There is a famous quote by Steve Jobs that says, "Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works." Too often the value of design is confused for "making things look pretty", but design is more than making things pleasing to the eye. Successful design is about making everything function better and more efficiently. All too often a designer is brought in at the end of the process to put a slick veneer on whatever effort is being made, but a designer should be included as early in any process as possible to maximize the functionality of the overall design goals. Businesses are more reliant on a cohesive and functional design plan for success than ever before. With the rise of ecommerce, social media, and the need for a comprehensive web presence, good design is playing a larger and larger role in the overall prosperity of all organizations. Let's look at a few examples of why good design helps organizations up their professional game and transform into more efficient and more profitable operations.
The Numbers Don't Lie
The most obvious benefit of good design is higher revenues. In the past this was more of a hypothesis than a proven fact, but fortunately there exists a wealth of data today that solidifies this point as an absolute fact. The McKinsey’s Design Index is one of the most recent and credible studies conducted on the subject of ROI on design investment. Following the design practices of 300 publicly listed companies over a five-year period they found that companies who invested in good design outperformed their competitors by almost double. These companies on average showed a 32% increase in overall revenue and a 56% increase in total returns to shareholders. It is a proven fact that good design is good for business.
A Good First Impression
It is no secret that first impressions are critical to attracting and keeping business. The first impression most people will have with your organization is most likely going to have a designed element to it. This could be anything from an ad in the paper, a radio spot, your website, an interview, a public event, pretty much everything you do. Good design creates an instant perception of credibility and quality that will sway a customer's decision when picking between you and the competition. When your design is professional and reflects the actual experience that a person encounters when they come to your establishment, you can add trustworthiness to your list of achievements. It is as important that design be accurate as it is appealing.
Most successful marketing is centered around communicating your value to the audience that you are speaking to at any given moment. Design is a critical tool that ensures the message you want the world to hear is being seen and understood. The easier it is to understand what you are selling and why people need your product or services the easier it is for people to decide to support you with their dollars. Clear communication also sends a signal to potential customers that you are a reliably professional choice that understands that values the quality of work that you do.
Good Design is Good Citizenship
Caring about how you present yourself and how that image is received by our community and peers is a familiar concept. You would not go to a job interview in sweat pants. You wouldn't just stop mowing your yard and let nature overtake your front yard. Your business should be no exception to this rule. The way you present your business reflects on your entire community. Your advertising, signage, building paint, and landscaping all give insight into how you view your responsibility to the area you serve. Investment in design services helps you communicate the local pride that you feel and show your neighbors that you care about the welfare of the community you serve.
Motivation is Key
With so many choices and options at consumers fingertips, a prospective marketer must learn to motivate people to choose you. Professional design services can inspire people to want to choose you. In a crowded field you must do more than be proficient at what you do. It is important to have a story to tell. Giving people an explanation of what you do, but also offering insight into why you do it and who you do it for. Passive support is no longer good enough to keep a business afloat.
Everything is Designed
The most important thing to remember is that you are not making a choice between using design or not using design in your business practices. You are already using design. You are making a choice between investing in good design or settling for bad design. And we know that you know, you get what you pay for. Investment in good design will pay dividends both in your profits and reputation. If you don't accept poor quality in the other parts of your operation you should not be content with poor quality when it comes to your design and overall brand functionality.