A quick thought on the July 4th issue of BusinessWeek, since we’ve had an ongoing discussion over at Does Size Matter? about design, it’s definitions and the different flavours of design. The focus of this issue is on The Best Product Design, while the ongoing conversations are about how good design builds brands, supports brand extensions and adds shareholder value.
My question then is, when will business take all aspects of building a brand into consideration when it looks at good design. Building a brand is so much more than just the product itself. The Catalyst awards look at the strategic aspects as well as the ROI of a product, an excellent move in this direction but it is not enough.
When we begin to look at something that for now I’m referring to as "integrated design services", that take all aspects into consideration from the website, the experience, the brand, the communications as well as the product and give an award for that, then, and only then, will design be an integral part of a corporate growth strategy. Apple comes to mind.
Still, this is an early thought and I will return to this topic soon.
Update 6/27/05 – Chris Gee brings up an interesting point in the comments section of this post that I’d like to clarify. I believe that the branding and UI folks are already leading the corporate strategy aspects, my reason for bringing this up is to articulate the need for a BusinessWeek type award for branding and interaction and user experience. That is, the so called softer skills of design, not just focus on the product design aspects. If I’m not mistaken, the existing awards are from the design point of view, not business. Please correct me if I have overlooked anything.