pass4itsure

My appearance and involvement at the recent St Mellion Business Show was an excellent opportunity on various levels and the event was considered a fantastic success by those in charge and the visitors and exhibitors who took part.

As well as delivering a seminar on the subject of ‘Why Design?’ and raising my own brand profile by exhibiting my own stand, I was also able to take advantage of the high concentration of local business people to canvas opinions and gather some valuable feedback and data via a very short survey.

I was also able to … canvas opinions and gather some valuable feedback and data via a very short survey.

With the prize of a voucher for a meal out at Plymouth’s newest restaurant, Zuzimo (generously provided by the restaurant themselves) on offer for entrants, people weren’t shy in responding and the results made quite encouraging reading.

The survey was designed to gain basic understanding of the opinions of local business people regarding the perceived value of design as an asset and tool for business. Six statements were offered to entrants who were given opportunity to agree, disagree, strongly agree or strongly disagree.

The visual appearance of my business is important results
I believe that good branding has a positive impact on profit results

According to the results design is seen as a valuable tool, with 88% of entrants strongly agreeing that the visual appearance of their business is important and 64% strongly agreeing that good branding has a positive impact on profit (neither statements attracted any disagreements at all).

Commissioning-Customised, bespoke and quality professional graphic design is worth the investment
All entrants also agreed that commissioning custom, bespoke and good quality graphic design was a worthwhile investment, 40% of those agreed strongly.

Results for the following questions divided opinions a bit more, however, but still portrayed a positive opinion.

I would consider using a service such as crowdsourcing, mass-produced templates or inexperienced designers even if it meant sacrificing quality
My business allocates a budget for design
Graphic design is not relevant for my business results

84% of the businesses questioned allocated a budget for design and only 12% claimed graphic design was not relevant for their own business. And it seems that quality is still paramount for the majority of businesses, with 36% disagreeing with the statement that they would consider using a service such as crowdsourcing, mass-produced templates or inexperienced designers even if it meant sacrificing quality, and another 32% strongly disagreeing. Some would place more emphasis on cost, however, with 12% and 20% agreeing and disagreeing (respectively) that they would consider taking the cheaper route.

All in all, the results are limited and can’t be considered absolutely failsafe but as an interesting exercise in gathering opinion I found the data quite encouraging.

It’s easy to assume that local businesses might not see the value design can bring them but these results seem to suggest that that may not be the case. Knowing this, designers can be encouraged that they aren’t pitching to a brick wall. Businesses are open and keen to invest in design and, to an extent, see the value it can bring.

The next step is the practicality of agreeing the fees and delivering high quality, effective work that brings a measurable return for the client’s investment. And that’s where the fun really begins!

What would you have answered for these questions? I'd be interested to hear your thoughts on the importance of design in your business too.

Are you a designer? Do you find these results encouraging? Surprising? Helpful? Do let me know.