Design Business Council
Turn clients into brand-guided companies

According to recent research by Wolff Olins*, brand-guided companies significantly outperform their competitors.

The research showed that brand-guided companies achieved above industry average results with a return on equity of 19% against 8% for remaining players.

From this it's obvious that your branding or rebranding projects have the chance to greatly increase value for a client and hence increase your fees.

The three factors Booz Allen and Wolff Olins used to define a brand guided company are:

  • Profound customer insight
  • Strong alignment of brand values with strategy, company processes and the organisation
  • Sophisticated brand control tools.

So how do you turn your clients into brand guided companies?

The answer is to look at what underpins those three factors

The key statement is ‘Strong alignment of brand values with strategy, company processes and the organisation’.

This means to develop brand values it’s necessary to analyse company processes and the organisation to see how value is added for the customer, the staff and the business. This is also called value chain analysis.

After value chain analysis strategy is added to build competitive advantage and increase value. Your branding brings all this together in a brand-guided company.

Value chain analysis

Manufacturing businesses create value by buying raw materials and using them to produce useful products. Retailers bring together a range of products and present them in a way to attract customers, usually supported by services such as fitting rooms or personal shopper advice. Insurance companies offer policies to customers that are underwritten by larger re-insurancers. Here, they're packaging these larger policies in a customer-friendly way, and distributing them to a mass audience.

In a value chain the value that's created and captured by a company is the profit margin:

Value Created and Captured – Cost of creating that value = Margin

The more value a business creates, the more profitable it will be. And when it provides more value to customers, it builds competitive advantage.This is an important factor: in most cases, the more value a business creates, the more customers will be prepared to pay a premium price for the product or service, and the more they will keep on buying.

Customers aren't necessarily outside the business: they can be the bosses, the co-workers, or the people who depend on them. By adding value for the team, a business will excel in what they do.

Value chain analysis looks at the major activities undertaken in every business; Infrastructure, R&D, Human resource management, Technology development, Procurement, Inbound logistics, Operations, Outbound logistics, Marketing and sales, Service.

Using a set process a designer can readily analyse a clients’ value chain as part of a branding exercise.

By taking it to a deeper level a designer can define the design value chain; all those activities in a business where design can add value.

If you would like to learn more about developing brand-guided clients come to the Design value chain workshop. The process will be demonstrated during the full day session.

The Design value chain workshop in Sydney on August 13 will demonstrate how to analyse a client's value chain and then introduce design at all levels. It is aimed at studio owners and managers to help them develop their clients as design-led companies.

See a video that explains the workshop…

Greg Branson

Design Business Council

[email protected]

Greg’s passion is the research and development of methods that improve design management and the role of design in business.

Greg has developed a series of processes and tools to help designers manage their business better along with a series of workshops that show designers how to use these tools.

*All attendees at the workshop will receive a copy of the white paper.