet I felt that something was missing: a closer engagement with the product itself and the consumer aspect, which is the reason I went back to school and studied design. Another influence has been the many roles I’ve had and the different leaders I’ve worked with over the years. They taught me that a leader is a strong coach and a partner that deeply cares about their team’s needs and challenges. I try to bring a little piece of my past experience to every project at Smart Design.
On a personal note, tell us about what you do in your free time.
Our very active dog Sydney— an Australian cattle dog mix —gets her exercise by running around Brooklyn as I try to keep up on my bike and my partner on a skateboard. We’re also very outdoorsy and like to get out of the city to recharge on camping trips, a favorite being Assateague Island off the coast of Maryland and Virginia. We load up the car with a lot of gear and of course, the dog, who loves to romp on the beach. I’m also tapping into my management (and design) skills to plan our wedding in the south of France this summer at a beautiful, if somewhat remote, farmhouse. It will be three days of great food, wine, and partying to reward our guests for traveling to the middle of nowhere to celebrate with us.
About Morgane Le Beguet, Associate Strategy Director
Morgane Le Beguet is an Associate Strategy Director focused on Business Design. She brings expertise in research strategy and design thinking, blending analytics and design methodologies to help clients understand markets and lead powerful transformations. Morgane has worked across multiple sectors such as consumer goods, ad tech, and hospitality. Her clients have included Citi Ventures, Google, and Jean-Georges. She holds a Bachelor’s in Business from McGill University and a Master’s in Strategic Design & Management from Parsons School of Design.