In 2018 a study conducted by McKinsey consulting firm showed that design-led companies have 32% more revenue than other companies. After they analyzed 300 public companies over five years, McKinsey found that:

“Those with the strongest commitment to design and the most adept execution of design principles had 32% more revenue and 56% more total returns to shareholders,’’ according to McKinsey’s study.

They sustained that design is the key to differentiation, more than that, the way for the companies to succeed and for a better understanding of the customers’ needs.

On the other hand, they agreed with appointing designers in decision making roles inside a company and also suggested that the top management should pay more attention to the design ideas and embrace the design during the process.

What can you learn from McKinsey’s study?

All you should know is that design thinking has the ability to build strong emotional connections.

Design-led companies are aware that design thinking it’s about iteration and failure, otherwise you can’t get closer to your customers. These types of businesses focus on a customer-centered approach in order to build everything around their customers’ needs.

You don’t need to spend 10.000$ every month for aggressive marketing campaigns, this is what you should do instead:

I. Firstly, lower customer acquisition cost

1. Embrace user testing early

User tests take part in the learning process, so the more you know about your customers, the better, especially in the beginning. Companies should ideate, learn, build, and, at the end of the process, to launch the product, not the other way around. Think about the time and money you save by doing this.

2. Use Webflow for website development

You don’t need to hire a developer to write code, spend months on it just to build a website. Hire a visual developer who can do this faster for you, allowing your team to update the website easily without needing to pay a developer on a continuous basis.

3. Create a community

You’re not just a company, you are building a community. This is also how you increase customer lifetime value and lower acquisition costs.

4. Use social media at your advantage

Everyone is on social media. Find out where your audience spends their time the most and be there.

II. Now, increase the customer lifetime value

1. Focus on branding first and invest in it a lot

You can’t have recurring customers without branding. You’ll have competitors that will try to beat you at your product’s features, but not at your brand. Those who would try to beat you at your brand will fail.

Your true customers will notice the ones who copied your brand and will distrust them. Branding is the bridge between your product and the customers.

2. Measure the design’s impact

The companies with great results understand that design is a top-management issue, so they track their design performance the same way they do with their costs and revenues.

3. Give autonomy to designers

Creativity is problem-solving. Design is thinking made visual. It would be a shame to take these people’s creative freedom away by making them do boring tasks that don’t help them or you either. Let creatives help you solve your business problems as Spotify and Transferwise already do.

4. Put the customers and their experience first

Your brand is never finished, continue to iterate.


Remember that design is more than aesthetics. It is the thinking behind it that helps you build an emotional connection with the customers through the experience you provide to them with the help of your brand touchpoints.

Focus on doing user testing and asking for feedback every time you want to implement something new, and the brand and customer experience will get better while making sure you don’t overspend in things that don’t help anyone, especially your customers.

September 28, 2020

Andreea Encutescu

Brand & Web Designer