Asian Companies able to Embrace design as a business strategy? (Part 1)
July 9, 2006 by Design Translator
Can Asian countries make better brands in the future? Our resident contributor, Brian Ling aka Design Translator, attempts to answer the question with the need to adopt design as a business strategy for Asian companies. Here is the first of the two-part series.
It’s this time of year where companies who sell products worry about what they are going to sell this Christmas. The company I work for is no exception. Projects in-progress get a swift kick in the behind, furthermore we all start scraping concepts together to prototype and show. Not the most ideal situation but at least things are happening and every year I am reminded how Santa must feel like.
As I am knee deep in design and designer management, the issue of “do companies in Asia truly understanding and embrace the value of design as a business strategy?” keeps on popping up in my mind’s eye. It’s in such a time when the truly skilled design manager can navigate the stormy waters of product development and still keep a balance between design intent and business economics.
I’m no expert in this design management thing, but after my recent in-depth discussion with the Ã¢â‚¬Å“headÃ¢â‚¬Â of the BMW DesignworksUSA Singapore studio, I must admit that its nice to be validated by an industry expert that some of what I’m doing with this design strategy is at least heading in the right direction.
ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a pity but I’m still thinking of a way to collaborate with DesignworksUSA, seeing as they have a huge font of knowledge in design strategy, but their fees are a real issue for the small to medium size companies that really need their help the most.
Anyways back to the discussion at hand. Unlike what most people in the west think, most companies in Asia (Singapore included) all know the value of what a great design can to for the company. But the real issue is that itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s not merely about designing a product, but an all encompassing 360 degree design strategy that satisfies all aspect of the companyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s requirements.
As the head of DesignworksUSA Singapore, nicely puts it to me, Ã¢â‚¬Å“creating that special magic for a brandÃ¢â‚¬Â.
Now again most companies know this or are not far off but this is much more difficult to implement so much so that designing a product actually becomes the easy part.
In part two I will lay out some of the strategies I have successfully used to implement, foster and facilitate design as a business strategy.
Find out more about SGE’s research arm: SGE Insights, providing customized in-depth research reports to help you navigate the business of technology in Asia.