Design-Driven Innovation

30 May

Design plays an important role in business.  It creates value (Bry, 2012). Looking at The Design Ladder from Danish Design Center (DDC) shows how this topic became crucial in business recently. The three important levels of designs are: style, process and strategy. Design as style more focuses on a beauty of products whereas design in processes focuses on efficiency of delivering products and services to the market. However, design as strategy means pushing business activities in a way to make users more satisfied. Recently, design in innovation became an important topic as well.

Verganti in 2009 introduced Design-Driven Innovation. Design-Driven Innovation discusses that every product or service has a special meaning. Firms should go beyond the real features and functions of products and services and give new meanings to them (Verganti, 2009). For instance, few years ago Philips came up with a new product which is called “Wake-up Light”. The product itself is not just a normal wake-up call. Philips went beyond the real features and performance of the product as a means of waking you up and more focuses on creating another meaning for this product; wake you up in a pleasant way and make you feel better by bringing the sound of birds and light to your bedroom.

Design-Driven Innovation came from a radical innovation of meanings. Through radical innovation processes, normally those products and services were created that did not follow existing standards and more impose completely new meanings. Customers might not even expect of some products or services that their meanings are radically innovated but once they experience them, they enjoy them (Verganti, 2009).

In conclusion, companies follow different innovation strategies to achieve competitive advantage. Some firms innovate the product itself by adding more and different features to it and some other companies go further and innovate meanings of products. These firms want to gain a competitive advantage through Design-Driven Innovation and they see design not only as a style but also as a strategy.

Sara Chaharmahali


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