Investing is putting time or money in something you believe in hoping for a potential return. This sentence contains a few key terms that are paramount when thinking about the factors that can affect your business.
Design is an investment. It should be a part of your business plan in the earliest stages. We have talked to many clients that have a great idea but have given little thought to the part that strategic design plays. Occasionally they enjoy early success, but then they reach a point that requires a sizable investment to re-tool or re-message. The vast majority of the time the client will say, “I wish I would have done this sooner.” This brings us to the next important term: belief.
We’ve had all kinds of clients who have “believed” in the design process. Belief has the element of truth…and truth leads to trust. If you don’t have believe in the value of design – or in the design firm you choose to work with – you’ll get a diminished return on your investment. By all means, take your time finding the creative firm that best fits your culture, but then trust them. If they are worth their salt, they will help you reach your potential. Speaking of… our last point: potential.
It’s a proven fact that companies who pay attention to, utilize,and incorporate design into their process far outperform those who don’t. The proof is in the pudding. The Design Council, a design advocacy group in the United Kingdom, reported the following findings:
– Shares in companies where design plays a critical role consistently outperform key stock market indicators by 200 percent (specific to the Financial Times and Stock Exchange), thus establishing a connection between design and market value.
– Design-alert businesses were able to increase their market share by an average 6.5 percent. Some companies reported that design impacted their market share by 100 percent and was essential in their ability to identify new opportunities or create new markets.
– For every $130 spent on design, Design-alert businesses realized a $298 return.
The numbers don’t lie, nor do the perceptions and cultures that result. Design raises the level of perceived value both internal and externally. So if you truly want to invest into your business and/or idea, make design a part of your investment equation.
For a great resource on the concept of design currency, pick up the new book (aptly titled) Design Currency and dig into the facts.