The Business of Design

From time to time inevitably everyone has to justify their existence within a corporation. “What do you do exactly?” “What value do you provide the organization?” “What impact would it have on ‘us’ if ‘we’ didn’t have ‘you’?”

When it comes to design, measuring quantifiable value can be difficult and we are often forced to use more qualitative metrics to measure the value that good aesthetics and proper design brings to a company.

In the past couple days I’ve found a couple good resources that attempt to illustrate in quantifiable terms the impact of design on an enterprise. The net net of both is a conclusion that most of us who work in the applied arts field already know… companies that are design-driven outperform those that are not. Now bring on the charts and figures!

Impact of Design on Stock Market Performance The Design Council
The design council has produced an excellent research report documenting the valuation of companies considered to be ‘design-driven’ vis-a-vis those that are not over a period of 10 years. A great test in terms a CFO can understand. Over time what is the tangible effect of design on a company and it’s shareholders The results? Design driven companies outperform the market by 200%!

“Companies recognized as effective users of design strongly outperform their peers on the stock market – that is the key finding of a ground-breaking study which has tracked a total of 166 design-led companies over ten years of UK share price activity.

A group of 63 companies, grouped into a ‘Design Portfolio’ for their consistent showing in various design award schemes, outperformed both the FTSE All Share and FTSE 100 indices by around 200% between 1994 and 2003, the study reveals.”

The Power of Design Business Week
A great feature on design house IDEO and some case studies on how they have made their clients money through good design and design process.