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Strategic design management is the process of planning product design, promotion, and management with the overall best interests of the company in mind. It is a method of creating one unified group of product designs rather than a disconnected collection of offerings. The process also includes creating designs with future needs in mind, such as upgrades, new innovation, and ease of production. Strategic design management incorporates a variety of forms of field research such as feedback from customers. The goal of the process is to create a strong, unified brand image that can be clearly communicated.
Some of the specific things that are addressed in strategic design management include the design of the product and packaging. Promotional efforts such as advertising and marketing are incorporated into the strategic process. The method also includes post-sale elements such as how to approach customer service so that it promotes, supports, and embodies the brand. Customer opinions are considered in the development of new products as well.
While strategic design management is typically pursued with the overall brand in mind, it also includes the creation of individual processes for building its various parts. This includes optimizing the design and production of each product in order to encourage customer loyalty and repeat sales. While strategic design may be applied to individual products, this is always done with the brand in mind so that the company is communicating a consistent message.
Effective strategic design management requires strong communication between different kinds of departments. In order to properly integrate the design and marketing of the product, creative, technical, and marketing professionals must be able to communicate. Companies have used a variety of tactics to manage this need. In the early days of strategic design management, many businesses hired contractors to guide them through the process. Now many companies will hire managers who are able to work in multiple disciplines and thus communicate with various departments in creating a unified brand.
Successful strategic design management gives a company the tools to innovate and thus distinguish itself in the market. It also keeps the company in tune with its targeted customers so that product development is consistently geared towards the needs and desires of that group. While promoting a stronger market position, it also encourages stronger communication among different departments in the company. This increases the effectiveness of the business overall.