As long as you can weed through the drastically over-written, buzzword oozing writing style, this is a fantastic article mapping out some broad trends in business for 2012. Trend number seven should be of note for any designers or design focused brands:
Strategic differentiation begins with great design. Strategic differentiation provides a desired reputation, creates a defensible competitive advantage, and influences preferential behaviors in the value chain. In a market of rapid commoditization of products, shrinking product cycle times, and global delivery of services, organizations can barely create and sustain market differentiation. […] Differentiation tools include positioning strategy, design thinking, and innovation program that drive next generation customer experience.
My translation without all the buzzword bullshit - Design matters. A lot. If you can provide an experience for you customers that delightfully surprises them, your brand will sit head and shoulders above the competition.