How Do We Get Paid for This? The Relationship Between Strategic Design Management and Pricing Power






strategic design management, design-based differentiation, pricing strategy, pricing power, product design


The belief that strategic design leads to improved firm competitiveness is broadly recognised in contemporary research. However, much less is understood about the precise, concrete mechanisms by which organizations translate their design-based resources and capabilities into higher performance. This paper provides context to this relationship by introducing the variable of pricing power as a potential element of unobserved “dark matter” that clarifies how design-based differentiation results in product performance. Pricing power is described by Stephan Liozu (2019) as “the ability to increase prices without losing demand”. Remarkably, nowhere in the vast literature on pricing is design mentioned, while in parallel pricing has not appeared to be of particular interest to strategic design researchers. In an effort to spur further interest in this variable a case study is provided, illustrating the process footwear and apparel brand Nike employed to leverage design-based differentiation to support the pricing power of a new offering.

How to Cite

Parkman, I. D. (2023). How Do We Get Paid for This? The Relationship Between Strategic Design Management and Pricing Power. Cubic Journal, 6(6), 34–43.



Author Biography

Ian D. Parkman, University of Portland

Ian D. Parkman is an associate professor of Marketing at the Pamplin School of Business at the University of Portland. He teaches undergraduate- and MBA-level classes in Marketing Strategy, Marketing Research, and New Product Design and Development. His research interests focus on marketing strategy, design-driven innovation, the creative industries, and knowledge-based product development. He has published his work with the Journal of Brand Management, dmi: Journal, Journal of Design, Business, & Society, dmi: Review, among others. He holds an MBA from the University of New Mexico, and his Ph.D. is from the University of Oregon.


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