Where do designers live?
Mpowered Podcast, Episode 07 Show Notes
Welcome to Mpowered, the podcast brought to you by Material Bank and created by ThinkLab.
In this bite-sized episode, we tackle the question, "where do designers live?” Host Erica Waayenberg, head of research and content at ThinkLab, looks at three key ways to determine which markets have the best designer outreach opportunities, and what you can do with that information.
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If you have a question or topic you’d like us to tackle on air, we’d love to hear from you. Simply direct-message Material Bank on Instagram with your success story or question through the messaging function.
Welcome to Mpowered, the podcast brought to you by Material Bank and created by ThinkLab. Consider this your new weekly dose of bite-sized, actionable insights to help you succeed as a B2B rep. I’m this week’s host, Erica Waayenberg, head of research and content at ThinkLab.
We’ll be answering one key question each week, many of them submitted by you. Want to join in? We’ll share details about how to submit your question at the end of this episode.
Our question this week: Where do designers live?
Why is knowing where designers live important, you ask? Well, if you’re a sales leader trying to decide where to focus —or a local rep whose goals are to connect with designers through presentations, events, and even on the job site —you need to meet them where they are.
In ThinkLab’s most recent U.S. design industry benchmark report, you’ll see there are 87,000 designers in the United States. Breaking down where to find them may feel like a daunting task, but in just a few minutes, we’ll break down the data we’ve spent months poring over.
Let’s look at three key ways to determine which markets have the best designer outreach opportunities and what you can do with that information.
Major hubs of designer employment.
One way to look at where there are strong opportunities to reach interior designers and architects is to simply see which cities and regions have the highest populations of these professions. New York City leads the way with over 4,770 designers with LA, shortly behind. San Francisco; Dallas; Chicago; Atlanta; Washington, D.C.; Denver; Miami; and Houston round out the rest of the top 10.
These major metropolitan areas offer a dense population of medium and large firms and typically higher project loads due to the size of those firms. These are prime targets for any rep looking to focus their attention and efforts in a space with broad networking opportunities and ample project prospects.
Consider the Location Quotient
Second, another way to look at where designers live is to consider the location quotient. Haven’t heard of a location quotient before? Let the design nerd in me explain. The location quotient tells us where in the country the density of interior designers is higher than the national average. So, where are there more viable fish within the same-size pond?
When we consider the location quotient, a few of our top 10 geographic regions rise to the top. San Francisco has an average 2.6 times the national average of interior designers per capita, while Denver has two and a half times, and Los Angeles, 1.89 times. These markets are not only heavy hitters in the number of designers, but the presence of the design scene within these cities is even more prominent.
Stability of the Design Presence Within the Market
Lastly, another important consideration is the stability of the design presence within any market. When we look at the Southern region geographically, there has been tremendous growth in interior design employment over the past few years, with 7 of the top 20 metropolitan markets for interior design falling in that Southeast region.
Will the boom of designers there be long term? It’s hard to say exactly, but markets like Miami, Dallas, and Atlanta, boast active design centers, storefront showrooms, and a bustling design community. Becoming an active member of an established design community will help expand your relationships beyond firm visits and build trust and rapport with designers who can see the investment you are making into their community as well.
While knowing where designers work and live is only one piece of the puzzle, it is a foundational piece. It can identify target-rich markets where your outreach efforts can have far greater return, but don’t let your strategic thinking stop there. Download ThinkLab’s U.S. design industry benchmark report in the show notes to expand your planning even further, and join us here each week as we explore a new topic, question, or approach to empower you as a rep.
If you have a question or topic you’d like us to tackle on air, we’d love to hear from you. Simply direct-message Material Bank on Instagram or LinkedIn. Drop us a note with your success story or question by clicking on the message button.
I’d like to take a moment to thank you for listening in and invite you to listen in each week for more tips and tidbits to empower you as a rep.
Special thanks to Material Bank for partnering with us to provide bite-size, valuable insights for B2B reps in the interior design industry.