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Senior Manager, Service Design

Job ID:
Trumbull, CT
Date posted:

The Digital R&D (DRD) team is undergoing a fundamental transformation with a view to become a catalyst of the broader R&D digital transformation. During the last 4-5 years, the focus of the DRD team has been largely aimed at defining, building (in partnership with UniOps) and deploying a number of critical platforms and digital tools to help digitise R&D activities – all the way from enabling experimental data capture & data management, to virtual product simulations and recipe optimisation. Whilst these are all necessary requirements to digitise the R&D capability, the shift of focus is now towards ensuring data quality, building up capabilities in the modelling & advanced analytics space and finally digital innovation – i.e. the ability for us to leverage digital technologies and the broader ecosystem to create and deliver new value to consumers, leading also to new business models.

The Head of Service Design (reporting to the Digital Innovation Director), as part of the Consumer Facing Proposition team will play a key role in the exploration, strategy development, validation/testing as part of the Digital Innovation process across the divisions of Unilever, accelerating the venturing process and digital propositions and helping to set the pathway for commercial success of the emerging solutions within the organisation.

Who You Are And What You'll Do

This is an exciting role in a new and unique space within Unilever. You will be at the forefront of driving new thinking and approach within the Unilever organisation, as we make the transition to Digitally Enabled Consumer Propositions.

The Service Design Lead will work with the various teams in the divisions (Beauty and Personal Care, Home Care, Food and Refreshments) partnering with the relevant Digital Innovation Lead to develop out digital innovations that can address consumer needs in novel ways, drive brand preference over time and ultimately create strong commercial impact in the divisions.

Given the new nature of this type of innovations, the approach followed to create value propositions in this space will follow design thinking & lean start-up practices of build-test-learn to de-risk and ultimately scale. These innovations will be commercialized through the business divisions and therefore it is critical to build strong partnerships.

In order to achieve the desired outcome, the Service Design Lead will have the necessary skills to drive the required thinking within the category and marketing teams, to help them explore new revenue and value opportunities in the area of Digitally Enabled Consumer Facing Propositions.

Conduct User Research – work with the CMI team and insights groups (ie. Modeling and Analytics) to derive valuable insights powering the digital innovation process.

User Journey Mapping – identify consumer pain points and issues and begin to focus and prioritize critical areas for continued exploration.

The planning and execution of co-creation workshops, (ideation) – working with stakeholders across Unilever in order to derive and propose viable solutions.

Prototyping – working in with the Digital Prototyping Head to design test and validation activities to shape potential solutions and ensure correct fit (Problem/Solution and Product/Market)

Service Blueprinting – critical for the introduction of new digital engagement, products and services to the Unilever group, being able to identify the required support systems, infrastructure, delivery needs and assets to ensure success.

  • Accelerate and expand upon the Divisional strategies by implementing a Digital Innovation approach that is tailored to the requirements of each Category

  • Leverage and build upon the current process framework (InnoFlex) and tools to help define, test and validate new propositions and business models

  • Define, educate and utilise rapid prototyping tools and sandboxes to equip project teams and lead them to develop digital propositions

  • Actively create proprietary tools and frameworks to enable new Digital Consumer Facing Propositions within Unilever, with the ambition to scale this thinking across the organisation.

  • Assist in building the Service Design structure (people) and capabilities (processes/frameworks) across the globe (via our AI Hubs).

  • Create service concepts, prototypes and systems and design testing plans for validation with key stakeholders and project teams. Educate divisional project teams on the Digital Innovation process and the relevant practices (ideation, business models, prototyping and validation)

  • Actively help build the Design capabilities of the Digital Innovation team and assist in scaling these across the organisation.

  • Drive engagement with external ecosystem for the purpose of accessing technology, talent and joint innovation opportunities.   Support a culture of learning, consumer centricity, co-creation, continuous improvement and a collective spirit of purpose, fun and action.

Key Interfaces: Digital R&D leadership, Divisional R&D and Marketing teams, Head of Science & Technology, Digital Hubs (Shanghai, Bangalore, etc), Unilever Foundry and External ecosystem

What You'll Need to Succeed

  • Bachelors Degree with 8+ years of proven experience in developing and scaling digital innovations, preferably in the consumer space in either the corporate as well as start-up/scale-up experience with a strong understanding and background in Design Thinking.

  • Experience in delivering procedural change in large organizations

  • Experience in delivering procedural change in large organisations

  • Experience as innovation change agent, with a track record of influencing teams to adopt new ways of thinking & working

  • Experience in engaging with the (deep-tech) start-up ecosystem for the purpose of creating collaborative innovation

  • Strong consumer experience, with a proven ability to translate technology into product benefits and consumer needs addressed

  • Ideally, experienced in the Health & Wellbeing domain and/or Digital Technology Innovation space (corporate or accelerator/start-up)\

  • Strong skills in conducting and synthesising research, insights and findings.

  • Strong skills in structuring and visualising journey maps, service ideation, concept communication and specification.

  • Strong understanding and experience with digital innovation, business models and prototyping.

  • Strong interpersonal skills, with the ability to influence and build strong & trustworthy relationships with people from across different functions.

  • Entrepreneurial thinking – lead idea generation through to MVP and potential scaling

  • Expertise in and proven application success with Agile, Lean or Service design and other similar frameworks.

  • Solid competency in storytelling and public speaking. You are comfortable in explaining your ideas to stakeholders and to ideate the best means to present your conceptual work.

  • High degree of planning and executing User Research

  • Well versed in digital prototyping tools

  • Effortlessly employs tools and frameworks including User Journey Mapping, Co-creation workshops, North Star mapping, Service Blueprinting.

  • Understand the differences between Front stage and Back stage and how this relates to emerging digital business model


Unilever is an organization committed to diversity and inclusion to drive our business results and create a better future every day for our diverse employees, global consumers, partners, and communities. We believe a diverse workforce allows us to match our growth ambitions and drive inclusion across the business. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, age, status as a protected veteran, status as an individual with a disability, genetic information, or other applicable legally protected characteristics by federal, state, or local law. For more information, please seeEqual Employment Opportunity Posters

Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer Minorities/Females/Protected Veterans/Persons with Disabilities

Employment is subject to verification of pre-screening tests, which may include drug screening, background check, credit check and DMV check.

If you are an individual with a disability in need of assistance at any time during our recruitment process, please contact us at Please note: This email is reserved for individuals with disabilities in need of assistance and is not a means of inquiry about positions or application statuses.

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