Why small businesses and charities already know how to design better brands

The value of design

In business, whether profit making or not for profit, behind every great idea, new product, fundraising campaign the opportunity to measure success financially is easy. There is always a set of figures which show how much money you have spent, whether profits were made and profit percentages. If a fundraiser raised sufficient funds, if social media stats show an increase in interaction or followers or an event sells out there are always numbers to review, to demonstrate success but design is different. We all know there is a value to brand; reputation, market share, brand awareness… and again, there are statistics you can measure against but the impact solely of design is not so easy to input onto a spreadsheet.

A/B testing is an option, but for most small businesses the opportunities to test are small, either restricted by audience size, therefore returning limited data, or simply by time and budgets. So why, when it seems almost impossible to prove, do small business owners and charity trustees still see the value of design and turn to designers, such as Design Chambers, to spend their resources and time on design?
An article, published recently in Creative Review which looks at a McKinsey study raises some interesting conclusions.

We often advise our clients to look at what larger brands are doing; their promotional activities, how they interact with their audiences, their tone of voice etc. There are always lessons to be learned and translated into actions for smaller businesses and charities. However, in the case of design this report shows that it is actually the bigger businesses who should be looking at the smaller ones for guidance.
A previous McKinsey publication found that the companies which invested in design and designers outperformed their peers. The new study took that further and looked at the way over 3 million designers in 100,000+ design departments work conducting surveys with 250 businesses. From all the data they explored their conclusion was that brand success and growth came from collaboration, from integrating the design department into the fabric of the business.

The good news for smaller businesses and charities is that size and resources mean they already work collaboratively by default. In the case of business owners, they often are ‘the team’ and simply by adding our services to their business we become that much needed, integrated collaborative partner.

See the Creative Review article and link to the study here:




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