Designtheorie | Attitude is essential!
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Attitude is essential!

15 Mai Attitude is essential!

Brand, Reputation and Design Management in small and medium-sized enterprises
by Prof. Dr. Brigitte Wolf

The objective of business is to make money – the objective of design is to make the world better, more comfortable and more beautiful. This may seem like a contradiction at first sight, but actually business can profit a lot from design. In national and international markets there are good examples to prove the positive influence of design on business. Design is widely used in big and global companies, but it is not used as much in small and medium-size enterprises (SMEs). Although we find great design-pioneers in the group of SMEs that have built their international success on their design-strategy we can also find other SMEs that are rather ignoring design. Of course there is a lot in-between. The differences emerge through the different attitudes of the decision-makers. Different levels of design awareness, different engagements to quality, different ideas of man and different
value systems can explain why every enterprise has a different position in the market.

Small and medium-sized enterprises form the backbone of the economy. Business magazines describe their business strategy as a sustainable model. A lot of companies are family businesses, handed over from one generation to the next, whereas big companies usually have a management which is changed if not enough profit is earned. The corporate strategies of both types are based on different value systems. On one end of the scale we find the SMEs whose strategies are based on long-term thinking and social responsibility for the company, the employees and all the others that depend on the company, like suppliers, traders and the region as a whole. They cooperate in general very closely with their customers and respond directly to their problems and wishes. They place priority on customer value. Direct communication with their stake-holders helps them to develop special products and services that match their clients’ needs. On the other end there are the global players who are mostly dedicated to the growth of shareholder value. The satisfaction of shareholder interests is no guarantee for the satisfaction of customer interests. The interests of both parties may conflict. Therefore big companies spend a lot of money and energy on market research to explore consumer interests. In order to reduce the risk they base their design … read the complete article here >>