Every organisation invests in design to create and develop distinctive products and services. The development of a coherent design and marketing philosophy is essential to the achievement of a longer‐term competitive edge. However the marketing literature hardly refers to design and where it does so there is a great deal of confusion as to what design means. Design is taken to encompass styling, fashion and product development and innovation. Key findings of a major study recently undertaken by the Design Innovation Group (DIG) are reported here. The research investigated the risks and rewards of investment in design by British companies participating in the Department of Trade and Industry/Design Council′s Funded Consultancy Scheme and subsequent Support for Design Programme. The study showed that investment in design does pay. But design effort could be more fully exploited if marketing practitioners as well as other managers acquired design management skills.
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