Design. The unfair advantage.

Studies have searched for the link between design and its effect on business for many years. Previous work by Design Council (UK) and Design Management Institute (USA) coupled with a recent report by McKinsey suggests there is good evidence to make this link.

Design Management Institute tracked design-led organisations over a ten year period and found that these businesses significantly outperformed their peers. These organisations were picked because they:

  • embedded design in the organisation
  • design was invested in
  • design leadership was present at senior and divisional levels

“2015 results show that over the last 10 years design-led companies have maintained significant stock market advantage, outperforming the S&P by an extraordinary 211%”

McKinsey have measured design’s use in 300 publicly listed organisations over five years and rated it with their new ‘design index’ (MDI). Those organisations using design most effectively and consistently outperformed their peers over the period.

“Top-quartile MDI scorers increased their revenues and total returns to shareholders (TRS) substantially faster than their industry counterparts did over a five-year period—32 percentage points higher revenue growth and 56 percentage points higher TRS growth for the period as a whole.”

However, there is still room for design to further make its mark with 40% of the companies surveyed still not talking to end users as part of the development process.