White king chess piece knocking down a black king piece

Great design provides huge competitive advantage – but is it enough? What if your business would be Experience-Driven?

Jani Kekkonen // February 09 2021

From dating apps to online shopping, we choose services, products and people based on beauty and feeling. But the experience is more than just beauty and aesthetics. Experience is more than graphical outputs and creative concepts. Experience is not just how something looks but more about how everything works. Pioneers like Netflix, Airbnb, Google or Spotify understand that, but there is still a huge opportunity to take when it comes to converting a good design into a great Customer Experience and into actual business results.

I usually say that any business can beat the competition by creating the Experience Advantage. Anyone can create good design, products or great customers service today and therefore it does not provide any competitive advantage. This is why we need to understand the importance of Customer Experience in any businesses anywhere in the world.

There are clear business impacts when investing in design. But how, exactly, is Experience now changing businesses? And where’s the proof? And why does it matter?


Design companies outperformed the S&P Index

To start with something, according to Design Management Institute (dmi.org), companies with a strong design outperformed companies with a weak design by 219% on the S&P Index (a stock market index) over the span of 10 years. This was a fact almost a decade ago. I cannot say if the result would be the same today, but I strongly believe that the impact of a good design is not enough to provide the same competitive advantage anymore. But the experience would.


Investing in Experience

Superior business performance requires investing broadly in Customer Experience across the customer life cycle. The most successful companies know there are compelling reasons to prioritize Customer Experience to improve the odds of success. Great Customer Experience creates meaningful first impressions, helps you differentiate yourself from your competitors, solve problems, and boosts brand awareness and the bottom line

Businesses investing in Experience outperform other companies on a variety of metrics across the entire customer life cycle. There is a significant return on investment through higher average order values, to greater customer retention and advocacy.



Great Experience makes a great market share

A great Customer Experience is important because it turns potential visitors into buyers and therefore companies are investing heavily into creating a powerful Customer Experience. According to Forrester, Experience drives businesses to grow revenue 1.4 times fasters and increased customer lifetime value 1.6 times more than other companies.

If you want to draw customers’ attention and motivate them to return constantly you need to adopt the customer experience into the soul of your company. And you need to ensure a broad company adoption of this renewed role of experience in order to truly see its effect on customer experience and on the company’s bottom line. Therefore, many of the top companies are living and breathing design from the top down.


Winner organisations know that embedding Experience into everyday business practices and processes is now a necessity in order to make an impact on their business results.

The key to success comes through consumer preferences. You need to create personalised connections and engage audiences to increase your market share. Today’s consumers have an unlimited number of options just one click away and out of all possible options, they need to choose yours all over again.


Building great Experiences

While being an Experience-driven business is a proven strategy for driving long term success, it’s hard work to become one. Digital agility and experiences can be developed through continuous feedback. Investing more in consumer-based opinions generates more referrals and collects revenue much faster.


  • Define your business goal and provide an answer to the question “why – you want to become an Experience-driven business”. What is the level of urgency in your transformation?
  • You need to understand your future growth opportunities, craft a vision and roadmap, and guide your organisation through the transformation.
  • What is the level of support? The top companies are living and breathing design from the top down. An executive committee is required to transform businesses.
  • Create and validate your business ideas using lean startup and service design methodology to maximise your return on innovation.
  • Identify challenges and opportunities and deliver brand-driven signature experiences that differentiate you from the competition.


If you are trying to find the best ways to improve the performance of your current business, we at the Digitalist Group offer you a set of services. We help to identify gaps and opportunities in your Customer Experience and Employee Experience by analysing today’s experience, culture, and brand platform. We believe in the power of collaboration between your domain knowledge experts and our multidisciplinary teams. Together, we’ll ideate service improvements based on insights and experience analysis.

We want to help you deliver your brand promise to your customers across all channels because only a few organisations genuinely manage to deliver that promise in every customer encounter.