Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Thinking design // making design strategy for your business a priority

In a highly saturated surface design market we see a decrease on non-exclusive and royalty free design sales. More and more companies begin to recognize the importance of design within the process of product development. With strong competition in the textile industry, adding similar designs to a new collection than your competitor is not a way to profile your business. It even makes your customer doubt your intentions. The climate is changing and design strategy is becoming a must.

Honest business
The first year I was working as an independent designer I already noticed the harsh games businesses play in the textile industry. At one point I made a series of exclusive designs for one customer and another one of my customers, only licensing non-exclusive designs, payed it’s producer to give him the information what was going through their printers, designs their competition was printing at the same factory. They bought the info about the exclusive range and then behind my back downloaded similar designs through royalty free partners of mine. Well, you can imagine, some businesses need a little lesson or two about how to work with other human beings. They actually had the nerve to ask me to work for them on an exclusive base. No thank you, I do not work with people that are dishonest. Be kind, and your customers will notice. Stealing others idea’s and designs is also something they will notice.

Customers are getting more critical each day, with todays technology and information present at any time it is easy to track and check businesses and their story. Are they selling the truth or is it just a story? Stories can be fictional so just coming up with a story is not the way to engage customers to your brand. You’ll have to earn trust, tell your story, and back it up in all you got, your traces, your production developments and process, your communications. This is essential for your trustworthiness.

Visual priority
With the need of more transparency and more customers asking questions about the products they spend their money on we can see there is more need to prioritize designs within companies. Their visual language should be one unified message carrying out the brands philosophy. When companies use print designs they need a more distinctive print language, that has a connection with their overall visual identity. The demand of non-exclusive designs in textile, fashion, home decor and other commercial market places is declining. And it is time to prioritize design. More and more companies choose to license our exclusive prints and choose quality over quantity. Something that is highly appreciated by their customers creating more engagement, a clear message and trust. The past two years we have been working with several companies, guiding them through this process.

Design strategy
With a large portfolio with non-exclusive designs and quarterly exclusive collections we try to serve both small start up companies and large textile and commercial retailers. What suits your business most? Is there a mission, a story to tell? What impact does a print design have for your product? Does it sell the product? Or is the design secondary to your product and are these print designs or illustrations only used as detailing only? What does the design reflect? Does it have a connection to the brands philosophy or story? Can we make a connection? Creating an overall visual language? The importance of the design needs to be determined. All these ingredients should reflect your design strategy. Most companies have prioritize their product strategy, developing and improving their product, but forget about the importance of the design. Designs should always support the product. We can help you with this process of prioritizing designs and create a strong unified message in print design reaching out to the more conscious customer. If you would like to get more information about design strategies and how they can built a strong visual identity for your business just reach out and send us a message.