Companies that use design increase their profit

Mega Mussel, the Y chair and PH lamps are examples of famous Danish designs. But design is much more, and when a company uses design strategically, it is able to improve its bottom line figures.

This is the conclusions of a new report which shows that companies also improve their exports and are far better at adjusting to a changing market if they use design to develop their organisation, strategy and capacity for innovation. The report builds on the results of the Region of Southern Denmark's design venture Design2innovate, D2i, in which Design School Kolding has played a main role.

Design School Kolding designers have educated small and medium-sized companies on how to use design. The specific outcome of the venture is that the number of companies that use design has gone up from 54 per cent to 68 per cent in three years, and Design School Kolding hopes to see this number increase further.

- The big companies do it: Grundfos is absolutely doing it, LEGO and Coloplast are phenomenal at and so are Novo Nordisk and Mærsk. But how do we get the small and medium-sized companies on board? Perhaps this is Denmark's single biggest challenge, says Elsebeth Gerner Nielsen, Rector at Design School Kolding.

Design School Kolding intends to continue the effort of disseminating the knowledge which has been acquired through research and design professional activities to even more companies. The objective is increased growth and more jobs.

The report, New-Doing, shows that:

- Companies that used design strategically over a period of ten years had a 228 per cent increase compared to other companies in the American S&P 500 index.

- 68 per cent of Danish companies experience that design influences their bottom line figures in a positive direction.

- Companies which use design expect higher growth in revenues, staff and export than companies that don't use design.