Better by Design

The world’s leading businesses have one thing in common – they put the customer at the heart of everything they do.

Customer-centred businesses create more desirable products and services, passionate customers, and dynamic, purposeful company cultures. The result is faster growth and competitive advantage.

Better by Design exists to inspire and enable New Zealand businesses to take a customer-centred approach to market development, based on deep insights from their international customers.

What we do

Customer Insights to Action

An immersive, customer-centred service
for established exporters to gain a deeper understanding of customers in international markets.

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CEO Summit

A two-day inspirational design conference,
hearing from some of the world’s most
successful business leaders. 


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Study Tour

An invitation only, four-day immersive tour
to visit some of the world's leading customer-centred organisations.


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Validating the opportunity 

Having successfully provided automated farming systems to the UK and Europe it was time for LICA to explore the market opportunity in North America. 

 Read the LICA case study

Why design thinking matters

Read about how focused and disruptive design thinking can shape exceptional customer experiences and change the game for your business, forever.

View our articles

News feature

Lululemon Leading the activewear trend through innovation

19 February 2017

CEO Summit 2017 speaker, Tom Waller of Lululemon, talks about the company’s innovation culture

News feature

Icebreaker: Embracing intuition

Even before the first garment was designed, Icebreaker developed a story with the potential to excite a global audience - the story of a natural fibre from the mountains that could reconnect humans with nature.

  • Our Advisory Group

    The four-member Better by Design Advisory Group is responsible for overseeing the implementation of the Better by Design programme.

    Each member of the Group has been part of a global design-led business success story, and each brings a unique perspective from their experience as a business person or practising designer. 

    Vaughan Schwass


    “I’ve seen first-hand the power of unleashing the potential of people in our business through design thinking. The results have been powerful and enabled us to extend our assets and capabilities into new markets.”

    Vaughan joined Les Mills International in 2005 as marketing director, having gained international marketing experience with Tourism New Zealand in the United States and Canada. Vaughan led the marketing team to win a series of awards including an Effie (the Supreme Award at the 2009 Marketing Awards). After six years Vaughan stepped up to his new role as CEO of Les Mills Enterprises, managing the merchandise business and strategic commercial partnerships.