Recent reports show that design agencies are leading growth (20% increase) in the Danish communication industry, followed by the digital agencies.
In my opinion this trend emphasizes the point that the processes of strategic design agencies are better suited to tackle the challenges of modern businesses.
The primary reason for this is in my opinion the decreasing value of traditional advertising. People don’t trust advertising, at least not as much as they trust recommendations from friends and consumer opinions expressed online. Recent stats from Nielsen again reveals word of mouth as the primary resource for decision making. 92 percent of consumers say they trust recommendations from friends and family above all other forms of advertising – an increase of 18 percent since 2007.
The growth in word of mouth means traditional advertising has taken a backseat when it comes to driving growth and sales. More and more companies have realized that their product, services and the experience they provide to their customers needs to be the primary focus area. If you can optimize and innovate those areas, customers will reward your efforts by sharing the positive experience with others.
This increased focus on services and products naturally puts design agencies in the drivers seat. Unlike traditional advertising and PR agencies optimizing and developing these areas is the core competence of strategic design agencies. Their processes are centered around identifying user needs and focussed on tangible solutions that address those needs. Unlike empty communication messages the output of their work (most often) results in value adding solutions for customers and hence the business. You can no longer hide the flaws of your product by wrapping it up in a glossy campaign. You need to ‘walk the talk’.