Design Matters: Why You Need Strategic Design to Grow Your Business

September 20, 2023

The most common misconception about product design is that it’s all about aesthetics. Yes, it’s true that the way a product looks is vitally important. It’s typically the first thing potential buyers notice about the product, so getting the look right is critical.

However, truly effective product design encompasses so much more than what you see on the surface. That’s where strategic design comes into play. Strategic design directly impacts every component of a business, from crystallizing the core mission to streamlining the production processes.

Design is about so much more than the visual appeal. When done right, product design powers your business’s bottom line in the most efficient and effective ways possible.

Designing with purpose

Thoughtful product design begins not with color schemes or styling, but with purpose. The look and feel of a product should tie directly back to the target audience, the business’s goals, and the brand mission. Before focusing on visual details, effective design starts by strategically defining who the product aims to serve, what problems it solves, and what makes the company fundamentally unique.

Defining the project’s purpose early in the design process will then guide and inform decision-making through the entire product development lifecycle. For example, a product’s features, materials, and visual identity should all stem from the business’s core objectives around accessibility, sustainability, innovative technology, or quality manufacturing.

When Beyond Design partnered with Ranpak, we were tasked with designing its Autofill packaging solution in a manner that aligned with the brand’s mission of sustainability and operational excellence. 

Our team designed a clean, contemporary outer shell to complement the automated internal mechanics. We established visual brand consistency through Ranpak’s existing Visual Brand Language (VBL). By partnering closely with Ranpak’s engineers, we refined the design for manufacturability and accessibility. This strategic design process created an end product consistent with Ranpak’s brand mission of resource efficiency and performance optimization.


Learn more about Beyond Design’s process of marrying design excellence with strategic thinking 


Designing to attract the right buyers

Product design plays a pivotal role in effectively reaching and meaningfully resonating with the target market. The materials, features, form factors, aesthetics, pricing, and messaging should all align closely with what appeals directly to an ideal customer.

If you design on the low end, you end up with a product that is more affordable and accessible to a broader group of buyers. Conversely, if you design on the high end, you end up with a more distinctive product that typically leverages expensive materials, resulting in a higher price point. These luxury products will attract a more selective audience and create appeal through exclusivity.

The Legacy Company joined forces with Beyond Design to modernize their WestBend brand of corded kitchen appliances. We created a unified, consistent product family designed to appeal specifically to millennial buyers. 

The clean, distinguishable lines honor WestBend’s heritage while introducing a more modern, iconic look. Extending this cohesive brand identity across over 10 appliance types not only enables cost-effective development by utilizing shared parts to reduce expenses, but also creates a more powerful product ecosystem. The consistent design among multiple products fosters a seamless harmonization in the kitchen, adding value to the overall user experience.

By leveraging modern design trends and consumer insights, we implemented purposeful branding, streamlined production, and a consistent aesthetic to attract younger buyers.


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Designing for impact

Thoughtful product design has a major influence on user experience, impacting customer loyalty and retention. By focusing on user-centric design, companies can create products that are intuitive, engaging, and delightful to use. 

For example, Beyond Design partnered with Remington to create an optimal user experience for their new shower-specific razor. Inspired by the unique textures of a whale’s throat, the ergonomic handle provides a secure, non-slip grip that enables a close, comfortable shave even in a wet shower environment. 

By focusing on the user’s needs and environment, Remington created an innovative wet shave experience without compromising comfort or control. The strategic design has helped Remington gain market share in the US and Europe by providing a superior user experience for shower shavers.

The “wow factor” of excellent product design creates memorable experiences that build brand affinity. Companies that consistently offer thoughtful user experiences tend to enjoy greater customer retention and brand loyalty. Overall, human-centric product design that focuses more on meeting user needs than solely functional requirements is a smart path to driving deeper customer connections and differentiating your brand from competitors.

Designing for the future

Innovative product design can help future-proof a business by keeping up with shifting consumer preferences and needs. Through regular design iterations and enhancements, companies can ensure their products continue meeting the evolving wants of their target market.

For example, designing products with modularity and interchangeable components accommodates customers who desire more personalization and customization. Adaptable platforms and software-centric products also have more flexibility to add features or expand functionality over time. UX research and consumer studies help designers understand emerging usage contexts, allowing them to conceive clever solutions for new user habits.

By preparing for an optimized future, you simultaneously pave the way for an optimized manufacturing process. Careful design analysis using techniques like design for manufacturability (DFM) can identify ways to optimize the production process, such as reducing the number of parts or using standardized components, aligning design with efficient manufacturing. 

Foresighted product design considers future consumer lifestyles, technological advances, and sustainability concerns. Overall, the most resilient companies stay attuned to signals of changing consumer behavior and then rapidly translate those insights into innovative product design. Rather than reacting passively, proactive design innovation equips a business to actively shape and lead market trends. Getting ahead of the competition through bold product vision and continuous renewal primes a company for lasting success.

Designing with Beyond Design – your full service partner

Thoughtful product design encompasses far more than just aesthetics. It directly impacts a company’s ability to grow. A positive user experience stems from design choices guided by strategic purpose across the entire product development lifecycle.

This is where we set ourselves apart. Beyond Design’s holistic approach goes well beyond the surface to purposeful design that’s carefully considered at every stage. We don’t just make products look cool in isolation – we collaborate with clients to define strategy, reach the target audience, streamline production, and build customer loyalty. Our commitment to the entire process makes Beyond Design uniquely positioned to be both your design and business strategy partners – all in one package. 

For both existing and new products alike, remember that design matters for every facet of your company. Partnering with the right firm can unlock immense strategic benefits and engagement. Let our expertise guide your product from a brainstorm to a viral must-have that flies off the shelves.

Ready to implement strategic design to fuel business growth? Drop us a line to get started right away.

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