I stumbled across this short essay/post/article/speech from Steven Michael Marx Shaw. Actually, I have no clue what it is – but it makes great points.
The argument is presented in the first line:
“Clients who value your designs are good. Clients who also value your design process are better.”The author, at the end, outlines why this is true:
“1) Clients who understand and value your design process are more likely to respect the time and effort that goes into creating effective design solutions. Your design process should be shaped around getting the best results. Most every client would agree that they deserve no less.All this brings me to a current issue in my world: Value propositions. What are our agency/firms selling? What is the economic benefit of it? What is the marketing benefit of it?
“2) A valued design process establishes a platform through which clients and designers can forge real working relationships. No design process should exclude client participation. Your design process is your chance to define and manage how such a relationship works, on mutually constructive terms aimed at meeting expectations. More importantly, when a client is allowed to participate at key points along the journey, they feel a sense of ownership early on.
“3) When clients believe in your design process, they are far more likely to believe in your creative product - the design. They know that good design does not just happen in a moment of inspiration, but that there is a well-informed rationale behind the creative decisions. The resulting design makes sense to them and it is not just a pretty picture competing with lots of other pretty pictures.”
Let’s compare two values propositions: IDEO vs JWT.
“IDEO helps organizations innovate through design. Independently ranked by global business leaders as one of the world's most innovative companies, we use design thinking to help clients navigate the speed, complexity, and opportunity areas of today's world.”
“[JWT] creates ideas for our clients that people want to spend time with.”*Clearly, a process-focused proposition versus a product-focused one. Clearly a compelling proposition versus a so-what? proposition. And I don’t think I have to call out who is the more affective, admired and successful creative firm, do I?
I’m sure there is a lot more to say about this split in value propositions, so please share some of your thoughts. It’s just a topic I’ve never had to give much thought to since I’ve never had to start a new company (until now). But it’s a remarkably important topic I don’t hear a whole lot of people discussing.
*In all fairness to JWT, I don’t know if this is truly their proposition. It was simply the closest thing I could find on their site to one.