Design is defined as a strategic competency that can be utilized in order to create new objects, artifacts (i.e. products), systems and services, starting with some idea about customer needs. Since the products and services from the design process are of strategic importance to the company, design knowledge itself can become a strategic asset. Although one might expect design to be an internal resource from the point of view of transaction costs, most companies only possess some design competencies and acquire creative design skills from design consultants. The important issue is how they delineate what is strategic and what is not strategic, but skills. The article is based on two case studies from the furniture industry in which the companies have found different solutions. In the paper we therefore explain the differences in terms of the resource-based view on strategy. This indicates different conceptions of design resources, operating in different, but comparable contexts.