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How a Well-Designed Design Team Can Increase Your Revenue

Posted: 03/04/2021 | Author: Jim Lochner for Creatives On Call | Tags: Guides and Resources, Thought Leadership

How a Well-Designed Design Team Can Increase Your Revenue

We humans are visual creatures. If we see information in a picture we can recall 65% of it three days later. We’re so visual that 52% of users will choose to not purchase from a website due to poor navigation and the overall aesthetics of the website (or lack thereof). Whether your company focuses on physical goods, digital products, services, or some combination of these, it’s more crucial than ever to have strong design capabilities. But can design increase your revenue? 

Let’s look at some numbers… From 2013–2018, McKinsey & Company tracked design practices of 300 publicly listed companies across multiple countries in three industries—consumer packaged goods, medical devices, and retail banking—to determine the value of design. After collecting more than 2,000,000 pieces of financial data and recording more than 100,000 design actions, they found that the revenue growth of top design performers was nearly double that of their industry peers, while shareholder return growth was 70% higher. Unfortunately, as the research was quick to point out, “An extra dollar spent on design doesn’t necessarily mean an extra dollar of output.” But with data in hand, McKinsey broke down what constitutes revenue-generating design into four overarching design themes.


Top revenue performers break down silos and make user-centric design everyone’s responsibility, utilizing cross-functional talent across the company throughout all stages of the design process. In particular, McKinsey recommends, key partners in product and engineering should be actively working with designers to shape requirements, prioritize scope, and deliver on shared goals. 


Good design is about the user experience. But over 40% of the companies surveyed admitted they ignored their end users during development. McKinsey found the key to success was accomplished by breaking down internal walls between physical, digital, and service design, and having empathy for the end user. Top revenue performers enabled customers to take part in the design process, allowing them to feed opinions to the company and each other in real time.


Whether it’s related to products, goods, or services, top design performers constantly improve, refine, and optimize their projects from strategy to launch. By continually listening, testing, and iterating, you minimize risk and produce a design that resonates with end users.


It makes sense that aligning design strategy with business strategies and objectives brings about better results. But according to McKinsey, less than 5% of leaders surveyed could make objective design decisions. Design issues got stuck in middle management or C-suite execs ignored concrete evidence and followed their gut. Top performers got management on board from the beginning and measured design performance “with the same rigor as revenue and costs.” 

* * *

As McKinsey partner Ben Sheppard said, “If you look at these actions, while they may be common sense, they’re not common practice, because they need senior management to orchestrate. They can’t be done by designers alone. And therefore, if you want to really make a shift change, you need all of your senior management on board to make this possible.”

No matter the size of your team, a well-thought-out design strategy incorporates cross-functional teams, the C-suite, and, of course, your customers. But it all starts with having the most talented designers on the team. We have creatives standing by to help.


This is a time for marketers to step up to the challenge and get creative in meeting current demands and behavior changes. Creatives On Call supports your business through this. Contact us here. We have Marketing professionals ready to start in areas including:

  • Strategy & Advisory
  • Design & Marketing
  • Content Creation & Management
  • Customer Engagement & Experience
  • Learning & Knowledge Management
  • Digital Technology & Transformation

Learn more here.

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