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Design is: A good idea!

In a world of growing complexity and abundant choice, design is the great value generator and a very good idea.

Everywhere one looks in the marketplace there is revolution and disintegration. Wave after wave of technological change and ubiquitous choice comes upon us more rapidly, engulfing us, confusing us more profoundly. Business leaders are struggling to keep pace with disruptive forces that are reshaping the manner in which they innovate new value in this so-called new economy.

Many business leaders are trapped in 20th century thinking unprepared to re-think the structures of their enterprises and flow with the changing times, while new, more agile competitors are doing it for them. Brand strategy is no longer about differentiating brands within a category, but rather designing a whole new category your brand can own.There are two dynamic realities business leaders face in the digital age:

1) ideas are more important than process.

2) move up the value chain, or be cast aside.

Nature, in the form of our economic realities, has had a wonderful way of clearing the dead wood in the system to make room for more innovative players to grow and prosper. Amazingly, as the rules of the game change in real time, improvisation and flexibility is now a useful strategic skill within organizations. It’s an exciting time rich with opportunity for those who view it as such. Indeed, opportunity is apparent everywhere. If you're running a business, defining and managing the competitive advantage of your products and services, the implications of this disruptive age are of significant importance to your future.

For your business to stay relevant, your “value proposition” will be less and less derived from attributes of product and service features, and more from the emotional connections and experiences your customers have through their interactions and associations with your enterprise. Creating these “experiences”, and the use value they offer people, is the result of the strategic and creative process of DESIGN.

Design is: a focused fanaticism to create value.

Design is, in all its disciplines (product, process, environment and communication) an essential thinking skill that must be mastered as a strategic business imperative throughout the entire enterprise. Design is not merely a decorative act.

Good design is a value generator. Design has added billions of dollars worth of market capitalization to those enterprises that understand its power and higher purpose. In the new economy, design is the soul of enterprise strategy.

You don’t have to look very far for examples of brands where this principle is applied with phenomenal results: Apple, Nike, Starbucks, BMW, Harley Davidson, Herman Miller, Target, Gillette, Virgin – every one of these enterprises are absolute fanatics about design and its fundamental importance to their business strategy.

Whatever the product or service enterprise, you’ll find design fanatics at the very top of leading organizations. Fanatics who value design as the white hot center of competitive advantage. As a result, design elevates brands above the competitive plane into the more abundant creative plane. Design leaders are not bound by the restrictions of the competitive plane (think cost and commoditization), when they are free to innovate, grow and expand by leveraging the love (think passion and devotion) customers have for their offerings.

How is the discipline of design shaping your competitive advantage?


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