More than ever before, design is the driver of sustainable growth for large corporations. The corporation that wants to establish an emotional bond between its brands and its customers will not be able to do that without the instrumental contribution of design. Design is the only way forward.
The challenge is twofold, though. On the one hand, design has to obtain a well- deserved seat in the boardroom. In there – where numbers are king and the pressure to succeed blurs the long-term – design will help the leadership manage the opportunities that arise rather than only the risks.
On the other hand, design will also need to look at itself. If it desires to be a fully integrated function, designers need to learn new skills. They have to become confident in designing systems that combine hardware, software, and user-generated content. They have to move out of their comfort zone of colours, materials, and finishes, and care more about the DNA of the solutions they create. They need to delight customers by providing a platform for them to build upon and create their own content, rather than boring them with a finished product upon purchase.
It will take courage for the corporate leadership to empower design to do this, but it is rewarding. Design will not only enable propositions that are new to the world, but will also make them desirable for customers. Because, when Marketing makes the proposition and Technology serves as the enabler, Design is what makes things relevant in the life of you and me.