I’m seeing a trend in public sector and it’s not a trend that bodes well.
That trend is to for organisations to re-hash existing designs and outsource them for production or design them internally with little or no design skills. Yes, I know budgets are under ever-increasing pressures but in this article I put forward the case for using an external design agency.
You probably think me biased and I most likely am slightly biased, but having worked with hundreds of clients over 25 years, I’m in a good position to answer the question.
Evaluation From a Fresh Perspective
On average, we spend a third of our lives at work, so because you spend a lot of time there, you start to develop tunnel vision. It’s difficult to see the bigger picture and you can’t see the wood for the trees. You can become very task oriented and buried in work, and so often forget about the bigger picture.
Bringing in an external design agency to evaluate your brand and campaigns from a fresh perspective is often at the bottom of the list.
Most of the time, they can see several things that you’ve missed, and highlight them for you.
Being able to look at your brand and campaigns objectively is a huge asset. Here at Be Smart Design we ask you questions in a deeper way and make you think in more detail about your plans. In fact it’s what we’re really good at, getting to the ‘big idea’ – 25 years in business has ensured that.
You can then use your design agency’s findings and find out exactly where there is room to grow and improve.
You can also approach your design agency for advice. Use their expertise of working with many clients when you have something that needs to be worked out.
Be Smart Design created a new sub-brand for a social housing organisation in the West Midlands, but before we even got to the creative part, there was a good deal of strategic work to start with to understand how it would sit within the group. We had a number of questions to work out the answers to; what’s the architecture of the new brand, does it stand on its own or is it part of the group? Does it have it’s own website or will it be part of the group’s website? We collaborated with them to work it out, so don’t be afraid of using your agency to help work things out.
Internal costs can outweigh external design agency costs
When you use internal people who aren’t skilled, experienced designers to create a campaign or marketing piece, you still incur a cost. That is the cost of their time to create it as they still have to be paid. It’s a hidden cost, but it’s still a cost.
The cost is also at the expense of the campaign or marketing piece which designed internally can often not get the results you need it to, so this is money wasted. If you build a trusted relationship with an external design agency, they can use design to solve problems. That’s what design is all about. A well established design agency can solve your problems in half the time.
And remember the old adage, buy cheap, buy twice!
New routes and ideas
Having a design agency that you trust and can rely on, means you’re able to bring new ideas to life quicker. Chemistry is really important here because a great ideas meeting can produce so much more when you’re throwing ideas around with people you like! Creative meetings like this can become electric with all sorts of ideas coming out of it. You could be meeting to discuss a new campaign and it moves on to talking about the implementation through a new website or app.
Everyone loves to explore new directions and ideas, but having a design agency involved in your discussions will help make sure you don’t get lost down a rabbit hole.
Another positive to having a design agency involved in early discussions, is that they can help create the brief and give you what you need not necessarily what you want.
Once you’ve found a design agency you know, like and trust, you can leverage their experience.
Design agencies work for many clients in different sectors and can bring you their experience of solving other client’s problems that can benefit you. At the end of the day you want your marketing spend to deliver the maximum results. That’s what it’s all about isn’t it?
You want to ensure that the money you spend creates a reaction in some way, whether it’s to inspire your audience to take action, engage your teams or create brand awareness.
If you trust that your design agency puts you first, then the amount of added value intensifies. If your agency has suggestions and you trust that they’re truly putting you first, you’re adding more heads to your marketing communications team.
Having more people to contribute to your business vision is a massive positive.
At Be Smart Design, we don’t provide PR services or promotional merchandise, but we know people who do and our clients often need these services. We can step in and make several recommendations for people who can do a great job. Having a trusted design agency that you know, like and trust can open a lot of doors to other quality suppliers of these services.
You’ve decided to bring in a design agency to solve a problem for your business. And that’s where they’ll add a lot of value. Whether you’ve brought them in to develop your brand identity, create a campaign, build your website, or grow your online presence – this is where they’ll thrive.
Your design agency should always be delivering results. If they’re not, maybe they’re not the right partner for you? Picking the right design agency for you can be tricky but get it right, and you’re adding a valuable asset to your business. If you need help choosing the right creative agency for you, you can download our ‘Top Tips to Choosing the Right Creative Agency for You’ FREE ebook.
A professional design agency can add immense value to your business. From helping with your branding and brand identity through to your campaigns, your website and online presence, working with a professional agency will help get you real results, whatever that may mean for you.
The right design agency will help you communicate effectively
They’ll not just produce pretty visuals and nice looking design work for you. They’ll dig deeper and get to the ‘big idea’. A design agency’s job is to solve your problems through creative routes with real substance. Be Smart’s 25 years experience means we help create the brief to get the results, simple. And we’ll deliver that with our Smart5 guarantee.
We’ll talk with you about your vision, your audience, your strategy, what you’re trying to achieve in both the short and long term and much more. We’ll then work with you to implement a plan, highlighting areas where we can help, advising you on potential partners for other areas, and really help land the message to get maximum results.
Forming a trusted partnership with a design agency will enable you engage your teams, inspire people to take action or create brand awareness. And if you’re looking to do that, we know the perfect people to help you with that.