The Economics of Design


In general, economies such as the UK rely more heavily on financial services to create value, while other economies such as Germany’s economy rely more on manufacturing. The products and services are good, but there is something that could increase the value of products and services in highly competitive economies. Can you guess what that is?

Of course you can. The title of this post suggests that it is design. Design does in fact help companies survive in tough economies, which helps the economies as a whole. Design can make a company more competitive, giving them a stronger presence in the international market.

In service design, things such as the manner in which business is done, how things are presented, and the follow through all can be designed to add value instead of just being passive parts of the service. With products, the effects of design are more readily visible. For example, a car with a sleek design is usually more desirable than one that has been created with design at a less than strategic level.

Why or how can design be beneficial for companies and economies as a whole, you may ask? That is because a continuous rollout of new designs is innovative. In keeping with the car example; car companies who prized design throughout the last century kept on doing well while others either went bankrupt or were taken over by others. The strongest example, however, probably comes from the fashion industry where the newest designs are all the rage while yesterday’s clothing is out.

Is design always useful? In cases such as monopolies, then design is not of importance, but in any other case it leads to a competitive advantage. Do you agree, or can you come up with contradictive examples from highly competitive economies?

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