MADISON, WISCONSIN – Design Concepts, Inc., an award-winning innovation and design consultancy headquartered in Madison, WI, has broadened its ability to respond to clients’ needs with the addition of a business strategy competency. 

In addition to research, design strategy, industrial design, human factors, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering and prototype development, the 45-year-old firm recently expanded to include business strategy acumen among its client services.  Offering clients expertise in business strategy ensures that the firm provides actionable solutions that build brands and drive business success.  

Marlisa Kopenski, Design Concepts’ director of business strategy, and Dan Sarbacker, senior business strategist, bring strong academic and professional backgrounds in business to the department.  

Kopenski earned a bachelor’s degree from Marquette University and a Master of Business Administration, with an emphasis on management and strategy, from the Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University.  Her professional experience includes expertise in strategy, brand management and marketing at companies including E. & J. Gallo Winery, Kraft Foods and Kahler Slater, an experience design firm.

Dan Sarbacker’s background includes earning a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Wisconsin School of Business with a concentration in entrepreneurial management.  Sarbacker holds a bachelor’s degree in Architecture from Washington University in St. Louis.  In addition to his work in the fields of residential and commercial architecture, Sarbacker has experience in the consumer goods, athletics and packaged food industries.  Prior to joining Design Concepts, Sarbacker worked with Oculus architectural firm. 

Explaining the value of business strategy to the field of new product development, Kopenski states, “The addition of business strategy is really about helping our clients mitigate risk.  It ensures that innovation meets our clients’ criteria for business success.”    

Business strategy will provide a powerful pairing with the firm’s design strategy and research departments.  Expanding on the relationship between design strategy and business strategy, Stefanie Norvaisas, director of research and design strategy and a principal of the firm, shares, “By adding business strategy as a formal discipline we quantify the impact of design options and help our clients make informed, strategic decisions with more certainty.” 

About Design Concepts:  Design Concepts, Inc. is an innovation and design consultancy with more than 45 years of experience providing product and service expertise spanning strategy, research, design, human factors, engineering and prototyping.