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Innovative design brings 'significant impact'

09 May 2011

The Design Business Association (DBA), representative of the British design industry is championing the role of design in delivering bottom-line results in austerity Britain

The DBA cited the Tesco commissioned brand Saucy Fish Co as a prime example of how innovation in design can significantly impact bottom line results.

Saucy Fish Co was launched in 2010 to boost sales in Tesco’s chilled fish category and the initial £22,750 investment became £10 million in projected sales, with the design paying for itself on the first day of business.

“That’s almost a 500 times return on investment (ROI) which is a staggeringly strong endorsement of the power of innovative design and being willing to run with creative ideas,” said Deborah Dawton, Chief Executive of the Design Business Association.

“The UK is a real hot-bed of design innovation and is internationally recognised as such. Our design consultancy league table reflects this UK strength and reminds us that far from being a nice-to-have or an expensive add-on, design that is harnessed to business objectives is a powerful business driver.”

The 2011 Design Consultancy League Tables shows top three positions for design agencies Elmwood, The Team and Good Creative respectively. Elmwood, creator of the Saucy Fish Co concept has finished first for the past two years.

As further evidence of the power of design to drive sales, the Waitrose graphic design packaging team recently won the DBA top award for design (the Grand Prix Award) for creating the “essential Waitrose” own-label range identity.

Like-for-like sales grew 16% in the first 12 weeks of sales and within 12 months the range was a £500 million brand accounting for 17% of overall Waitrose sales.

“In today’s ultra competitive, tight margin, globalised retail economy, effective and innovative design is often the key source for differentiation and value creation,” said Dawton. “The Design Effectiveness Award winners are a reminder of the traditional strength of the UK in this area, but more importantly of the sheer power of design in making products more compelling and valuable for consumers.”

The DBA calibrates the Design Consultancy League Table annually, recognising the top performing agencies from the past three years of the Design Effectiveness Awards. The table is a good indicator to business that strong design can deliver bottom-line business results and that innovation and creativity in design deserve to be more fully integrated into business planning.

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