The Value of Design to Your Business


The Design Institute of Australia (DIA) defines industrial designers as “[Those who] develop and prepare products for manufacture... They explore solutions to meet marketing, manufacturing and financial requirements and arrive at the optimum design of a product. They consider both functional and aesthetic aspects and pay particular attention to ergonomics, those factors that relate to ease of use and human behaviour.” Industrial design, therefore, goes beyond just making products aesthetically appealing. In fact, it’s core purpose is to develop an effectively functioning product of a high quality build that is also user friendly and efficient to produce. These fundamental principles of good product design are inherently good for business. A well-functioning, high-quality, user-friendly, and appealing product improves your competitive advantage while efficient use of materials and manufacturing processes reduces production and distribution costs.


Industrial design has a positive and measurable effect on business metrics including revenue, profit, and market share. An annual survey of over 1,500 companies by the Design Council, UK measured the impact of design on revenue in a number of ways. It revealed that:

  1. For every £1 spent by “design alert” companies, revenue increased by £2.25.

  2. Companies that increased their investment in design were more likely to experience revenue growth.

  3. The chance to experience revenue growth increased by more than threefold if the company used design to lead and guide the product or service development process.

  4. Design alert companies saw an average revenue growth of £602,000

The contribution of product design to increased profits is particularly relevant because it incorporates expenditures on industrial design staff salaries or industrial design consultants’ fees and so provides clear proof that the benefits actually exceed the expenditures.

A seven year study among almost 200 manufacturing companies submitting filings to the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) demonstrated that companies with more effective industrial design (ranking done by design managers globally) outperformed their counterparts systematically. For “effective design” companies; the EBITDA (Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortisation) to Net Sales was on average 75% higher than the industry average over the seven years. Companies with less effective industrial design had a 55% lower ratio than the industry average.

The role of industrial design in creating cost savings is critical since up to 90%-95% of the product’s production costs are locked in the design stage. Cost savings can be achieved through improving the manufacturing of the product, developing new solutions to achieve specific functionality, and seeking high-quality and low cost materials. Use of design can also decrease the amount of time needed to bring a product to market.


The benefits of good product design for a businesses show that design is integral to the success of any product business in the current economic landscape. The value of industrial design can be summarised as improved product innovation, quality, and efficiency; all effects whose outcomes are greater competitive advantage, higher market share, increased revenue, greater profits, and reduced costs. For design services that deliver innovative, cost effective, and quality products contact us at our Melbourne design studio on 03 9939 8880 or