The Value of Great Design

Source: Apple Inc.

By Pina Mastromonaco & John Kocemba
Published: February 15th, 2021

Great design generates strong returns. Mckinsey & Company analyzed 300 companies over a 5 year period and the 25% with best design practices significantly outperformed their competitors.

 

The top 25% designed focused firms delivered:

32% higher revenue growth
56% higher shareholder return

WHAT IS GREAT DESIGN?

It is sought after products like the Swiss Army knife.  It is the simple yet empowering Google homepage.  It is a client’s experience during every step of the customer journey.

 

GREAT DESIGN MATTERS

Great design can capture the hearts and minds of your customers and vault a company into a leadership role. Great design engages audiences:

 

-75% of visitors judge a site by its design

-Most websites are judged in 50 milliseconds

-55% of visitors spend less than 15 seconds on a website

 

When COPP Branding conducted focus groups with Architects and Designers we learned quickly how dismissive this audience would be of sites that were not graphically appealing, intuitive and helpful. 

 

We also witnessed first hand on several occasions more than 30% increases in sales levels within the first six months of launching redesigned programs and retail footprints.

The Brand Value of Companies that Understand the Value of Design:

 

-Apple: $214 billion

-Google: $156 billion

-Amazon: $101 billion

-Microsoft: $93 billion

-Coca-Cola: $66 billion

 

 

Coca cola logo

 

HOW DO COMPANIES CREATE GREAT DESIGN?

Great design is never easy.  Every competitor is upping its game.  For companies to ascend to the top quartile of design focused enterprises, strong design capabilities are paramount. 

 

Great design isn’t one department in a company.  It is a company wide effort.  It is a collaboration. Its discussions with end-users.  It is iterative.  It means never being satisfied with being good enough.  It requires a company to perform on five different levels.

 

1. BRANDING IS THE STARTING POINT 

A company’s brand platform needs to be defined if the brand is to be consistent and focused. Typically a brand platform includes:

 

Core Purpose: Why a company exists.

Tesla:  The world needs to transition to sustainable energy

 

Patagonia: Caring for our planet is not in conflict with running a successful business. 

 

Vision: Where you want your company to be in the future.

Amazon: To be Earth’s most customer-centric company, where customers can find and discover anything they might want to buy online.”

 

Google: To provide access to the world’s information in one click

 

Mission: What bold moves do you need to achieve the vision.

Apple: To bring the best user experience to its customers through its innovative hardware, software and services.

 

Nike: To bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world.

 

Values: What behaviors and attitudes do you want to display?

A company’s values drive how its employees behave.

 

Positioning: How you marry Purpose, Vision, Mission and Values to create a distinctive place in your audience’s mind.

 

Tone and Manner: What is your tone? Is it calm?  Is it powerful?  Is it informal or formal?

 

What is your manner? Is it instructive?  Are you collaborative.  Are you inventive?  

 

Brand Identity: What is your look and feel? What does your logo communicate?  What do your posts say about you?  How consistent is your look? 

 

Andre Tesolin, a former colleague of mine always reminded us when we were building a brand, “How you do anything is how you do everything.”

 

A well designed brand platform is the launching pad. It helps companies focus on the things that make the customer experience better.

 
2. GREAT DESIGN FIRMS LEVERAGE METRICS

According to Mckinsey’s research, successful design obsessed  firms set design goals, track metrics, and adjust strategies based on performance at the senior levels of the organization

 
3. A CROSS FUNCTIONAL APPROACH IS CRITICAL

Top-quartile companies make user-centric design everyone’s responsibility.  Design thinking is not strictly a Marketing or IT or Product Development responsibility.

 
4. CONTINUOUS ITERATION IS CHALLENGING

According to the Mckinsey study, great design flourishes in environments that encourage learning, testing, and client feedback. Opportunities to create breakthrough experiences and reduce the risk of costly misses is the result. While at the same time there is constant pressure to speed up the process and reduce iterations

 
5. END USER FOCUS

Great design puts the user experience front and center in the company’s culture. Success is achieved by focusing on what clients deem most important and not necessarily what you assume is important.

 

Adopting this 5 point formula can lead to a doubling of the rate of revenue growth and shareholder returns over those of your competitors.

 

 

Mckinsey Study Reference: https://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/mckinsey-design/our-insights/the-business-value-of-design

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