What Do Clients Want More: Good Value or Good Design?


the value of good design Preston Bailey

I recently gave a speech and a vendor in the audience asked me a very interesting question. I’ve been mulling it over ever since and want to address it here with you:

“Do most clients shop for value more than design?”

I resist pigeonholing potential clients, because the truth is usually much more nuanced. However,  I think the answer to this question is both — people want good value AND good design. If they only wanted one, our jobs would be much easier.

Now, thank you, thank you, God, that after more than 30 years in this business, most of my clients are extremely rich. Of course, most of them are wealthy, because they know how to take care of their money and have a deep appreciation for value. (Only once has a client ever said to me, “Money is not an issue.” Unfortunately, this client was living in a fantasy and ended up conning me and several other vendors; money was very much an issue, after all!)

In general, though, I think that most clients — if they have to choose — will pick the more cost-efficient option. Every once in a great while, though, a client will truly understand the price and value of a great design and will recognize how personal an innovative design concept really is. I live for these clients!

Dear Readers, let me ask you the same question I got: do you think most clients shop for value more than design? Have you ever experienced a crazy client who told you they could afford something much more lavish than they actually could? (I call these “fake” clients!)

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