5 benefits of working with an independent product design firm.

Are you looking for a fresh perspective, agility, and customized solutions for your business? Look no further than an independent product design firm. With diverse team members and the ability to adapt to various project needs, product design firms offer unique benefits that larger in-house design teams may not be able to provide. Nimble firms such as these can bring valuable contributions to any project or business venture from outside perspectives to specialized expertise. Here are the five benefits of collaborating with an independent product design firm:

1. Expert Skillsets and Services

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As businesses and society continue to evolve, it’s becoming more and more challenging to keep up. Strategic thinking and expert problem-solving are two skills that are essential for success in today’s business world. Hiring an independent product design firm is one option your organization can employ to stay on the cutting edge. These firms bring world-class problem-solving capabilities and a robust analytical toolkit built from years of experience to your most complex challenges. In addition, they have specialized skills and design services ranging from product strategy to design thinking with deep knowledge in specific functional areas such as industrial design, mechanical engineering, UX design, and packaging design. This makes them valuable subject matter experts who can provide insights and perspectives that your team may be lacking.

Product design firms don’t become experts in their fields overnight. It takes years of effort to obtain the level of knowledge that most full-service design consultants have. In that time, they have experienced, seen, or heard a great deal, from best practices to pitfalls. And if they haven’t heard of an issue or need, they will probably have some good ideas for addressing it. What makes independent product design firms so valuable is that they specialize in design strategies, trends, and methodologies. This allows your organization to focus on the work you are passionate about and qualified to do. You can also count on a product design consultant to provide constructive criticism and solve problems efficiently. Their specialized skills and deep knowledge make them strategic thinkers who can help your business succeed.

2. An Outside Perspective

Human Factors Engineers observing a mock medical procedure in a usability in THRIVELabs

It can be puzzling, at first glance, why companies wouldn’t just solve their own problems. After all, who knows the company and its products better than the employees themselves? However, there are several good reasons to bring in an outside perspective. An independent design consultant can provide unbiased judgment; because they are not emotionally attached to the company or the product. And are less likely to be caught up in the company politics that may have led to the current problem.

Hiring a product design consultant can be a game-changer for businesses stuck in a rut with their new product development efforts. Independent design firms have typically collaborated with a myriad of different companies and have likely worked through a similar problem space before, and can provide valuable perspective and insight based on what design process they’ve seen work (or not). As a result they’re more likely to develop high-quality creative solutions that bring new life to your organization – one founded on critical thinking and creative problem-solving.

3. Speed and Agility

Product Design Consulting

In today’s ever-changing world, speed and agility are essential for arriving ahead of other innovative companies. Organizations with the ability to anticipate and embrace change, rapidly generate ideas, and quickly adapt will be the ones that succeed. Unfortunately, many companies are stuck in outdated ways of thinking and struggle to keep up with the demands and speed of new product development and innovation. As such, having nimble and agile teams at your disposal is critical. Teams that can anticipate change and give your company a competitive edge throughout the development process.

Independent product design firms are especially well-positioned to deliver this much-needed agility. They are nimble thinkers who operate in a flexible and fluid structure, able to quickly mobilize and deploy the right talent to intensely focus on your challenge at hand. Free from the emotions, politics, and bureaucracy that can come with a large organization. This unburdened agility allows them to rapidly prototype user experiences, learn quickly, fail fast, and make informed decisions, helping you to be agile and better prepared to pivot swiftly in the ever-changing business landscape.

4. Future Thinking Mindset

Businesses today operate in a world of constant surprise and upheaval; ever more interconnected and fast-paced. To be successful, companies need to be future-oriented, always look for new opportunities to stay ahead and outdistance the competition. You need to think both long-term and short-term and have a vision for where you want your organization to be. But, you also need to be responsive to the here and now and know what needs to be done next to deliver the best product ideas.

That’s where independent product design firms can help bring the long-term, future-oriented mindset of ‘futures thinking’ to your problems coupled with the short-term, outcome-oriented mindset of design. Designers are exceptionally skilled at this kind of future thinking with a perspective that allows them to anticipate a variety of plausible futures and visualize them. When you take an interest in the possible, not just the actual, you open up new possibilities for your company. And by challenging stakeholders with visions of futures that are outside of what they consider ‘probable,’ you can inspire them to pursue new opportunities. Helping you to escape the organization’s gravity that can trap a team in their current thinking and liberate them to think freely and answer “where do we want to be?” and “what do we do next?”

5. Design-driven Growth

Hiring Design Consultants

If you’ve not already heard, design is good business!

The importance of design for business growth is hugely underrated, and the bottom line is that companies that use design strategically grow faster and have higher margins than their competitors. The Design Management Institutes Design Value Index (DVI) showed that companies that used design as a strategic business tool had returns 2.28 times the size of the S&P’s returns over the last 10 years. And McKinsey’s McKinsey Design Index (MDI) concluded that companies that embrace design generated 32 percent more revenue and 56 percent more shareholder returns than rivals over the same five-year period.

Businesses can no longer afford to overlook the role and importance of great design in business growth. Design is a powerful tool that can be used to drive business innovation, and independent product design firms that are strategic thinkers are perfectly positioned to help you place design at the center of your corporate strategy. Top design firms can see the big picture and make decisions that will lead to long-term success and positively impact the bottom line. They understand how their work fits into an organization’s larger ecosystem and can make decisions that align with the company’s growth goals. So if you’re looking for ways to increase your company’s growth potential, don’t forget the power of great design!

In today’s competitive marketplace, it is more important than ever to have a fresh perspective on product design and development. Partnering with an independent product design firm can bring many benefits to your business, including agility, a future-thinking mindset, and design-driven growth. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to take your organization to the next level and succeed in today’s rapidly changing business landscape.

Consider hiring an independent product design firm like THRIVE to help you stay ahead of the competition and drive long-term success. Contact us today for a consultation to learn more about how we can contribute to the success of your next project.

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SOURCES:

https://hbr.org/2014/04/design-can-drive-exceptional-returns-for-shareholders

https://www.dmi.org/page/2015DVIandOTW/2015-dmiDesign-Value-Index-Results-and-Commentary.htm

https://www.mckinsey.com/capabilities/mckinsey-design/our-insights/the-business-value-of-design

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