Why design-led companies outperform competitors and what it means to be design-led

In our recent Driving Performance with Design Thinking webinar Red & Yellow knowledge partner, Nevo Hadas, discussed why design-led companies like Apple, IBM and Nike have significantly outperformed the S&P by over 280% over the past 10 years. In this article, we’ll look at what being ‘design-led’ means and why it has such a significant impact on performance.


So, what does being a design-centric organisation mean? Surprisingly, it has very little to do with producing great artwork or quirky marketing campaigns. At its core, being design-led is a cultural mindset that manifests itself in the way you approach problems and develop solutions.

Design-led companies spend more time figuring out what the real problem is by asking the right questions. They focus on data, research, testing and learning as opposed to just implementing based on gut feel and the assumptions held by business leaders. The result being: Less money being spent on more effective solutions over time.



The role of Design Thinking in design-led businesses

Design Thinking lies at the heart of design-centric organisations. It’s made up of a series of tools and techniques that help frame the way in which they approach problems and, ultimately, develop meaningful solutions. It’s used to identify internal challenges, customer problems, symptoms and opportunities.


Design Thinking Process


What makes it so effective? For starters, Design Thinking is a process, not a workshop. It’s not just an ideation session with sticky notes and brainstorming sessions, it’s a much more intensive process that’s backed up by extensive research, learning and testing. 


To learn more, watch the snippet from our webinar below:



Want to share in the success of design-led companies by bringing Design Thinking to your organisation? Check out our 10-week Design Thinking short course.