An entire 67 percent of top executives in the private sector claim that design can contribute to strengthening their company’s results over the next five years. Around half believe there is a connection between the use of design and their company’s profitability at present.
A total of 332 top executives took part in an extensive study conducted by TN Kantar on behalf of Design and Architecture Norway (DOGA).
Anita Cecilie Drabløs, Senior Advisor for Design at DOGA, is very satisfied with the conclusion that such a large percentage of business leaders associate design with profitability.
“The survey results correspond well to our hypothesis that long-term design-related efforts result in a more distinct brand, increased sales, enhanced competitive strength and more satisfied customers,” says Drabløs. She adds that a comparable survey conducted among Danish companies last year had similar results.
Long-term design-related efforts result in a more distinct brand, increased sales, enhanced competitive strength and more satisfied customers.
“Design permeates everything we do”
Flytoget (Airport Express) is considered one of Norway’s strongest brands and has ranked first repeatedly in surveys conducted by Norsk Kundebarometer (Norwegian Customer Satisfaction Barometer). Last year, Flytoget’s pre-tax results were NOK 170 million, out of a turnover of just under one billion.
“Since the company’s establishment 20 years ago, the strategic use of design has been a mainstay at Flytoget. Design permeates everything we do, from trains and uniforms to the total traveller experience, i.e. the ‘customer journey’,” says Lena Angela Nesteby, Brand and Communications Manager at Flytoget.
She says that the right use of design can provide a significant competitive advantage.
“We were one of the first to devote considerable attention to design. Naturally, this is a continuous effort. The goal is for all customers to have the same positive experience when travelling with us. This means we have to continually scrutinise our actions and ensure that everything is as it should be,” says Nesteby.
Design fosters innovation and quality
The study also shows a clear link between design efforts and a series of other qualities like degree of innovation, branding and digitisation. Those who invest most in design usually experience greater expertise in these areas than those who focus much less on design.
About the study
Goal: To assess the use of design in the Norwegian business community and study the link between a company’s design efforts and profitability. A similar survey was conducted in Denmark by the Danish Design Center.
Who: 332 interviews at Norwegian companies with more than ten employees (88 percent of the interviews were with the managing director). Profitability is a goal in the private sector, which is why companies in the public sector and non-profits were not included in this study.
Method: Phone survey involving a selection of Norwegian companies. Business information was obtained from Bisnode’s business database.
When: September 2017