At Seymourpowell, design and innovation are, and always have been, completely inseparable. We’ve been striving to innovate in everything we do since the business was founded. Why? Because just looking great is not enough – our mantra at Seymourpowell, our cri de coeur, has always been Better by Design.

That means Better for People – you often hear them referred to as users, customers, passengers, visitors, consumers or markets. But, of course, these are real people: individuals with their own lived experiences, backgrounds, identities, beliefs, talents, challenges and passions… and that’s how one should always think of them, rather than simply as abstract and anonymous nouns!

Because what we’ve found is that closely melding brilliant clients, exceptionally creative designers and experienced design anthropologists with real people can produce valuable and powerful insights… little sparks which fire innovative ideas into life and from which Better breakthrough products, services and experiences emerge fully formed.

It also means Better for Business – what we do is not Art. It’s not self-expression. It’s not the self-indulgent, irrelevant opinion of some diva designer. No, this is about creating products, services and experiences which deliver increased sales, better value, bigger margins and, of course, more profit. Nor can we do this alone. Close and effective strategic relationships with your people: your engineers, your R&D team and your marketing team, because that’s what it takes to wrangle the glimmer of an idea from concept into reality with results which are Better for Business.

And too, it means Better for the World. Businesses can no longer hope that what they do is so good that they can get away with greenwashing away their guilty secrets. Why? Because before, it was government legislation which prodded them into action... now, it’s the people who pay for their services, products and experiences who are demanding Better.

And the more upstream you start, the more widespread and effective will be the downstream consequences for the world. That way, you can create new products and services which are conceived from the ground up to be sustainable, to be disassembled for a circular economy and which use responsibly-sourced materials and assembly. The further down the road you kick the sustainability can, the harder it becomes to make any sort of difference!

Being Better for People, Better for Business and Better for the World creates innovative products and services, that provide engaging and compelling experiences to meet people’s needs (and even their unmet latent needs). And that creates a significant edge over the competition; an edge which translates into better margins and better sales... it’s that simple.

In the next issue, we’ll be taking a deep dive into what ‘Better for People’ means in the context of 2023 social trends and we’ll be sharing the tips and techniques we’ve developed to help bake inclusivity into the design and innovation process.

We hope you’ll join us.