From the iPod to Evian water, we see the persuasive power of design in determining price points and user experiences. The challenge is how to get there. Often the true purpose of design is left forgotten, and so many business owners do not see design as a solution to their business problems.

A workshop hosted by Design For Enterprise (DFE) and Designers Association Singapore (DAS) at the MICA building on 25 January gave almost 40 participants a chance to gain insights on how to improve their business through design. The seminar was also meant to advise design buyers on how to engage professional designers, showing them the framework needed to maximise the working relationship and ensure that the right effort is applied.

Lawrence Chong, DAS President, Consulus CEO and one of the key speakers at the seminar, gave a short talk on how design went beyond the aesthetic to increase product value.

He explained that design should always have purpose and direction for it to be effective and able to transform the value of products to meet business challenges.

Participants came from a wide variety of fields, from traditional sauce makers to casino and gaming representatives, to get an idea of how good design can positively impact their business. Questions they posed reflected their interest in applying what they’ve heard.

There were even questions that members of the audience were happy to help answer. One such example was M. Ravindran from Ravindran Associates sharing his expertise on intellectual property ownership.

According to Chong, more companies in the region will aspire to own intellectual property, as Asia moves ahead to dominate the global economy. Uniquely designed products and packaging will help Asian companies own a distinct portfolio to generate recurrent revenue and sustain an advantage over low-cost manufacturers.