By Heath Beeferman
It doesn’t matter who you are or what you are selling, every company is a design company.
Design has never been more important to the success of a business – consumers expect polished, eye-catching creative, often basing trust and credibility on a brand’s visual identity. Brands that prioritize and invest in designers outperform competitors by 211%, according to AdAge.
As household names like Apple, Target, Google and Starbucks consistently prioritize the visual aspects of their brands, they’re setting the bar for others. These organizations and their products have become instantly recognizable, even before their name is listed in ad spots or creative. Design is no longer a “nice to have;” it’s table stakes.
Companies that ignore strong design will be left in the dark as more consumers turn to brands with which they are familiar and comfortable.
The Necessity of Design
Countless studies have sought to understand how and why design affects us as profoundly as it does, and it turns out the answer lies in our physiology. Public Relations Society of American (PRSA) references a study by Paul Martin Lester, “Syntactic Theory of Visual Communication,” which proved that people only remember 10% of what they hear, but 80% of what they see and do.
Not only do visuals improve recall, but they also increase the perceived trustworthiness of a message. The Wharton School of Business determined that while about 50% of an audience could be convinced by a key message through only a verbal presentation, 67% were convinced after a presentation with visuals.
Humans are visual creatures, and visual cues help drive home the impact of a well-crafted message.
Great content without impactful design simply doesn’t move the needle the same way a curated deliverable can. Without compelling visuals, even the most eloquently written messages can be easily overlooked, causing engagement to dwindle.
This goes for internal audiences, too. An organization’s employees are its biggest asset, and design is crucial to reflecting an identity with which employees connect and voluntarily engage. We’ve even found that incorporating branded design in our office space energizes employees and encourages them to feel connected to our values while at work.
Another classic example is when companies provide branded swag for employees. If the design is good, your team is more likely to use or wear the items. When they do so, they become walking ambassadors for your brand.
These visual cues can nurture a contagious sense of belonging and buy-in that drives your bottom line.
A Strategic Approach: Prioritizing Design Across the Brand
But just how can a strong logo or memorable graphic “drive your bottom line”? Well, consistent creative helps you differentiate your business from its competitors and stand out in an oversaturated market, resulting in:
- Increased sales
- Improved market position relative to competitors
- Greater customer loyalty
- Enhanced employee engagement
- A stronger, more consistent, more memorable brand identity
- Quicker traction for new products and services
Involving a “design eye” at the beginning of every project will increase the chance of achieving these outcomes. In fact, many companies are creating design positions at higher levels of leadership. Having a creative mind at the table during the planning process can help spot design opportunities that may have otherwise been missed. Even minor adjustments to incorporate intentional design can provide considerable rewards.
Good design always has a place, no matter how small the opportunity.
When considered strategically, design will extend beyond just the basic marketing materials like a website, signage or logo. Elevating a message through holistic visual storytelling creates meaningful connections with audiences and customers, which can have a huge impact on your bottom line.
When incorporating design into your planning process:
- Evaluate previous design outcomes and use them to inform future strategy and dictate best practices to achieve continued success.
- Identify areas of your business in which design opportunities are being missed and find a way to integrate design thinking.
- Be intentional about seeking design considerations in the planning stage of all projects, campaigns and business strategies. Add design as a line item to your agendas so it isn’t overlooked.
Sometimes bringing in a fresh set of eyes can make a huge difference. Don’t be afraid to seek an outside perspective. Our design team is constantly making recommendations to clients about how design might enhance opportunities, inspire growth and add value to both customers and employees. And we’d be happy to partner with you in your design endeavors, too. Connect with our team today!