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The Value of Design for Customers in the Service Industry

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The Value of Design for Customers in the Service Industry: Contributions and measurements



Ki Woong NAM and Bruce W. CARNIE


In the contemporary market, quality is no longer the key differentiator for a

brand. Among the marketing activities available, design is arguably

acknowledged as the most distinctive method for achieving long-term brand

recognition. Unlike technology, design emotionally interacts with people, and

it is not easy to emulate a compelling design identity that has been effectively

established. Despite its well-recognised impact, companies still hesitate to

strategically employ design. The main source of the hesitation may be rooted

in the ambiguity of measuring design contributions. This is particularly true in

the service industry where the impact of technology development is relatively

lower. This makes it a suitable industry sector for investigating environments

where design has a more significant marketing role. Two major forms of

research are performed within this paper: the horizontal/spectrum

understanding of value, and embedding design perspectives in the serviceprofit

chain using SERVQUAL (SERVice-QUALity) measurements. This paper

proposes a model that can quantify and visualise design contributions from

the customer’s perspective within the service industry sector.



PUBLISHED: Proceedings from the The 19th DMI: Academic Design Management Conference, 2014


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