This is a great topic for all designers, and I'd like to say I wrote the eloquent headline and next paragraph, but it was actually written by a member of my LinkedIn Group, In House Designers, (Thanks Marcy).
Does this happen to you? A colleague asks for you to design something to meet the needs of their department. You use your expertise to do just that, but as they have no creative, design or marketing background they tear it down into something that simply pleases their taste. They have the final say but you know that what they want doesn't meet what they need. I am often frustrated because I believe I can articulate well the reasons why their ideas will make the marketing efforts useless but yet they don't listen and I end up delivering a very sub-par end product I'm not proud of. Would love to hear any comments/feedback/experiences...
I've been in a company where that was an issue, and not for the reasons you'd think. At first I was the only guy, in a company that did trade shows and a magazine for the scrapbook industry. I always felt like some of the women I worked with trusted my technical skills but weren't sure I had what it took to design something that would appeal to women.
Honestly though I've had some problems with this throughout my career. Here are two things I have found that have helped me.
1. People think that what designers do is based on a whim or mood, they see no science behind it. Show them the science, eye tracking studies, color psychology, anything to show them the method behind your madness.
2. Have a strong brand and a document to back it up. If you have a strong brand and a document that tells them what the corporate colors, corporate fonts, what you can and can't do with the logo, like size and what it can be placed on, you eliminate a lot of what they can complain about. A detailed brand doc lets you point to something and say, "Can't do it, it's against the brand!". Of course you should probably say it nicer than that, lol.
Armed with those two things you'll have an answer for just about everything.