Mind the Ga p : En studie om samarbetet mellan externa designers och deras uppdragsgivare ur designerns perspektiv

University essay from Södertörns högskola/Institutionen för ekonomi och företagande; Södertörns högskola/Institutionen för ekonomi och företagande


Many design agencies and designers like to see design as a longtime strategic investment for any company. However, knowledge of design as a strategic resource depends on ones professional background and ones knowledge of design as such. It is common today that clients meet design agencies and therefore design with a certain skepticism concerning its role in the company. Within the prodctdevelopment-process the company’s different functions meet. Those are people differing in education, background and knowledge. This fact and the differing visions concerning design lead to gaps within the cooperation between design agency and their client.

This study’s aim was to explain these gaps from the industrial design agency’s perspective.Especially when the cooperation intends to strengthen the client’s brand through product design. We tried to gain insight in the design agencies’ working-process and their attitude towards cooperation and their clients through case studies. Three design agencies in the greater Stockholm area were chosen and interviews were made in November 2007. The collected data was then mainly analyzed through gap analysis. The study shows that the contact between design agency and the client’s management level

plays a vital role in preventing the management gap. This gap is a result of differing visions of the design service and can lead to different levels of ambition between the partners. By taking this gap into consideration early on, the design-agency can access important

information about the client’s company and design can be used efficiently as a strategic resource. In addition to that the project’s brief influences the quality of the cooperation strongly.

The interpretation of brand values to design features is reason for communication-problems between agency and client. Visualizing of ideas, early prototyping and regular meetings can help minimizing this gap. However, a basic condition for successful brand communication is the client’s internal organization. It is vital that Marketing and Research and Development find a common language in order for the design project to become a success.

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