"All businesses, no matter what they make or sell, should recognize the power and financial value of good design.
Obviously, there are many different types of design: graphic, brand, packaging, product, process, interior, interaction/user experience, Web and service design, to name but a few. ...
You see, expecting great design is no longer the preserve of a picky design-obsessed urban elite - that aesthetically sensitive clique who'd never dare leave the house without their Philippe Starck eyewear and turtleneck sweaters and buy only the right kind of Scandinavian furniture. Instead, there's a new, mass expectation of good design: that products and services will be better thought through, simplified, made more intuitive, elegant and more enjoyable to use.
Design has finally become democratized, and we marketers find ourselves with new standards to meet in this new 'era of design.' To illustrate, Apple, the epitome of a design-led organization, now has a market capitalization of $570 billion, larger than the GDP of Switzerland. Its revenue is double Microsoft's, a similar type of technology organization but one not truly led by design (just compare Microsoft Windows with Apple's Lion operating system)."
(Adam Swann, 5/03/2012, Forbes)
Fig.1 "Mille Miglia" bicycle by VIVA [http://www.vivabikes.com/].
"The IIEA is pleased to announce the publication of our latest infographic. The European Union's Response to the Euro Crisis details all of the EU's main policy responses to Europe's interlinked financial, economic and sovereign debt crisis and presents some further options that are under consideration."
(Institute of International and European Affairs, 27 January 2012)
"The Autodesk solution for Digital Prototyping enables manufacturing workgroups to create a single digital model in Inventor for use at every stage of production - bridging the gaps that typically exist among conceptual design, engineering, and manufacturing teams. With Digital Prototyping, you can get more innovative products to market faster and increase your competitive advantage."
3). Raymond Kurland (August 2010). 'Comparing the Capabilities of Autodesk Inventor Professional 2011 and SolidWorks Premium 2010 Using TechniCom's Delphi Expert Technique', A TechniCom Group LLC whitepaper.
"The purpose of the Innovation Portal is to promote and foster productive knowledge transfer between the Universities of Dundee and Abertay, the SCRI (Scottish Crop Research Institute) and Scottish industry. Its aim is to improve the competitiveness of local businesses by bringing together innovative companies with scientists, technologists and engineering experts keen to apply their expertise to the needs of industry."
(The Innovation Portal)
 Universities Scotland, 'Innovating our way out of recession'
"Design thinking is ... a discipline that uses the designer's sensibility and methods to match people's needs with what is technologically feasible and what a viable business strategy can convert into customer value and market opportunity. Like [Thomas] Edison's painstaking innovation process, it often entails a great deal of perspiration. ...
Historically, design has been treated as a downstream step in the development process - the point where designers, who have played no earlier role in the substantive work of innovation, come along and put a beautiful wrapper around the idea. To be sure, this approach has stimulated market growth in many areas by making new products and technologies aesthetically attractive and therefore more desirable to consumers or by enhancing brand perception through smart, evocative advertising and communication strategies. During the latter half of the twentieth century design became an increasingly valuable competitive asset in, for example, the consumer electronics, automotive, and consumer packaged goods industries. But in most others it remained a late-stage add-on.
Now, however, rather than asking designers to make an already developed idea more attractive to consumers, companies are asking them to create ideas that better meet consumers' needs and desires. The former role is tactical, and results in limited value creation; the latter is strategic, and leads to dramatic new forms of value."
(Tim Brown, 2008, Harvard Business Review)