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How to Become a Design-Driven Company




Nay Madani


Building a business that sticks out in the minds of consumers is not enough to sell a product or service without engaging with them. There are many cases where customers prioritize the experience of buying and using the product over its quality. Customer experience can be a source of competitive advantage, and design is a core capability that drives its growth. Design-driven company not only leverage design tools and processes for product design, aesthetic or functional service but even more to generate insights to make better strategic decisions.

What is a design-driven company?

Design-driven companies focus on people and always look for ways to solve customer problems by giving them what they need to create a service or product through good processes.

McKinsey reports that design-driven companies increase revenue almost twice as much as their industry counterparts.

A design-driven company will rely on design in all aspects of its business, from internal events and sales processes to all facilities. But, of course, it cannot be separated from storytelling to improve customer experience.

Design-oriented companies incorporate design into their business strategy. Design and designer performance is more than just product design. The manager is involved in the design process, and the designer is involved in the business strategy.

Why is a design-driven company a great idea?

  1. Design can be a solution.

A company running a design culture makes a strong statement, which is true. It is not about glorifying a designer as a profession but a clear commitment to putting customer needs and experience above all else. In a design-driven company, every employee is encouraged to contribute their insights to help provide a better customer experience.

  1. Everyone is a designer.

Designers are the most visible to design, but managers are also doing the same thing even though they are invisible, like designing most of the time. By allocating budgets and creating organizational structures as the company scales, they significantly impact the design process and the ability to gather and act on customer insights.

  1. Save time and money

Design-driven companies have a mindset to understand business opportunities objectively and focus on the correct problems to clarify business goals. Then, keep iterating to progress, not back and forth. 

Question to help your company transform into a design-driven culture

Creating the right design-driven company environment requires a steady process. Here are some questions that can help you through the process:

  • Is there a senior design leader with absolute authority in your company?

Hire a chief design officer or vice president of design strategy for C-level positions and support from the CEO. Ensure that design factors such as customer implications are part of any business strategy.

  • Do you review and evaluate your metrics?

Make metrics your key performance indicator. On top of reviewing design metrics regularly and often in real-time, evaluate and change your strategy in a constant test-and-learn cycle.

  • Are designers working with the right people in the organization?

Put designers to critical functions so that designs actively contribute to business decisions and experience development across the customer experience.

  • Do you understand what motivates customers?

Create a customer journey map and use human-focused design research techniques to interact with customers, uncovering their pitfalls and opportunities.

  • How can you speed up your process?

Set a challenging timeline, prioritize it, and do what you can. Sometimes speed is better than perfection.

The design will encourage the company to grow great.

Companies that strive to meet customer needs, delighting them with great experiences and outstanding aesthetics, will be rewarded with strong customer loyalty. The profit margin is even more significant. But to achieve such success, the design must be a core capability. If you need design support to fulfill your business strategy, Nice to Meet You Studio can be a partner that helps you find accurate solutions for customer experience. Our creative designers will be ready to support you!


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