THE INTEGRATION OF DESIGN IN CONSULTING COMPANIES

In last years, the design has been considered one of the key differentiators factors of organizations, having gained significant visibility through Apple products or technological startups with AirBnB. The design concept itself is now much more embracing, evolving from the traditional design of products and packaging to the design of brands, business models, services, corporate strategies and experience of use as a whole.

As concepts such as user experience, service design, human centered design or design thinking has more relevance, big consultants and technology companies have been acquiring design companies. Some recent examples of these acquisitions are:

  • EY – Seren
  • Mckinsey – Lunar
  • Wipro Digital – DesignIT
  • Accenture – Fjord
  • CapitalOne – Adaptive Path
  • Facebook – Hotstudio
  • PwC – BGT

In addition to these acquisitions many companies are creating internal teams, such as IBM which is estimated to have, at the moment, the largest design team in the world.

While acquisitions by technology companies or large advertising groups are easily understandable, this recent trend of incorporating these skills into consulting companies, and even some banks, is not so obvious, but has several very relevant advantages.

Consulting companies see in these acquisitions an opportunity to improve their services, with a more global area of ​​action and a greater ability to add value by incorporating management concepts, design and engineering to deliver to their customers a comprehensive service from the definition of strategy to the design of the products/services and their implementation. This strategy is also an opportunity to remain competitive and don’t lose revenue in areas that were already part of their offer and in which they started to have competition from innovative companies at the level of design that incorporated business consulting skills. The company IDEO, a reference in design thinking is an example of this.

Although many of the above referred acquisitions focus on the ability to deliver digital services and implement digital transformation initiatives, services go far beyond the digital experience. In this way, the main benefits search by the consulting companies that incorporate design teams are:

  • Apply new methods in the conception and design of products
  • Integrate design into the long-term strategic formulation
  • Increase the portfolio of services
  • Renew and modernize the existing service offering
  • Support customers in transforming the customer experience across all channels by promoting customer satisfaction, loyalty, revenue growth, and market share
  • Increase the capacity to perform digital transformation projects
  • Have know-how to implement the strategies proposed to clients
  • Have access to a set of talents with expertise in design area

LCG is also developing one offer in this area through an established partnership with a design thinking specialist. This partnership recently allowed the presentation of a proposal on this subject to a bank present in the Portuguese market and hopes that this offer will have a great acceptance in the markets in which it operates.

References:

Big Corporations Are Buying Design Firms in Droves, WIRED (2013) – http://www.wired.com/2013/05/accenture-fjord/

The Rapidly Disappearing Business of Design, WIRED (2014) - http://www.wired.com/2014/12/disappearing-business-of-design/

Consulting Giant McKinsey Buys Itself a Top Design Firm, WIRED (2015) – http://www.wired.com/2015/05/consulting-giant-mckinsey-bought-top-design-firm/