The points you raised in your comment (DW 20 November) are both necessary and timely. It is true that a great strategy can be wrecked by a lousy design execution, and it is equally true that an apparently great design can fail for lack of a clear and differentiating strategy.
Where strategy and design are bought separately – as many clients prefer to do – it is really up to the client to ensure that the strategy company remains involved in the creative process and that the interpretation is in line with the strategic thinking.
Here at RPA we offer both, but it is interesting that our director of retail strategy, Chris Middleton, insists on being located adjacent to the design studio. By involving our design directors in his team’s strategic process he ensures that they welcome his input to the creative process – surely this is the best of both worlds.
The size of the company is not particularly relevant, it’s the quality of the people and their clear understanding of each other’s contribution to the total process that really makes for the most effective solutions.
Retail Planning Associates