The entrepreneur who picks a logo off the shelf to use, solely because it appeals to himself or herself, is more likely to fail in business than the entrepreneur that engages in a full design process. This isn't just because self-reflection can sometimes be a smokey mirror. A full design process can be defined many ways, but for this post, lets say it is is one with research, symmetrical communication between the organization and its stakeholders, and sound design thinking with evaluation. Designers know the value of the design - but how can this value be articulated and understood by those outside of the industry? How do you define the value of design?
Business is based upon a trade of value - or an exchange. The fundamental concept behind it is that we, as a society, are better off if one specializes individually and then provides the expertise of specialization to others in exchange for money or barter. This relationship is built on trust, and - I imagine, in the old days, much of trust was based on and delivered by face to face meetings in a market or private store of some sort. Without that trust, you could not be certain that you would get what you paid for; the exchange may not have value in that case. We will be having a guest post from Matthew Politano (Oculus Design + Marketing) on the subject of design and trust which will elaborate much more on this subject.
Business has grown far beyond the original model of exchange into a global system of giving and receiving between people that may never meet or even speak. A gap has grown between those who make or provide, and those who consume or participate.
In this gap, intention, character, relevance, value, and relationships themselves become elusive. How do consumers connect and level with the merchants that they need to? Who - or more accurately - what is speaking to consumers in an age where so much business is done, literally, in seconds across the entire world? The subject of design, amongst other business practices, speaks volumes as to how organizations establish themselves, connect with their intended audience, and maintain a relationship. Indeed, design has elevated to the limelight of worldwide attention by becoming the hands and face of the modern business. In this sense, it appears to be a pretty remarkable noun. But what else is there to it - why can't an entrepreneur buy a logo off the shelf and expect to have consistent and reliable success with it?