Design really is good business

Many of us have promised it until we’re hoarse, but there is proof that good design strategy has a measurable impact on the bottom line. To prove it, the California College of Art compiled an index of the top 63 public companies that use design as a strategic tool. On average, they gained 274% of their value over 10 years, beating all market averages and indexes for the same time period.

From their blog, Design is the Future of Business:


“What is Design Strategy?

Design Strategy is the use of design processes, perspectives, and tools to create truly meaningful, sustainable, and successful innovation across a variety of design disciplines, including industrial, interaction, visual, experience, and fashion design. Organizations who use design strategically create lasting value beyond that of their peers. These organizations often hire high-level managers focused on design and innovation, include significant design input in strategic decisions, dedicate resources toward design-derived product and service development, and empower the design innovation functions with authority over development.

To be sure, the organizations which perform best don’t focus only on design in their product, service, and customer experience development and management. Many also create significant value through more traditional growth strategies, such as operational efficiencies, mergers and acquisitions, and technology research and development. However, each of the companies in this index places a high value on strategically using design processes to provide better customer offerings and experiences and integrate all functions of the organization more effectively.”

There are a few other indexes that track design-engaged companies, as well:

This post first appeared on Here it is Tomorrow Again, a blog I posted between 2009 and 2011.

Photo of vintage Braun appliances by Paolo Trapattoni via Creative Commons.


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