Business Week reports on the recent Challenges of Design Promotion in Europe conference which drew new attention to areas where European businesses excel — and fall short

A recent conference in Paris, called Challenges of Design Promotion in Europe and sponsored by the French design council, Agence pour la Promotion de la Création Industrielle, brought together several hundred of Europe’s most influential leaders in the design community.

The featured companies all understand that design isn’t just about looks. It’s also about employing new materials to reduce waste and improve performance, and about focusing on customer needs to make products and services more user-friendly.

The bad news is that the challenge of spreading the word on design is considerable. A survey of almost 4,000 European company managers from a broad range of industries conducted exclusively for the conference revealed that they consistently rank design among the least important ingredients to business success.

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