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Do You Matter? How Great Design Will Make People Love Your Company Hardcover – August 22, 2008

3.8 out of 5 stars 112 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In this mostly well-argued book, industrial design expert Brunner and corporate consultant Emery (Success Built to Last) put forth a design manifesto: building a successful company is not just about the shiny end product but about designing every aspect of the customer's experience. By paying just as much attention to store design, Web sites and customer support as to the product or service being sold, a company can build an emotional relationship with its customers and so secure market share for life. They contend that design should influence every single business decision and—if done right—will lead consumers to become truly invested, and willing to pay extra. The authors return again and again to several well-known brand names as exemplars of their theory. Ikea, Samsung and Whole Foods are all given props, though highest praise is reserved for Brunner's old employer, Apple, so much so that at times this book reads like an Apple promotional product. Combining their knowledge of design, organizational structure, branding and product placement, the authors have essentially repackaged a simple idea: the customer's feelings matter. (Sept.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From the Back Cover

“Definitely, a game changer! Design experience is the power shift to our era what mass marketing was to the last century.”

John Sculley  former CEO, Pepsi and Apple


“Great design is about creating a deep relationship with your customers. If you don’t, you’re roadkill. This book shows you how and much, much more. Be prepared to have your mind blown.”

Bill Burnett  Executive Director, Design Program, Stanford University


“Design is the last great differentiator, and yet so few really understand it. Do You Matter? offers a marvelous series of direct, in-your-face observations and drives home the means to an absolutely integrated design strategy.”

Ray Riley  Design GM, Entertainment and Devices, Microsoft


“This book will challenge you to ask and answer what arguably are the most important questions an executive can ponder today. So open up.” 

Noah Kerner  CEO, Noise and coauthor, Chasing Cool


More and more companies are coming to understand the competitive advantage offered by outstanding design. With this, you can create products, services, and experiences that truly matter to your customers' lives and thereby drive powerful, sustainable improvements in business performance. But delivering great designs is not easy. Many companies accomplish it once, or twice; few do it consistently. The secret: building a truly design-driven business, in which design is central to everything you do. Do You Matter? shows how to do precisely that. Legendary industrial designer Robert Brunner (who laid the groundwork for Apple's brilliant design language) and Stewart Emery (Success Built to Last) begin by making an incontrovertible case for the power of design in making emotional connections, deepening relationships, and strengthening brands. You'll learn what it really means to be "design-driven" and how that translates into action at Nike, Apple, BMW and IKEA. You'll learn design-driven techniques for managing your entire experience chain; define effective design strategies and languages; and learn how to manage design from the top, encouraging "risky" design innovations that lead to entirely new markets. The authors show how (and how not) to use research; how to extend design values into marketing, manufacturing, and beyond; and how to keep building on your progress, truly "baking" design into all your processes and culture.


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: FT Press; 1 edition (August 22, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0137142447
  • ISBN-13: 978-0137142446
  • Product Dimensions: 5.7 x 1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (112 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #647,119 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By fatmav VINE VOICE on September 25, 2008
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
The two major premises of the book are that design is important and that design should be approached as a process instead of an event. It is not just about the features of the item under design, be it a product or a building. Instead, it is about the whole user experience, physically and emotionally; the latter of which is what defines a great design. (There is a third premise, which is that good design is not easy. I don't think this needs to be argued for.)

The book uses a lot of tech products as examples, many of which I have personal experience with. While the "whole user experience" point is valid, I am not so sure about the authors' judgement on some of the "successes" to the point that I wonder if they have actually experienced those items themselves. (Or maybe I just happen to have bad luck with many tech products, some of which are touted as "it just works"?) In any case, point well taken.

As for the non-tech examples, I find that most of them strike a chord with my experience. The FiveBucks story on p87 leaves me chuckling as an ex-customer. The Washington-Dulles airport experience on p21 and the W hotel story on p150 are both very real. Becoming aware of many things about my daily life is the most rewarding part of reading this book.

Overall, I would say that the book has successfully put together a collection of short stories that argues for its premises. However, I must note one thing that I really don't like about the physical aspect of the book itself: the text is printed too close to the hardcover binding that at times it makes for an awkward reading experience. You would think that a book about design has been designed as well. I am sure the authors won't mind I take one star off because of this less-than-stellar reading experience of their book. :P
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
"Do You Matter" took me a while to warm up to. It starts out mostly as an ode to the iPhone, and I have been bombarded by magazine articles, product reviews, blogs, emailed news summaries, radio stories and advertisements all waxing poetic about how the iPhone is so revolutionary. Not that these forums are lying or even exaggerating about the iPhone - it's the only Mac product that I own and it really is amazing. It's just that "Do You Matter" spends a lot of time in the first few chapters repeating what I have heard a 100 times before.

I will say that the list of products and innovators discussed expands after the first few chapters to include some familiar and perhaps some unlikely candidates. Unfortunately the products discussed are mass-market consumer oriented, and the companies are all mega-corporations. This can be a bit off-putting to me, as I work in a relatively small, business-to-business oriented company.

That being said, the overall point of the book is not any one product. Rather, the authors spend a lot of time discussing the principles of wholeness of design. To summarize, most companies tend to focus on mental silos. The accountants worry about cash coming in and out. Engineers have written function lists that cannot be strayed from. Marketing and Sales have their own views, as does the Customer Service department. Individually these groups all focus on what they need to do, and you cannot blame them for that. Unfortunately, sometimes it seems to the outside world that these groups are all working off of a different playbook. For example, you spend a lot of cash on a high-end stereo system. The sales man knows what he is talking about, and you leave the store looking forward to getting it delivered and installed.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
As an executive in a large corporation with the responsibility to display to my clients things that differentiate us from other companies with which we compete, I am always reading about ways to achieve this.

Like self-help books, there is a well developed genre of books about how to make your company stand out from the others. I suppose theres a great temptation to read the ideas, run off and implement them chapter and verse, and then wait/hope/pray for great transformation to take place.

But there's no magic pill. And all the great advice in all the greatest books won't make a bit of difference if your company really is different from all the rest.

But there really are ways to stand out. This book is full of ideas. But each idea by itself is not enough to achieve the end goal of making people love your company. And the authors know this well.

From the start they make it clear that having a successful company requires a wholistic approach. Everyone from the very top to the very bottom must be fully committed to a shared vision, with a consistent level of performance to achieve the goals. And the old saw about the customer always being right is constantly reinforced here but in ways that seem obvious when you read them, but may never have occured to you before.

Numerous examples of familiar companies are cited. Their successes and failures are examined in great detail in very engaging ways. These are not boring case studies. These are compelling stories about how companies rise and fall. Ever wonder what happened to Polaroid? Remember them - king of the instant photo? Who would have thought that they'd be left behind by digital photography - the electronic version of the instant photo.
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