Great design emotionally connects

Think like Apple, LUNAR Chicago chief Mark Dziersk told Kellogg School of Management students at “Design: The Ultimate Competitive Advantage,” and you’ll create powerful emotional connections between your products and your customers.

Mark shared his insights into leveraging design within an organization with 60 members of the Young President’s Organization at Northwestern University’s April 24 event, which focused on the intersection of design and business success.

“Create a compelling vision for the future of your business, be the kind of CEO who continually looks for ways to improve the company, and teach everyone in your company about design,” Mark said.

Mark urged the YPO members to view design as their brand, and to remember that those brands must constantly be tweaked and transformed. “Great design always connects emotionally,” he said, “but you have to recognize that needs change over time.”

Other lessons to take from the world’s most valuable company: Reinvent how your company does its research by looking for emotional drivers, creating effective communication at all levels throughout the organization, and consistently measure your results over time.

The young chief executives gained insights from five speakers, all of whom have used design to leverage success for themselves or others.

Crate & Barrel founder Gordon Segal spoke about creating unique value in your products and services, designer Bruce Mau showed how his program, 24HRS2MASSIVECHANGE, applies design thinking to address critical challenges, and Julio M. Ottino, dean of the Robert R. McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Sciences at Northwestern University, discussed a “whole brain” approach to engineering.

“Everyone attending understands the challenges of leveraging the power of design,” Mark says. “I think we left them with some useful insights around practical steps they can take today to make a difference.”

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