I'm building software for corporate customers and the space I'm in has several established competitors. Luckily, their design simply sucks. Think of the difference between using a smartphone circa 2006 and seeing an iPhone come along.
However, I'm wondering what's the best way to pitch this concept to doubtful investors. I can say that so far everyone who's in the target market and who's seen the product goes "wow". I could give an analogy as to how the guys who built box.net spent 6 months explaining that their product does what everybody else's product does too but does it seamlessly.
I'm looking for ideas on how to present design as a competitive advantage.
Thanks for your suggestions.
Don't try to sell it as design, sell it as what this design does.
Because of the simpler design, its easier to use to users get X done in half the amount of time than on competitors product, or it takes less training, or consumers use it for longer time and more often.
In the end, good design is just a feature. What they want is a benefit (They don't need 20 hours of training to actually be able to use the product). You can also stack another benefit on top of that. (Because of our simple to use design, users finish their task 37% faster, which on average saves companies that work with us $7250 per user per year)