Asian Companies able to Embrace design as a business strategy? (Part 1)

Sorry for the slight slow down in the blog posts recently as it has been very busy for me working late at my day job in the last couple of weeks. It is the time of year where companies 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, concepts get scraped together, prototyped and showed. Not the most ideal situation but at least things are happening and every year I am reminded how Santa and his Elves 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. It is in such times when the skilled design manager can navigate the stormy waters of product development while still keep a balance between design strategy and business economics.
I’m no expert in design management, but after my recent in-depth discussion with the “head” of BMW DesignworksUSA Singapore, I must admit that it is nice to be validated by an industry expert that what I’m doing with this design strategy thing, is heading in the right direction.
It’s a pity but I’m still thinking of a way to collaborate with DesignworksUSA, seeing as they have a huge knowledge pool in design strategy, but their fees are a challenge for those 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 how valuable a good design is to any company. But the real issue is that, it’s not merely about designing a product, but an all encompassing 360 degree design strategy that satisfies all aspect of the company’s requirements.
As the head of BMSDesignworks Singapore aptly puts, “creating that special magic for your brand”.
Again, most companies know this, and some are even not far off. However creating and implementing a great design strategy is so much more difficult, so much so that designing a product actually is the easy part.
In part two I will describe some of the things that I have successfully used to implement, foster and facilitate design as a business strategy within Asian Companies.
Link to Part 2

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