How Does Design Add Value to Businesses?

“Design is everything, because without it we have no business. … There is intense competition, and anybody can design a decent product. They can’t all design outstanding products. So, design is the differentiator.”

– CEO, Pentland Brands plc

In 2013, the UK’s Design Council collaborated with Warwick Business School to publish a report that concludes design, especially when culturally embedded, as a strong driver in financial performance. It claims that every £1 invested in design leads to £20 in net turnover.


That’s something, isn’t it?


Anything that contributes to the long-term well-being of a business is considered as business value. Whether it is something tangible or not, as long as it adds to the life and success of a business, then it is a business asset that is in need of continuous improvement and safekeeping.


With many technological changes arising, keeping a business alive and thriving can be more challenging. While there is no doubt that design adds value, but how significant is it to businesses especially now that there are many ways design can be applied and can affect business elements? How exactly does design add value to your business?


Design Impacts Financial Performance

Designing a product based on the point of view of your customers is a major key in making design an asset that will help increase business value. Revenue is the lifeblood of your business. It keeps the operation alive and ongoing. Products that are created based on the customer’s insights are easier to produce and easier to sell. You can guarantee that the product will generate sales as it is designed to answer your customer’s needs.


When a product is designed for a convenient and enjoyable user experience, the product then yields better performance that translates to more purchases, downloads, visits, and usage that will eventually reflect on the financial performance of the business.


Design Can Diminish Expenses

Design and technology can have a huge influence on business costs, especially when it comes to business operations and production.


Digital transformation can help reduce business expenses. Imagine an organization that still relies on a process that’s not so sustainable, and on systems that are outdated. These factors can hurt productivity. But improved processes and systems by using effectively designed software and hardware save time and costs. For example, it is more convenient and effective to use Skype than reach out to your business colleagues through phone or fax.


Automated systems and better tools also provide better working experience for the staff. As an example, MicroCreatives is a creative outsourcing agency. We receive a number of projects that require collaboration among the creative team and the clients as well. Websites and tools like Jira and Asana are digital products designed to help employees manage their tasks. It is cost-efficient and helps employees and the management track productivity. It also offers other features such as timekeeping and open client communications.


Design Can Make or Break a Product

As mentioned, designing a product based on the customer’s point of view is the key. The next step is to get your product out in the market for the customer to purchase or use. Your target market is the group of people likely to buy your product or service. Customer value is one of the basic concepts of business value. It provides financial aspect for a business to run and is also a determining factor if a design sells or not.


Usually, the target market is a group of people that share a common denominator. Whether it is gender, age, or lifestyle, focusing your design in a factor that is shared by a large market guarantees sales. A design can be an asset to your business by prioritizing user experience. Having a product plan based on the data of your market and putting it to multiple tests can provide blueprints and solutions making a digital product marketable first-hand.


Design Inspires Innovation

Business value strives for the business’s longevity. And with the fast-paced changes in the digital world, businesses must play the game and produce new ideas and concepts to keep the business alive. Uncovering new design methods that will help them discover something new is essential.


A true test of a business is if it can roll with the changes it faces. New trends, technology, market preferences, ideas, and concepts that will answer to those changes are business values that are a challenge to produce. But conceptualizing on brand innovation can open new opportunities, revenue streams, and a wider market scope.



Ultimately, a functional and appealing design is one of the frontliners of businesses. Investing on design is necessary to improve the customers’ satisfaction and experience, as well as the employees’ or producers’ productivity and work experience, which in return can do wonders on revenues, expenses, and product reach.


Reference: Jeremy Johnson