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Frog’s The Business Value of Design Insights Paper

Five key resources of value

Over the last decades, businesses have evolved a greater appreciation for Human-Centered Design. Most executives can readily cite examples where design has effectively solved customer problems and delivered a decided business advantage. Yet despite the evidence showing design investments enhance customer experience and address business problems, managers are frequently challenged to define the financial benefits within the confines of traditional return on investment (ROI) analysis. How do you quantify a disruptive idea that creates an entirely new market? Or a value proposition that heads off potential new competitors? The difficulty in creating a business case for design initiatives is that benefits can be tough to measure, hard to attribute, differ by industry and even company, and pan out over a long time frame. However, it can be done. At frog, we find the most successful business cases begin with a clear and tangible proposition, are communicated through compelling stories that capture the imagination, and provide grounded measures that align with guiding business objectives. What follows is a pragmatic summary of five key sources of value that frog clients have used to effectively judge the impact of their projects. The resulting framework can help guide those charged with assessing the potential or actual benefits of a design project using key tools, metrics and considerations that help demonstrate the tangible financial advantages of making design a business priority.
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At frog, we find the most successful business cases begin with a clear and tangible proposition, are communicated through compelling stories that capture the imagination, and provide grounded measures that align with guiding business objectives. What follows is a pragmatic summary of five key sources of value that frog clients have used to effectively judge the impact of their projects. The resulting framework can help guide those charged with assessing the potential or actual benefits of a design project using key tools, metrics and considerations that help demonstrate the tangible financial advantages of making design a business priority.
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About the paper

This Insight into the Business Value of Design is intended as a reference point for business managers as they consider how best to measure and communicate the value of their design investments. The Business Value of Design Insights Paper provides a pragmatic summary of five key sources of value that frog clients have used to effectively judge the impact of their projects. The resulting framework can help guide those charged with assessing the potential or actual benefits of a design project using key tools, metrics and considerations that help demonstrate the tangible financial advantages of making design a business priority.

Increase speed to market

Increasing speed to market delivers a decided competitive advantage that enables organizations to outpace rivals or react more quickly to change. Techniques applied to increase speed to market include: rapid iteration to reduce development cycle time and quickly validate new business opportunities; co-creation with key partners, employees and end-users to accelerate innovation; and lean methods to build minimal viable products (MVPs) that are released quickly and tested with customers to gather input for further product development iterations.
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Extend market reach

Of the 30,000 or so new consumer products launched each year, some 40 percent fail.1 While there is never a guarantee of market success, design thinking helps organizations to minimize pitfalls, launch successful products, and extend market reach.

Drive engagement and loyalty

A customer experience, or CX, is the sum of all interactions a customer has with a company over time, through digital touchpoints like websites, apps or social media and physical touchpoints, like packaging or point-of-sale. The more cohesive and meaningful the CX, the more customers are willing to engage, form a relationship and remain loyal to a firm.
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Too often, customer experiences are inconsistent or frustrating. To win and retain customers, companies need to not only understand their customer experience, but also proactively imagine what is possible—and then design, implement and manage it. A three-factor framework of breadth, depth and consistency can be used to assess a customer experience. Breadth is the number of interactions with the customer. Depth measures the quality and meaning behind each interaction. Consistency ensures a cohesive feeling and promise to each interaction. As competition increases, customer experience may be the only way left for organizations to distinguish themselves in the market. Companies that focus on the breadth, depth and consistency of that experience will be rewarded over time with greater engagement, loyalty and customer lifetime value. Those who don’t risk seeing their customers leave for the competition.
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Enhance internal capabilities

Businesses, like people, can be cognitively biased. Even if decision makers say they value innovation, there is always a strong organizational desire for reliability. The status quo in successful companies remains strong because it is built on effective, reliable systems that have demonstrably worked well. The problem is that the status quo can leave a firm stranded in the present by limiting the ideas under consideration and ignoring contradictory data. The net effect is a reduction in the flow of innovative ideas and products. Collaborative processes create an environment where everyone has a role to play in innovation, sustaining a culture that imagines alternatives and helps bring them into being. By helping to build a compelling vision that appeals across divisions and drives stakeholder alignment, a design approach enablesa firm to pursue longer-term opportunities.
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Visionary transformation

Visionary transformations occur when challenges are reframed, identifying opportunities to bypass competitors and reset customer expectations. At the heart of all such transitions are teams and leaders with the courage to think broadly so as to create a long-term perspective over the wider business context. Source: paper Read and download the paper BusinessValueofDesign_2017
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