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​Investing in design will have a positive impact on your bottom line. Fact. Read on to find out how...

Now, we're not suggesting that every business owner should rush out and start throwing money at the first designer they meet with the expectation that their bottom line will miraculously rocket. Because that's not going to happen. But we ARE stating that businesses who value design enough to see it as an integral part of their business and allocate their time, energy and budget accordingly, will see a positive impact on their bottom line.

How, we hear you ask? Well, good design will do all of the below...

  • Differentiate your products and services from your competitors – stand out for all the right reasons
  • Highlights your USP – convince customers you're the only choice
  • Strengthen your market position – engage your audience, maintain customer relationships and be recognised as the go-to choice
  • Provide positive ROI – A strong call to action will guide people through the buying process

The Design Council* state “research has found that design can directly and significantly improve sales, profits, turnover and growth. Using design brings bottom line benefits, and those who understand and act on this insight have a competitive edge over those who don't.”

These types of businesses are called design alert businesses – they understand the direct effect that design can have on performance measures and are actively engaging design services, applying design to new products and benefitting from the added value that design provides to customers.

The Design Council studied the correlation between design and business performance and wrote an in-depth report on their findings. If you fancy reading all 119 pages... here's the link. If that's a bit much, check out our summary of the main headlines instead;

76% of design alert businesses saw some increase of market share through the use of design, and on average, the increase of their market share rose by 6.3%.

From the one-man band offering domestic plumbing services to a nation-wide retail company, this statement can apply to every size business. Good design differentiates you from your competitor, adds value to your offering and sells more products/services; increased market share is a natural progression.

For every £100 a design alert business spends on design, turnover increases by £225.

The report proves that turnover growth is more likely for businesses who increase their investment in design. Whilst this might sound obvious, it's still worth pointing out that those who actually decreased their investment in design also cut their chances of growth.

Increased investment = increased turnover growth. Decreased investment = decreased turnover growth. Simples!

Using design contributed to the increased chance of profit growth by up to 1.9 times.

However, this may underestimate the true contribution of design. Some businesses may not have seen a change in turnover or profit due to design, but the use of design may nevertheless have kept these measures constant. For some businesses, profit rose as much as, or more than, turnover. Here design is being used to trim costs rather than boost sales.

-84% of competitive businesses use design to add value to products so they compete on factors other than cost

Avoid being in a price war and having to better your competition by lowering your prices, as you'll just be eating into your margins. Instead, invest in design to highlight your USP's and add value to your offering to give customers a reason to purchase from you.

Recognition of design’s contribution grows with the size of a business. 44% of small businesses, 56% of medium-sized ones and 77% of large businesses feel design has continued to contribute more to their competitiveness over the past ten years.

- Rapidly growing businesses are nearly six times as likely as static ones to see design as integral and 40% of businesses where turnover hasn’t increased in the past year do not use any type of design. It's really worth noting the positive correlations linking growing businesses and their attitude to design throughout the report and the negative correlation between static businesses and how important they perceive design to be.

- Almost half (47%) of UK businesses employ between two and four designers. However, this is taking into account businesses of all sizes – naturally smaller businesses don't have the budget for a designer's salary throughout the year. This is where having a dedicated team of designers on tap can really benefit your business, as budgeting for projects on an as-needed basis is far more cost effective for small and mid-sized businesses than hiring a designer full time.

But where could you a possibly find a team of talented designers like that?!

Look no further. Here at Bate, we pride ourselves on integrating seamlessly with your business and having the same drive, motivation and aspirations as you do. We become a valuable extension of your team and work with you to achieve your business goals, whether that's raising brand awareness, expanding your market share, increasing profits or any other targets.

Whilst we recognise that design is just one of the many factors contributing to a businesses success, it's an important ingredient and one which is within your control to develop. If your business could benefit from having a professional team of designers supporting it (and unless you have your own design department, we think that's most!) then we'd love to have a chat with you.

*The Design Council are a charity dedicated to improving people’s lives through the use of design and are currently celebrating their 70th birthday. They believe that design-led innovation can stimulate business growth, transform public services and enhance places and cities.

Read the full report here.