Design-driven companies perform better

The DMI Design Value Index measured design-focused publicly traded companies’ performance against the larger stock market. For a company to be counted as a design-led, it must meet six design management criteria:

  1. The organisation must be publicly traded in the US for 10+ years.
  2. The scale of the design organisation and deployment is an integrated function.
  3. Growth in design-related investments and influence have increased overtime.
  4. Design is embedded within the organisational structure.
  5. Design leadership is present at senior and divisional levels.
  6. There is a senior-level commitment to design’s use as an innovation resource and integrative force.

These criteria assessed whether design was a long term strategic priority, built into the organisation’s structure, and well resourced through hiring practices, facilities, and technologies. Qualifying companies needed a design-focused C-level executive and CEO and leadership team publicly recognising the importance of design in their work and publicity.

Simply put, design is a method of problem-solving. Whether it is an architectural blueprint, a brochure, the signage system at an airport, a chair, or a better way to streamline production on the factory floor – design helps solve a problem.

The Design Management Institute

The DMI, funded by Microsoft, identified fifteen companies that meet all six criteria, including Apple, IBM, Nike, Procter & Gamble, and Starbucks. Results showed that design-led companies outperformed the S&P 500 index by 228% over ten years.

Motiv and DMI developed eight ways in which a company could improve its performance through design:

  1. The Wow factor
  2. Brand expression
  3. Solving unmet user needs
  4. Develop better customer experiences
  5. Rethinking strategy
  6. Hardware/software/service integration
  7. Market expansion through persona development and user understanding
  8. Cost reduction

If you want to know more, view the DMI’s Design Value Index and it’s Design value system that makes use of the Capabilities Maturity Model.