Essentially, to create value. Later on, everyone can decide what “value” really means to them. It’s widely recognized that design can contribute to economic value, but this is often secondary to other values. The practical value, for example. Brand value, aesthetic value, technological value, communicative value, human value… working within your own set of requirements, it’s up to you to define value. Depending on your choice, you probably won’t end up working with the same designers.
Another, more analytic perspective might be found in Synthèse Finale, Etude Economie Design. This study of the relation between economics and design proposes four levels of design integration: no design, design as style, design as skill, and design as strategy.