Study: Companies Who Invest In Design Are More Profitable

585 396 Derek Kimball

profits from design investment

Can the value of good design be measured? According to the “Design Management Institute” (DMI) and their recently released study, apparently yes. The findings from this Boston non profit group, who analyzed 10 year’s worth of data, found that companies who adopted a business model with design being a primary focus, showed far greater success in regards to increased sales, profit margins and market share growth.

As the graph below shows, design driven companies outperformed their peers in the S&P 500 by a whopping 228% over the last ten years. Some of these design centric companies include: Coca Cola, Apple, Ford, IBM, Intuit, Newell-Rubbermaid, Nike, Procter & Gamble, Starbucks, Target, Walt Disney and Whirlpool.

effectiveness of design study

Sure, the definition of “design” is slightly vague, but the study group does break things down into metrics for easier measuring. The charts and analysis get a bit confusing, but definitely worth a look; especially if you’re a business owner needing some convincing on the value of good design, or a designer looking for some data to reassure skeptical clients that spending money on branding is a worthy investment. See the design study here

“Good design” can seem subjective and nebulous…worse, it can be difficult to quantify how much design really impacts a company’s bottom line. This analysis by DMI puts numbers to what design junkies suspected all along. -Louise Cukrov

What do you think of this research? Are you familiar with any other studies? Do you find this useful? Please share your comments below. Thanks for reading.


Derek Kimball

Derek is the founder of DesignBuddy and a full time graphic designer. He specializes in logo creation and visual branding. Over the past 13 years Derek has helped hundreds of clients grow their business and establish a stronger brand identity. View his portfolio, or get in touch. If you'd like to receive an occasional free newsletter with useful design related content, please subscribe here.

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