Put design at top of agenda for a competitive edge

Engineering-led companies are failing to assign enough importance to product design and, as a result, are missing out on opportunities to increase their business. Research proves that design gives a product a competitive edge, improves perceived value and boosts an organisation’s image.

Yet a recent survey carried out on behalf of Hothouse showed that only 74 per cent of engineering- led companies place enough value on design. This is not enough.

A recent Design Council report, for example, shows that 84 per cent of the UK’s rapidly growing companies embrace design for product development and 100 per cent of rapidly growing companies view design as ‘about products working well to meet customers’ needs’, yet this latter figure drops to only 68 per cent when all companies are considered.

All businesses should be following the example of rapidly growing companies and embrace the impact of design.

But, for this to happen it must be championed from the top. Boardrooms now need to consider the implications of not putting design, and, in particular, product design, top of the agenda.

Neville Pryke

Senior partner

Hothouse Product Development Partners

London SW19

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