The Value of Design Management in Business

With issues like climate change, sustainability, technological innovation, customers increasingly sharing their experience online, there is a need for forward-thinking organisations to adopt innovative ways to solve problems. This is where Design Management(DesM) comes in.

Design management connects ideas to markets, defining them and shaping them to become practical and attractive proposals for customers.

There are numerous benefits of design management both to businesses and the government. Borja de Mozata spoke of four ways it influences business:

  • Design management brings about learning and growing opportunity by increasing staff competency.
  • It leads to innovation in internal business processes.
  • DesM enables organisations achieve a perfect link between their customers and brand strategic positioning.
  • It is an explicit and measurable value for company reputation and stock market performance.

Companies that employ design management in business processes are adored by their customers; they are the businesses you see being celebrated by the media all because of the design talent that they have been able to cultivate. The advantage they enjoy in the marketplace extends well beyond soft benefits such as brand awareness and preference to key performance metrics and recorded activities that guide and enable business growth.

According to UK’s Design Council’s findings, for every £1 businesses spent on design, there is a directly attributable return on investment of more than £20 in increased revenue; the value of design as seen above, exceeds profit inflow, the benefits can be categorized into these:

The wow factor:

Great design makes your products and services more compelling to use, more aesthetically pleasing, and more relevant. Take a look at Apple and Target, two companies that have differentiated through design. They have raised the bar so high in their use of design, so much so that the public is now very much aware of what design-led companies are capable of offering.

Brand Expression:

People want to connect with a brand as an extension of themselves. It is important to connect and deepen relationships with your customers while interpreting your brand’s essence. With design management, you can achieve this.

Solving Unmet User needs:

Design emphasizes the use of empathy, creativity and The importance of these tools can’t be overstated be it in product and service development, delivery or processes. Through them, we are able to reform problems in ways that create new pathways towards innovative solutions. Identifying and capitalizing on these needs continuously through design will lead to market leadership.

Developing better customer experiences:

When designers are involved in creating customer experiences, organisations will be able to uncover and optimize experiences by perfectly satisfying the emotional and functional needs of customers. Take a look at Disney – its park and resort units; it is the fastest revenue growth division in the company all because it built a system around delighting customers.

Rethinking Strategy:

Through the use of design thinking, organisations will be able to determine the root issue of problems, consider workable solutions, rethink strategies and forge new roads towards innovative solutions. Through this, you can create new connections and drive new insights that you never had before.

Hardware/software/service integration:

Good design brings about delightful experiences, bad design, on the other hand, leads to bad experience which can lead to potential customer loss. Think about it, when you can’t easily navigate a website, you close it and look for another that will solve your needs easily; but we are happy when we can get things done fast and will most probably continue using that client. Coca-Cola has successfully achieved this.

Market expansion through persona development and user understanding:

You need to at all times, be in touch with your existing and potential customers. Design managers help companies absorb all requirements needed to capture the hearts and minds of customers as a result of their special ability to understand and interpret people.

Cost Reduction:

Using design to rethink product and service creation, you can double financial impact by harnessing profits and reducing running cost. Few companies have achieved this, two of those are HTC Sweden and Procter & Gamble.

Having seen the benefits and value of design management in your business, it is paramount to employ its strategies, methodology and processes in all-round business functions. Do you want to know how to successfully infuse design management in your organisation? join the conversation on twitter – @thecreativeturf, you can also get in touch with us, email



~inspired from DMI Winter 2013