The awards are run by the Design Business Association, or DBA, and the winners’ list is a who’s who of the industry.

These aren’t like your usual design awards, judged on the whims and tastes of a panel of industry types. They’re a unique programme that celebrate design’s tangible effect on business success. Making the case for an award involves pulling together hard numbers about ROI (return on investment), sales growth, brand awareness and customer traffic (whether online or IRL).

In THORNeco’s case, we thought the case was pretty clear (and the judges agreed). Sales increased 300% in the three months after the product brand relaunched. The range is now expanding to 17 new countries. Brand perception has massively shifted in the right direction.

We picked up a Gold award, the highest accolade, and also the overall International Export award. It’s all we could have hoped for, and we celebrated heartily with the champagne that arrived at our table.

To recap: we relaunched a product range in a way that had huge stand-out in an unloved sector – over-the-counter wholesale lighting. Giving each product a ‘real’ name and building characters around them meant they stood out massively. It’s good to see the market loves them as much as we do.

Effectiveness out in the real world is hugely important to us, and we’ve written more about that here. But for now, a small bit of trumpet-blowing and a “thank you” to our clients at Zumtobel Group for the confidence they showed in going with this approach.

See our case study for the full project story, and the DBA website for the list of this year’s winners.

Gilmar Wendt is the Founder and Principal of GW+Co.
Contact him on @gilmarwendt