Business Strategist Deepa Prahalad on Creating Value through Design

Business Strategist Deepa Prahalad on Creating Value through Design

For the final Y.B. Min lecture of the semester, the Center for Asian Business welcomed Deepa Prahalad, an author and business strategist specializing in opportunities at the intersection of consumer experience, technology and strategy. In her presentation, titled “Creating Value through Design: Company and Country Perspectives from East Asia,” Prahalad discussed the role of design in creating value, the ingredients of good design and how this applies to Asian countries in particular.

Prahalad discussed the success of great brands such as Apple, Nike, Coca-Cola and Samsung and how they have created awareness of the value of design to business. Design today is an important source of strategic advantage for entrepreneurs, established companies and countries. Her talk focused on case studies of how companies and countries have used design to build brands and create a sphere of influence.

According to Prahalad, strategic challenges such as co-creation, customer experience, globalization, innovation and new business model creation all require design. Today, we’re seeing a convergence of brand and design. Leading brands such as Nike, Apple, McDonald’s and Mercedes are all identifiable by their logo alone. These brands have a distinct look, feel and experience, and the experience must be valued by the consumers. Prahalad went on to address how emotional connections often lead to business results.

At the conclusion of her lecture, she highlighted the following points:

  • Behavior is as important as income
  • There is a convergence of quantitative and qualitative data
  • Looking at emotions creates obligations for companies
  • A great design still needs a great business model

Passionate about emerging markets and innovation, Prahalad has worked as a management consultant with firms from start-ups to large multinationals. She researched and co-authored the book, Predictable Magic: Unleash the Power of Design Strategy to Transform Your Business. Prahalad speaks on design strategy and emerging markets at business schools and at global and government forums on the importance of design as a competitive innovation. Prahalad received a B.A. in Economics and Political Science from the University of Michigan and an MBA from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth.