Ever wondered why giants like Apple, Google, and Slack have relied on external design talent and freelance design teams at various points in their journey?
While the convenience of in-house design teams can't be ignored, there's a hidden side to this story...
The Myth of Constant Availability
It's a prevailing assumption: having an in-house team means they're always available. Yet, when Slack was in its infancy, it leveraged the expertise of an external design agency to revamp its logo and branding. Why? Internal teams often juggle numerous projects, leading to bottlenecks. With agencies like NEXUS, clients receive dedicated focus, ensuring timely deliveries.
The Hidden Costs Of Freelance Design Teams
On the surface, an in-house team may seem cost-effective. But consider the hidden expenses: benefits, training, equipment, and office space. Companies often spend an average of 1.25 to 1.4 times the base salary on top of an employee's annual compensation. These hidden costs can quickly surpass the advantages of external teams with their predictable and flexible budgets.
Limited Pool of Creativity
In-house teams can sometimes get caught in a creativity rut. Apple, known for its design prowess, still collaborated with external agency Chiat/Day for its iconic "1984" commercial. Outsourcing brings in a fresh perspective that revitalizes brand aesthetics.
There's a danger in getting too insular. For instance, Google acquired Gecko Design to integrate outside design expertise into their products. External agencies are continuously exposed to varied projects, ensuring they stay atop design innovations.
The Inflexibility Factor
Scaling up or down can pose a challenge with internal teams. Netflix, with its impressive in-house squad, still enlists hundreds of freelance designers yearly for its show and movie artwork. External teams offer flexibility and scalability that often can't be matched internally.
Bias and Lack of Objective Critique
Being deeply rooted in company culture might seem advantageous, but it can lead to bias, making it hard for internal teams to see potential pitfalls. An external view offers the fresh, objective perspective that brands sometimes need.
While in-house has its merits, its limitations are becoming more evident. Brands, from start-ups to Fortune 500s, are recognizing the dynamic, cost-effective, and innovative solutions external agencies bring to the table. If you're aiming to be ahead of the curve while being budget-wise, perhaps it's time to explore outside your in-house comfort zone.