Competitive edge through design

Design in all its forms is everywhere around us. Products, services, mobile applications and the customer experience are only part of the added value generated through design. In its simplest form, design is a way of thinking and a process for resolving problems – either known or yet to be identified – so that the interests of the end user, company, environment and society are taken sustainably into account.

Empathy, the ability to put oneself into someone else’s position, is an in-built characteristic of a designer.

On which level does your company use design?

The maturity level of a company is generally evaluated with a five-step ladder.

In companies on the top level of the ladder the design organization is well integrated into the company’s everyday operations. Guided by customer benefits and business targets, it impacts on all the company’s operations. In these enterprises design thinking and customer-centricity are an integral part of the company culture.

Companies on the second-highest step of the ladder understand the added value brought by design and know how to wmploy design agencies as strategic partners. Companies on the middle level utilize design occasionally in some operations such as in product or service design.

Companies on the second-lowest step are aware of the various competence fields of design and ready to test design in a suitable occasion. Companies on the lowest step consider design to be mainly product design without understanding how widely you can impact with it.

Only a few oat milk factories are worth a lot of money while a leading brand may be worth billions.

Joakim Karske

Where can I find help with using design?

Through our member agency search, you can look for a partner for your company in the fields of design, marketing, branding and visual design. Wherever necessary, we can provide advice on finding a suitable partner – we know our member companies well.

Design Forum Finland helps

Get to know us! Our purpose is to help Finnish businesses to grow and internationalise sustainably through design. We arrange training, provide guidance on the extensive utilisation of design, distribute information and build cooperation networks.

Facts about design

Source: McKinsey: The Business Value of Design.

Total return

+ 56 %

There is an increase of 56 % in total return to shareholders in companies that use design strategically.

Revenue growth

+ 32 %

There is a 32 % higher revenue growth in companies that use design strategically.

User experience

4 %

4 % of the surveyed companies design a seamless physical, digital and service user experience.


> 40 %

Over 40 % of the companies surveyed aren’t talking to their end-users during development.

The Stuff People Want – A New Horizon for Design in Finland

Design Forum Finland was one of the initiators in the international Stuff in Flux 2 research project where changes in consumers’ attitudes and behaviour were surveyed: what kind of expectations people have as related to stuff, i.e. physical goods.