In brief

In brief

  • Ninety-four percent of high-performers believe relevant, innovative design is crucial to business success, compared to 68% of all respondents.
  • Living businesses know the decisions companies make when going to market are relative, and must be met with evolving expectations.
  • The win lies in finding the right balance by designing and delivering products and services that respond in real-time to customers’ evolving needs.

Companies need to look at their products, services and experiences through the lens of design. Should you develop and bring to market products that are flashy and alluring? Or do you develop products that are staid but practical?

Living businesses know that when bringing a product to market, it’s not so black and white—there are situations that will influence their strategy. They know how to identify alternative, evolving customer expectations. They know when to act on insights derived from rich consumer data to develop compelling new experiences. And they know success comes from finding the right balance and ways to deliver outcomes in real time.

Living proof

Consider, for example, how insurer Achmea Holding N.V., is targeting an underserved market segment—low-income households—by providing a product explicitly designed for them, to provide safety and improve their neighborhoods, by preventing or reducing damage from fires and burglaries.

Specifically, Achmea has developed and piloted a peer-to-peer alarm platform that makes it easier for neighbors, friends and family members to find out when there is a potential problem near them, reach one another and help each other out. The platform works by connecting a variety of home security solutions including Chuango to messaging apps such as WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger.

With initial, positive results in (declining claims from those participating and also from social housing corporations in the target area), Achmea is now planning to scale this to more households within the next several years.

In short, companies that prioritize design to meet shifting consumer demands will reap the benefits of becoming a continuously innovative and relevant organization that stays in step with consumer—and a step ahead of the competition.

How so? Among high performers:


were also more likely to have grown through innovation in areas beyond their core business.


are planning to invest more in growing through areas beyond their core business in the coming three years, compared with just 58% of all other respondents.

About the Authors

John Zealley

Senior Managing Director – Customers & Channels Function, Consumer Goods & Services Industry

Glen Hartman

Senior Managing Director – Lead for Accenture Interactive North America & Global Digital Marketing

Mark Curtis

Chief Client Officer – Fjord (Accenture Interactive)

Nikki Mendonça

Global President – Accenture Interactive Operations

Joshua Bellin

Senior Principal – Accenture Research​


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