Design-led thinking has become a real buzz word in the business realm – with companies like Apple, Sony, Coke and Nike leading the way – it takes integrating design process and design strategy into your business model to leverage your brand over the competition.
As can be seen in these market leading brands, design-led thinking has a direct correlation with their performance. These companies have a core design service employed both internally and externally.
When comprehensively adopted throughout a business, they experience statistically significant growth. They not only increase their market but also build trust, loyalty and a following around it by forming a culture.
This can be seen in the down turn Apple took a large drop in the 1990's as it lost its core design thinking. Diversifying into a confusing range of poorly designed computer models and licencing customers were unable to commit to the brand. Once they reduced the range in 1997 with the return of Steve Jobs and the return of simplified design-led thinking, the brand built a strong cultural following and commitment.
This is reinforced with the stats we found in an article we came back across from GSM Magazine published back in 2015. It shows a study of the stock market over the past 10 years displaying how design-led UK FTSE listed brands have outperformed competition by over 200% (UK Design Council study of The Impact of Design on Stock Market Performance, 2006).
For this to be successful a business must combine design-led thinking by integrating their design team into not only the creative department but also the business strategy and the dynamic culture to produce more desirable products and services – in turn faster growth and passionate customers. Consistency applied your business will have a sustainable advantage, gain market share and can even reduce production costs.
Design can drive forward every aspect of a business – from how products and services are communicated to innovations that improve the business processes and strategy – effectively becoming "an integral part of the economy."
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