Category Archives: Design & The Market

Design & The Market: Me Choosing My Path

Oh dear. So yes – putting life in my hands. Today in our Design Market group we looked at choosing the path we would take into achieving our potential business. What you need to think about to make it a sustainable and successful one. Scary stuff.

To begin with, we had a look at our ‘would-be’ customers and wrote down a list of the customer groups they would be. For example: Students; Fashion Runway Buyers; Hospital Buyers; etc. For each one we had to outline what their needs would be, what we would be offering them, how many there are, and so forth. Through this method of analysing our future customers it helps to see if your business has potential and whether it is actually needed. For my business, I found a number of different customer groups which I think is good because it brings range and excitement of varying customers. However, I think I would need a rather large team to back me up on the amount of work I would need to do!

Next, we headed into the Blueprinting Modelling sector. This, I found, was the most difficult. Just couldn’t get my head round where to put things! Blueprinting is a detailed flow diagram of your business’s stages in carrying out, for example, a commission piece. It just shows how your business will function when it’s actually doing business. For me, I looked at where I would go to create contacts then try get some of my work out to the public somehow, find people to work with me and so on. Sounds do-able. This allowed me to view the process of my hopeful business at hand. How it might work. How I can change it tomake it work.

Lastly, we looked at the importance of building relationships in business. Not lovey-dovey ones, professional team-work ones. It is important because it makes all stages in the process work. Imagine doing it all yourself? We focused on the four areas of activity in business. The Generator, the Realiser, the Distributor and the Customer. We had to find people we would need for each of the areas. I placed myself in the Realiser zone, as well as other collaborators, because I feel that is where my strengths lie. However, I would over-see other areas frequently. This exercise allows me to see who I would need to build relationships with and it’s importance. Building relationships improves and makes your business stronger. More sustainable. You just need to make sure there is plenty of trust and that they love the business as much as you do.

These exercises were helpful in outlining how my business would operate, create contacts/clients and who I would need to make it happen. Building relationships crops up again and again. It seems now that who you know can help greatly in business – like the old saying: “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know”.

Advertisements
Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,

Design & The Market: Evidence Modelling

Evidence Modelling

Today in our Design & Market Module, we were asked to look at evidence modelling. Evidence modelling is about creating a picture of what your potential business would be like in the future and aiding in giving a clear direction of where to go with it. It focuses on 4 extreme questions to ask when considering your business – this helps to understand the beneficial impact of your business but also can point out the possible mistakes that can stop you from achieving your dream.

This exercise helped me to think about the advantages and disadvantages my business may have in greater depth. It made me focus on what ways I could improve the business and to see it more realistically in my mind. However, my potential business needs huge development and research as it looks into the future of jewellery trends more than actual current designs. It will be an interesting challenge.

Fake Evidence

For the next exercise we had to think of fake evidence. This is where we had to construct evidence through imagining the future success of our business. This could be in the form of a website, an advert on the side of a bus, etc. I went for a few as I believe my market is quite wide.

Just a very very rough sketch!

Through investigating the future success and methods of advertising it helps see the consequences of the business as well as looking into successful ways to get the brand out there.

SWOT Analysis

SWOT analysis was the last task we had to complete for our business. There were 4 boxes outlining different aspects to think about the business: Strengths and Weaknesses (Internal); Opportunities and Threats (External) or SWOT. It allows us to examine the business’s position nature. This task helped me because I tried to think about turning all the weaknesses into possible opportunities. For instance, if I was bad at making film I could maybe collaborate with a filmy person, thus, creating a huge benefit! We could expand making more exciting films and let ideas bounce off one another.

All these exercises linked back to our Mission Statements and was great because it makes us think that we could actually do this. We could actually make our potential businesses real.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Design & The Market: Scottish Institute For Enterprise (SIE)

In our lecture today, Dawn Shand talked about the Scottish Institute for Enterprise (SIE). It is an organisation which encourages, helps and inspires young budding designers with their potential businesses in Scotland.

It gave me relief to know that there were actually people out there who are willing to help an are experienced within the field. As you can actually go to them and get advice on your ideas if you are thinking about building a company – they could probably even tell you whether it would be a ready to get out in the market. So we are not all lost!

She gave us pointers to where student businesses could begin or even be run through:

> Promotions

> Freelancing

>Ebay/Etsy – could easily be used as a part-time basis by selling your pieces online.

>Tutoring – there are lots of people looking for tutors so you can build a reputation by teaching people your skills.

> Online Business – creating your own website dedicated to selling your work.

So how do you go about building a business? You have to really investigate what the market NEEDS. Here’s a true story: there were families stuck at the airport when their flights were delayed. Their children were bored out of their brains so the families started using their own suitcases as transport trollies and started wheeling them about on them! What a fab idea! This is when the Trunki was born.

The designer spotted impatient toddlers and found a great niche in the market! So people out there niches can come from anywhere – keep your eyes open!

 

Tagged , , , , ,

My Mission

For Assignment 2 we are required to write a mission statement. A mission statement is a short, concise summary describing what your business is, what you do, what your business intentions are and why you are in business. They can tell customers and potential clients.

Values

We were asked to write down what we would value from most to least in our potential business. Our values should reflect the way in how I wish to work, how I want my work to be received and how I would interact with customers, suppliers and funders.

Here are my values for my potential company:

So why are values important?

They’ll help you:

– keep your business on track when clients offer you opportunities and choices.

– remain inspired when having to go through the more tedious side of business or when things are not going all to plan.

– examine how your work/life balance needs to be altered.

– to evaluate your business concept in terms of how it honours your values.

Tagged , , , , , ,

Design & The Market: Presentation Over! Now Think

What a relief! The nerves and worries are all gone! Just had our presentation today with the team talking about Stephen Webster. So what are my conclusive thoughts?

Well I got to say the group who presented before us, Illustration, were brilliant! They were able to interview the artists direct and displayed fab hand-drawings of characters in their piece. But I personally do not think we could have drawn our own characters as they are real celebrities and high-end designers. So what were the pros and cons of our presentation?

Perhaps we could have said more about Stephen Webster’s brand as that played a big part in the business and less about. However, we went into detail at how he got recognition and the importance of contacts. How taking risks has really paid off for Webster. This is all to do with business.

Overall, I think the purpose of presentations is to establish more confidence in talking in front of people and the use of intellectual language which is vital in being a professional business person.

Tagged , , , ,

Practicing our Presentation and New Project Thoughts

Presentation Takes Practice

Right well our team have been doing very well keeping on track for our 20 minute presentation which will be presented on Friday. We’ve been able to allocate topics on Stephen Webster for everyone on the team which I think is good organisation. I’m doing the introduction and talking about how Stephen Webster’s techniques and methods of grasping the public has been successful in the inspiration section of the presentation.

We have been using Google Docs to share the presentation online so that each of us can alter and add to our own slides. It has really been a team effort, giving advice and suggestions to one another. This really has made a strong bond in our team.

Yesterday, we were lucky enough to practice in one of the the Matthew Building’s lecture theatres. We even had the powerpoint up! This abled us to really see how the presentation would be like both visually and orally.

So today we are going to practice again and apply our final touches to the presentation. I am feeling very positive about our presentation as we have put a lot of effort and time into it. I have enjoyed working in a team as it gains techniques and ideas from others in the class which I can take on for the future.

Assignment 2

Yesterday morning, Chrissie Hirst, one of our module leaders, explained our next assignment. Sounds daunting! We are to write a 1,500 – 2,000 word enterprise proposal which will also outline what we are wanting to research over the summer. I am quite worried about this already as I feel a bit weak in my writing skills! This proposal will then develop into a lengthy 7,000 word report which we will write in the first Semester in Level 4.

Image

We have been advised to use Nesta Enterprise Toolkit Startups, which will aid in the writing of our report and help us understand how businesses start up.

Chrissie then asked us to fill out one of the worksheets from the Toolkit about what we think our values would be in business. It will be viewed by another person from our discipline which they think and will talk about with us. This will give us a better understanding of what the important values consist of for our own potential business.

Tagged , , , ,

Design & The Market: Creative Futures

So what is the future of craft? What happens to craft graduates? (E.g. Jewellers, ceramicists, etc). What is the point of becoming one? Tax payers are paying for these individuals so is it a waste of money? These are just some of the questions we covered during our lecture on Friday (03/02/12).

Our lecturer, Mike Press, carried out research on what craft graduates actually go on and do in their lives, that most of the time they apply their skills to work in much broader disciplines. This article is called it ‘New Lives in the Making‘, 1998.

Happy pottery

 

The research reveals that 4 out of 5 graduates established paid work and the majority are following their career goals. This is the benefit of ‘Portfolio Lives’, there is a huge long list of jobs we could undertake because artists/designers usually have a number of identities, for instance, Paddy Hartley: he is part jeweler, part textiles, part ceramicist. So he could take on various career roles simultaneously.

Low paid factory workers. Satisfying job?

 

The good thing too is 77% of graduates are positive about their current work – enjoying it. I know plenty of people who do not take any pleasure out of their jobs: stuck at a desk; stuck on the phone; stuck flipping burger patties, this gives me great relief to know that I’m going into something I truly love.

Tagged , , , ,

Design & The Market: Engaging With the Designer

Had a really successful weekend with this research project so far. I was able to get hold of a woman who worked with Stephen Webster for 3 years so should have a considerable amount of insight into his business. She has made prompt responses to my emails which is always a good sign and only lives 2 hours away so will arrange an interview with her very soon.

In our group today, we met up and brainstormed what Stephen Webster was all about: his inspirations, advertising, press, etc. It was brilliant, it all seemed we had done our homework! We then focused on areas where we would require more information and have selected separate ones for each of us to research on for friday. I chose ‘Inspirations’. The team also managed to brainstorm questions which could be asked for the interview and type up a confidentiality consent form.

Overall,  a very productive day. Well done team!

Tagged , , , , ,

Design & The Market: New Challenges

Today our lecture was about how studying a particular discipline does not always end up being your future career. For example: I study Jewellery, therefore, I will become a Jeweller. Does not always happen in that predictable way. I think nowadays disciplines are possessing portfolio lives which could take them into a much broader spectrum of work and industries.

“Most of what you’ve been told about your future career is wrong”

In the 1980’s the number of coal miners were huge: around 200,000 odd. Today about 3,500 remain. Why? Because of the increase in technology, other types of jobs are needed (IT, Entertainment, Financial Services etc) whilst the service sector is diminishing.

What I found most intriguing was young people raised in this new technological revolution (i.e. i-pod’s, i-pads, video games etc) are evolving anatomically and neurologically. Don Tapscott, a Chairman of the nGenera Innovation Network and a professor of management, University of Toronto, reveals the reason why young people are able to multi-task. Young people are capable of using their laptop, taking notes, flicking through a magazine and watching TV at the same time. Research shows that our brains are developing and becoming a better active memory store, thus, better at holding a lot more information and performing tasks simultaneously. Young people sometimes use the TV as a ‘background noise’ so that they are able to work as we are used to digital technology – we were raised with it. However, the older generation find this difficult as they were not born in this high-tech world. Even our fingers are changing and functioning differently due to the increased number of people playing video games and typing on laptops. This, therefore, means surgical tools have to change to our ‘modern-day’ fingers.

I came out of this lecture thinking of ways to design and fit in with this new technological age. How the old are getting older, thus, must keep in mind they are our market too and in the end – they may well ultimately depend on our careers.

Tagged , , , ,

Design & The Market: Research Your Business

For our first Design & The Market we have been asked to identify an enterprise, such as a company or freelance designer, to research and evaluate, followed by a presentation about that business. This should help us understand and acknowledge of what running a business is like.

Today, we allocated ourselves into teams. My team includes Linsay Thompson, Lucie Hunter, Cat Doyle, Rachel Bruce, Jennifer McGurk and myself. We sat down and had a brainstorm of which successful designers and companies we would benefit  from most and decided on Steven Webster, who creates cutting edge, almost glam goth, jewellery.

We decided as a group which individuals were best at talking, researching and presentations, thus, making sure we were organised to proceed knowing which person was doing what in the continuation of the project. Through the technique of brainstorming our team thought about different questions and things to look for in more detail when researching Webster’s company, including market research; what is happening in the Jewellery industry?; What are the trends? And so fourth.

It was a successful first meeting, everyone seems to be excited and enthusiastic about the project. So looking forward to hopefully getting in contact with the ‘Webster’ himself.

Tagged , , , , , ,