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Cultivating Creative Equity in Scandinavian Design Brands

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Oscar Person, PhD Candidate, Faculty of Industrial Design Engineering, Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands; Jan Schoormans, Professor, Faculty of Industrial Design Engineering, Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands


How does it feel to do business in a country or region in which good design is taken for granted, as a sort of baseline? Imagine being a furniture maker in Sweden, or a Finnish textile designer. As it happens, this article is all about the difficulties of maintaining even a famous brand-Marimekko, for instance-in a region that is already justly famous for its good design. And yet, as Oscar Person and Jan Schoormans (both from Delft University of Technology in The Netherlands) point out in this article, several icons of Scandinavian design (Marimekko among them) have changed hands in the past few years, for considerable fees. What would maintain the value of a venerable design brand, such as Marimekko or Sweden's Kosta Boda, for so long-what makes it so valuable? The answer, say these authors, is design equity-""what differentiates a brand's product design styles on the market."" This article is an attempt to define the design traits that directly bear on a brand's inherent value, and to offer some ideas that can help transform these traits into assets.




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Product Design, Industrial Design, Business Design, Design Management

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