Every business at some point needs a designer to create the look of their product, app, or website. But they rarely perceive design as a potential strategy builder. Design solves a specific problem. This is what should be done by every startup or business—solving the problem of their potential customers to make them real customers. For this reason, more and more companies employ Chief Designers to transform their business. So, let’s dig deeper into how the conventionally operational role of design becomes strategic, what business design is, and how it contributes to the business growth strategy.
How essential design is for the company’s success is often neglected as stakeholders can underestimate its power. Design is particularly helpful when it comes to boosting the work process inside the company and its marketing.
You may ask yourself how design can influence the workflow? The answer is simple – design thinking. You might have heard about it before as it did make some buzz and is employed by the business giants like Airbnb, PepsiCo, and Uber Eats. By introducing this method of idea generation, the companies are able to come up with innovative ideas and unconventional solutions to conventional problems.
Moreover, when you invite the design team to create a design for your company, they engage employees of different roles to the process, by making everyone contributea to the project’s success. This level of inclusivity fosters cooperation within the company and a sense of a team spirit.
The marketing role of design is more complex but not less important. Well-thought-through and professionally made design is key to the memorable brand identity. It can enhance the quality of your message and even affect people’s emotions.
Let’s be honest – business nowadays is complex. This complexity can manifest in many forms, notably in the volatility of the business environment which requires constant innovation. Companies today need a reliable strategy to navigate through this challenging environment.
Implementing design as a strategy can become an answer for companies craving for innovation and those that need the transformation of their business model. The key to that is perceiving the design as a set of principles. They are user-centeredness, empathy, future-oriented, hands-on approach, visual, co-creative, continuous testing, and iteration.
Design as a strategy can help to simplify and humanize a company’s approach to business. Moreover, by adopting the design mindset, companies become more future-oriented. Design is all about the creative process based on the research and user-centered approach. It can help businesses not only discover but also create opportunities that are backed up by reliable data.
Now that we’ve established the value of implementing a design strategy for your business model, it’s time to explore what design can actually do for your company. And as design can do magic for your business, let’s imagine it as the wizard of Oz, who can give your organization brain, heart, and courage on its journey to success.
Naturally, the purpose of any design process is creating something, something that hasn’t been done before. Designers have to think outside the box and come up with unconventional solutions to the problems defined during research. These skills and mindset can be very helpful for companies in search for innovation. The idea-generating power of design thinking has helped numerous companies— from startups to big corporations — to transform their business model and encourage employees to be more innovative.
Moreover, as we mentioned before, the business environment nowadays has become volatile and unpredictable. The competition is stiff, and companies need to go beyond conventional solutions to beat the competition and win more clients. This is where design thinking can help as it’s more future-oriented and ready to explore the unknown. At the same time, the traditional business analysis only uses already available data and proven methods.
This leads us to other merits of design as a strategy – the ability to experiment and no fear of ambiguity and the unknown. Creating something new and bringing innovation is always a risky business. You can never predict the outcome or guarantee the success of your idea if it has never been done before. The design mindset is all about this trust fall as designers have to take risks every day to create something new.
Therefore, by adopting the courage of the creative process, companies can open new doors and possibilities. The stakeholders need to create an environment within the organization that allows people to be braver and move forward without a full understanding of the problem.
Lastly, the essential part of the design mindset is putting the user to the center of the design. From user research to testing and final iteration— everything is about user experience. Only a final customer can show you what they need and how to make them like the company’s product. This level of empathy can also be a way to open new possibilities.
By analyzing the users’ pain points and their everyday issues, companies can create a product that will not only be helpful for people but also highly demanded by them. Designers can teach stakeholders and the employees how to listen to customers and find valuable insights into their needs.
Design is indispensable for companies as it not only creates a visual representation of their brand and values but also is so much more than that. Beating competition, introducing innovation, ability to experiment — the potential of design as a business strategy is endless. Everything depends on the company and how it can unleash it.
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