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Where Does Design “Live” in a Company?

Day two of the Corante Innovative Marketing Conference was kicked off by a talk from Deepak Advani, SVP and CMO of Lenovo. Advani was talking about how innovation works on a practical basis at Lenovo. As part of his answer came this tidbit — at Lenovo, the designers report to Advani (marketing), not engineering. Advani’s point is that if design reports to engineering you get the next turn of the widget, essentially (paraphrasing here!). If design reports to marketing you get decisions made in the design and product sphere that are more representative of the brand and its strategy.

This makes some sense given what we were talking about yesterday — that marketing, or the strategy for reaching out to customers, should be followed through on as consistently as possible, even (especially) in product design.

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