July 21, 2024

Competitive Advantage of Design Thinking

In recent times, the term “design thinking” has become popular amongst organizations. Design thinking is about understanding a complex problem and solving it through cognitive, strategic, and practical processes. Although the term “design thinking” is new, the concept has been extensively used by all great artists, musicians, scientists, engineers, and businessmen in past history. 

The unique aspect of design thinking is that it helps us systematically extract, teach, learn, and apply human-centric techniques to solve problems. Design thinking has so much importance that the world’s leading brands, Google, Apple, Amazon, Samsung, GE, etc., have adopted this approach. Today, leading universities of the world such as Stanford, Harvard, MIT, and IITs are providing design thinking training. It has become a must-have skill in the technology and business world.

In this article, we will discuss design thinking and its competitive advantages in various domains.

What is Design Thinking?

Source: Innovation Training

Design thinking is a non-linear way of looking at a complex problem and finding human-centered solutions. It is basically an iterative process in which we try to understand the user, challenge assumptions, and redefine the problems in an attempt to identify alternative ways that might not be in line with our initial understanding. In this process, we try to find as many solutions as we can, instead of looking at the barriers and impossibilities. Once we get all the solutions, we can prototype the best ones by testing them to find out the best solution to a customer’s problem.

In design thinking, the focus is entirely on human-centric solutions, and in that way, it drives innovation. There are three main challenges to solve: a product or service’s desirability, feasibility, and viability. Design thinkers must have an answer to each of these challenges.

  • Desirability: The solution must be people-centric.
  • Feasibility: The solution must be feasible for people and have a foreseeable future.
  • Viability: The solution must become part of a sustainable business model.

Businesses use design thinking to be the best in their domain. It provides them the techniques to know their customers better and consequently create products and services according to their needs. 

Competitive Advantages of Design Thinking

After discussing design thinking and its characteristics, we will now discuss the competitive advantages of it. Following are some of the advantages which businesses can enjoy while using design thinking:

Innovative and Feasible Solutions

Source: Opstart


Companies often fall into the trap of implementing ideas that bring just incremental improvements to existing products and services. Sometimes these little improvements are good, but there might be a possibility that these ideas may disrupt the business. 

By applying designing thinking, you can engage your creativity through a process designed to surface truly innovative and feasible ideas and then test them quickly. These resulting products and services have a far greater impact on industry and society.

Reduced Risk of Working on New Ideas

Source: Mars Translation

With the help of design thinking, we can work on multiple prototypes. This ensures that the new solution is fine-tuned according to the customers and end-users. It eliminates all the unviable ideas which can be risky. In this way, the new product launch is backed by rigorous thinking and testing, hence, eliminating failure.

Faster Pace of Learning

Source: Efix

In the design thinking process, multiple people from multiple departments sit together to generate high-quality ideas. Since every idea is a prototype, you can test them rapidly, which allows you to move further ahead. 

With the help of design thinking, businesses can sustain a high rate of innovation, consistently introducing new solutions and improving them.

High Revenue and ROI

Source: Digital Dealer


When businesses apply design thinking in designing and creating products and services, it helps them to get higher revenue and ROI. A recent survey by McKinsey revealed that companies got significant financial benefits by applying a human-centered design approach in their products and services. They were able to generate 32% more revenue and 56% higher returns on their investment. This extensive report verified that there could be significant financial outcomes and ROI by applying a design thinking approach to business.

Happy Customers

Source: Freshworks

When businesses actually listen to their customers and users and figure in their input while creating, they will be happier with the end product or service. 


Applying design thinking is always a great idea for your business. It gives you a competitive advantage in terms of product quality, innovation, cost, and ROI. It also reduces your risk of failing while launching a new product. Overall, design thinking has become the need of every industry in order to have an advantage over their competitors. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  1. What is design thinking?

Ans: Design thinking is a non-linear way of thinking to understand the problems and create innovative solutions based on five steps: Empathize, Define, Ideate, Prototype, and Test. It provides a solution-based approach for solving problems.

  1. What are the advantages of design thinking?

Ans: With the help of design thinking, businesses can improve the quality of their product or service, launch innovative products, increase their ROI, and reduce the risk of failure.

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