Why Design is One of the Most Important Parts of a Company’s Strategy?

All it takes is a single swipe for a smartphone user to end a budding relationship — or uninstall a mobile app. Large, decades-old, publicly traded companies from transportation to banking to retail are now competing head-to-head with Silicon Valley startups. New technologies come and go at a blistering pace.

Companies that want their brand to stay relevant longer than a Snapchat message must prioritize customer experience — with design at the core of that experience.


Why does design matter for the digital age?

Visually appealing, consumer-friendly interfaces are essential to making physical and digital products useful and delightful, and well-designed content is the keystone to any marketing campaign. In fact, companies that invest in design outperform their peers. Over a ten-year span, the stock price of firms that placed a premium on design excellence outpaced the S&P Index by almost 220 percent! According to Forrester data, companies that prize creativity exceed their design-negligent competitors in market share by a factor of 1.5.


Second, a strategic focus on great design is the best form of digital competitiveness. No modern business can afford to be out of touch with its customers or its differentiated brand value. Great design requires an understanding of how your brand uniquely solves customer needs. Uber, for example, harnessed the power of experience design to give customers exactly what they wanted: fast cab-hailing anytime, anywhere. Uber built a complex logistics and routing infrastructure but only became successful by designing a simple, intuitive mobile app that empowers consumers.


Leading CEOs recognize the importance of design and elevate it to the C-Suite. Nike’s CEO has design credentials, and venture capital firms like Kleiner Perkins, Accel, and Greylock are increasingly hiring design partners for the companies they invest in. 


Netflix, with its intuitive search capabilities and ready recommendations, simply out-designed the competition, thus offering a binge-worthy experience.


Or consider Yahoo!. The company famously struggled to articulate a clear identity to customers and advertisers once Google started to win the search wars. In early 2016, the company unveiled a revamped homepage in hopes of catching its competitors. But the resulting site was a hodgepodge of search features and media experiences, proving that if you are not clear about your core value, no one will buy it.


As Yahoo! and Blockbuster learned the hard way, design is far more than cosmetic; great product and marketing design are critical parts of the modern business.


Any business that hopes to stay relevant must employ design to create useful, meaningful experiences and leave lasting impressions.