November 20, 2015

Design Driven Success

The influence and importance of design is an increasingly crucial aspect of success in the modern business world. In order to stand out among the multitude of competitors and engage consumers many companies are adopting a design-driven approach.

It’s no longer sufficient to create a product, a service, an experience, or a lifestyle that’s merely functional. Today it’s economically crucial and personally rewarding to create something that is also beautiful, whimsical, or emotionally engaging.

  • Dan Pink, A Whole New Mind (2005)

A design-driven company is focused on the user and through greater user empathy they are able to create more useful products. All of the factors of how your company’s product or service is discovered, procured, used and perceived are considered by a design-driven company and become the central influence on direction.

However this does not mean that the design department becomes a solitary dictator but that the design is embedded and considered in every aspect of the business. The worlds of design, product and marketing are crossing into each other. It’s about everyone considering the power of a message and a product.

At Dropbox their company culture consistently encourages designer and engineer collaboration. Founder Mark Delamere states, “The idea of a design driven company is that design is for the entire company, not just designers but for engineers also”.

Some of the key factors of a design-driven approach include:

  1. Design starts at the top – only the CEO can set the focus
  2. Today’s consumers want good design more than ever
  3. Watch consumers to get new ideas
  4. Design has to be embedded in every aspect of the business
  5. Need for both the big picture and a mastery of the small details

Design-driven innovation brings additional value to consumers by enabling them to connect and relate to your product, achieved through the delivery of an emotionally engaging experience or meaning. These days it is harder to foster loyalty with consumers who are constantly saturated in advertising. But by adopting an empathetic, design-driven approach in every aspect of your business you are able to differentiate, react to, attract and engage the people who can see themselves, and therefore invest, in your offering.