Moving design from expense to revenue

Moving design from an expense to a revenue stream

The Disrupt or be disrupted forums in Melbourne and Sydney were enlightening because they showed how large and small design agencies are pushing the idea that design is part of a revenue stream, not an expense.

In short, major businesses are now recognising that design can help them develop their business, their products, their services and their culture.

A recent DMI Review article by John Rousseau points out that all these changes at the big end of town are coming about because they are seeing their previous model of short term project based consultancy disappearing. This is because the complexity of their clients’ business demands the consultants deliver a return on investment that is human centered and not merely defined by operational measures such as sales or profits.

This message came through loud and clear in the presentations by Studio Thick, Deloitte Digital, Tank, Meld Studios and BCG Digital Ventures at the Disrupt or be disrupted forums.

This recognition is starting to flow down to medium and small businesses who are asking how they can become design-led businesses to gain competitive advantage.

Over the past few months I have had the chance to discuss this with many design agency owners. The consistent question they ask is; how can I prove that design has value and that a design-led business will be more competitive?

The answer is a paradox; stop selling design!

Value chain not design

Start talking to the business owners about value chains, profit models, balanced scorecards, ROI. These are the areas that interest them because they directly relate to how they do business.

However what many clients are not yet recognising is that human centered design can be added to standard business practices to more quickly achieve their results. And who better than a designer to show them how to be human centered.

Many of the designers I talk to are still worried about all of the business language and the thinking behind it. They don’t know how to explain a value chain or how help a client a become design-led business. They don’t know how to take a clients’ balanced scorecard and add design to achieve better results.

Enter the Design Business School

The Design Business School has been developed to do all of this. It shows design agency owners and creatives how to talk business talk, and add design value.

Over four terms, each of eight weeks, it takes owners and staff through a structured program that begins with understanding their business and ends with showing clients where the real value is in their businesses.

The Design Business School is designed to generate new business or improve performance with a demonstrated ROI. The course cost and time are factored into the assessment so that you have to apply the learning, achieve the results and measure them to ‘pass’.

There is no other design management course like this in Australia.

I bring my 30 years of experience to the course as a tutor and mentor. In my past work with my studio and now with more than 200 design studios I have (am) mentoring, I’ve seen it all. The answers are there. You just need to unlock them (with a little of my help).

Download the course guide. Or give me a call on 0412 762 045.



Contact Greg Branson if you would like to learn more about becoming a design disruptor.

SUBSCRIBE: Subscribe to get Design Business Review, Australia’s only online design management magazine.

Greg Branson

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

Greg has developed The Design Business School to help owners manage their business better along with showing designers how to get more involved in the studio and develop their career path. Contact Greg.