While it’s long been known that design is critical to product performance, companies are increasingly correlating design with bottom-line results. Organizations that have invested in top design talent and advanced design processes drive results that go beyond product performance and user experience (UX). These results can be traced directly to revenue and define design as one of the company’s chief competitive differentiators.

With nearly 50 years of experience in bringing successful products to market, Pivot International leverages leading-edge design to not only improve and perfect the products we develop but also to enhance operations and fuel bottom-line results. Our extensive portfolio includes a breadth of industry-leading innovations spanning a broad range of sectors that have put our partners on the map. From electronic consumer products to award-winning medical devices, we use advanced design applications to optimize manufacturability to help our partners efficiently scale.  

How do companies that have made design a key revenue-driver differ from their competitors, and how can your company leverage design to achieve your concrete business objectives? Here are six winning approaches.

1. Get the Entire Team Onboard

At a seasoned product design firm, it’s common practice for the entire organization to be involved in the design process — even those on the executive team. In fact, at Apple, Steve Jobs ushered in an era of the CEO as “Lead Product Designer.” In an interview, one of his close collaborators, Glenn Reid, said, “(Steve) told me once that part of the reason he wanted to be CEO was so that nobody could tell him that he wasn’t allowed to participate in the nitty-gritty of product design. He was right there in the middle of it. All of it.” Bringing your design team and key stakeholders together to work collaboratively on all aspects of design is crucial to developing and delivering a successful product.

2. Apply Design to the Bigger Picture

Companies who have mastered the art of design for driving revenue apply design not only in the business, but also on the business. It’s one thing to apply design, for example, to client deliverables or even to your own company website. It’s another thing to apply design to business operations, organizational development, and market strategy.

3. Empower Your Design Team

Design teams that are involved in critical business decisions and encouraged to collaborate with other key stakeholders have been shown to be four times more likely to originate novel concept designs and assume ownership of key features and innovations. Furthermore, their chances of reporting directly to the CEO double in companies that most effectively leverage design to drive revenue. This highlights how essential it is to empower your design team in relation to the larger product development cohort.

4. Nurture a Culture of Questions

Known for the level of autonomy it gives employees across the company, Netflix empowers product designers to question the status quo and search for new ways to grow the business. They tackle questions, for example, about how the content discovery experience can be improved. This approach inspires product design teams to build and iterate on different concepts.

5. Operate Like a Laboratory

Design teams at top companies tend to have more robust experimentation practices, like concept, A/B, and beta testing. Additionally, these teams have efficient systems in place to swiftly recruit customers for focus groups and UX testing. They are also more likely to have formalized processes for running design experiments and testing the data they generate.   

6. Mind Your Metrics

Design ROI is challenging to quantify, but high-level teams are usually those that are more likely to measure standard indicators like NPS and to design team-operations measures. USAA, for example, uses a design scorecard that includes ratings on everything from a design’s functional performance to market appeal to manufacturability.

As organizations learn the value of investing in design thinking, they need to take greater account of how effectively they’re leveraging design to drive revenue. If you’re looking for comprehensive, expert design services for a new or existing product, Pivot brings world-class talent and proven processes for ensuring that design drives bottom-line results. To request a free consultation, contact us today.