@Designomics 2013: On why good design mein hi samajhdaari hai

24 Oct,2013

By Fatema Rajkotwala

 

“Good Design makes for good business” was the central philosophy propagated at the Designomics Award 2013 ceremony. Designomics is an initiative that endorses the value of strategic integration of design in business. It recognises and encourages the potential of design to influence and shape the way businesses create value (* See Disclosure).

 

The forum used this platform to coin a new term when design principles and the economics discipline are merged, to make Designomics.

 

Is the great recession of 2007-2009 really over? What does this mean for businesses? If budgets are tightened, markets decrease, innovations are curtailed and consumers that are spending less money are given lesser reasons to spend, sales drop. This downward spiral and the subsequent importance of design in difficult times were highlighted at the forum.

 

In its third year, the Designomics initiative supports the use of strategic Design in business through The Designomics Awards and The Designomics Live Academy. The forum has partnered and garnered support from leading design institutions and has been endorsed this year by the India Design Council and Whirlpool.

 

The Designomics Awards is an annual affair that attracts submissions and case studies from business houses, creative agencies and students that showcase how design effectively and measurably helped their business in gaining a competitive advantage and resulted in increased profits. The work is judged on various categories such as Strategic Brand identity developed in Print, Environmental & Spatial Design, Retail, Digital, Packaging, Product Design and Integrated Design Project. This year two new categories were added – the Grand Prix award for the highest marks received and the Agency of the Year award received by Birthplace Healthcare Pvt. Ltd. – NH1 Design and Hungama Digital Services respectively.

 

The event was graced by esteemed business heads each of who presented their own perspectives and shared their experiences as design evangelists. To begin with, Chief Mentor and ideator for Designomics, Preeti Vyas, Chairwoman, Vyas Giannetti Creative took the stage and took the audience through an informative journey about the increasing importance of using effective design for Indian businesses in the tough economic times, the birth of the iMark and the progressive move by the Central Government in establishing the Indian Design Council in 2009. Talking about the need for design to gain its rightful place within business strategies, she said, “We will see a maturing of the design industry as the demand increases. It is important for businesses to get likeminded people together in-house and by getting the right consultants and design partners to integrate and think about how a business success story can be made using different design verticals. We are in a tough economy where businesses need to realize that they require an innovative approach to reach the target audiences and such innovative approaches are bound to come from design thinking. That is really what we would like to propagate.”

 

Ms Vyas shared her views on why design is the way forward for businesses and the need to cultivate a culture of likeminded people within the organization. “It is essential to educate the market and businesses at this juncture, about what design can do for them. Today the buzzword is Innovation but innovation is design. Whatever you innovate; you’re doing it by design. I think it is very important to develop an in-house culture as seen at Godrej or Futuregroup. We need to start at the top. Even the name of a business is designed, the product is designed, how the product is taken to the market – that process is designed, to display is at the shop is designed, what features explains what the product does is designed, how it will engage and communicate with its audiences is designed. So be it through advertising, activations, BTL – everything is truly designed.”

 

As Indian companies move forward to the making their mark on global markets, brand building and differentiation is becoming a key component to business strategy. Design to be used as a change agent for perception, creating value, relevance, visibility and for social good are some of the benefits demonstrated by speakers from the industry. Anil Mathur, COO, Godrej & Boyce spoke of Godrej Interio and their brand, U & Us which used a disruptive business model through innovation. He said, “Design is a strategy of integrating with business. Design is business and business is design.”

 

Alpana Perida, President, DY Works shared her thesis on the Indian landscape and the need for businesses and design to come together to convince clients of the importance for design and move away from transposed innovations to more insightful innovations tailored for the Indian market. She sighted Titan’s raga, Muthoot finanace, Dabur and Big Bazaar as inspiring Indian examples in design but believes that many are still scattered efforts. Sharing her views with Mxm India she said, “There is a huge potential for B2B businesses in India when they get branded and as a result of this branding they receive multiple benefits. It increases valuation, gives them access to more funding, they’re likely to hire better talent and have more market openings to their disposal. Organisations that don’t embrace design will have to work harder to create value.”

 

Lauding the Designomics initiative, she said, “Forums such as Designomics highlight the strength and importance of design and awards are a source of motivation and a pat on the back for people who have worked on ideas during the year. It is something that the advertising industry has learnt. The design industry is beginning to walk on the path of recognition. The biggest recognition however, will be when businesses will realize that they may have a great business idea but until the time that they don’t create a brand that has a certain value attached to it, they are not optimizing the value that they are trading.

 

From a digital and social media perspective, Pratik Gupta, Director, Co-founder and Director, New Business & Alliances, FoxyMoron shared an insightful presentation on digital is impacting businesses. Talking about the need to “be social by design”, he said, “The Indian market has matured to a large extent. About 4-5 years ago, we had to have 12-15 meetings with a client just to try and put digital in perspective; leave alone put digital in their perspective. Now digital has become a mandate for almost a lot of clients so automatically they have evolved into understanding digital. Yet, understanding digital and investing in digital is two very different things. All case studies seen globally are companies that are invested in digital. I don’t remember the last time I was given a brief that said you have 21 months to make a bag like how Puma made. I usually have 21 days to do it and usually great things take time to come.”

 

The challenges presented by the digital medium are slowly giving way as the Indian market matures. He added, “Once you are invested in the medium and the medium starts to get perfected, which will take another couple of years; we will see great things coming out of digital. That is when expectations and reality will start making sense. Until then, either the expectations will be too high and the market will be incapable to take the change or expectations will be such where a reality for it doesn’t exist. It will take time but it will happen and that’s when real design and digital magic will come about.”

 

*Disclosure: MxMIndia was Media Partner of Designomics Awards 2013

 

The Designomics Awards 2013 Roll of Honour:

 

 

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