Does it really matter to have a good design for your business?
Does it add any value to your brand?
Design has become more important to business than ever before. It allows your brand to express itself across multiple channels and allows you to build an emotional connection with your target audience.
Here’s the where and what...
Where does design come into play?
Just about every business is online in some form, in fact encountering a business’ website is often some people’s first encounter with a business at all. Also, a lot of businesses are 100% online - meaning that the impression your website leaves is more important than ever.
And how do we leave a good impression? Good design.
So, what things should you look out for when designing your website? These are the things that participants of this study noted were deal breakers: Busy layouts, lack of navigation aids, boring web design, pop up advertisements, slow introductions to a site (splash pages, slow-loading flash introductions, etc), small print, too much text etc.
Your Social Media
Social media marketing is such a huge part of maintaining and promoting a brand in today’s world. BUT, with the growth in social media usage, the attention span of the audience is decreasing, making it more difficult for brands to grab the attention of their audience.
Whether it’s a quote graphic, photograph, or a blog header image, the most shared content is usually either aesthetically pleasing, well designed, cleverly designed, etc. In short, they have been given some form of design TLC.
No matter what you are posting, put some thought and time into them to encourage people to press that ‘share’ button.
AND remember - consistency (see below) across your brand’s channels is important!
Your Print Marketing
Not doing any print marketing? You should be.
Check out why, here.
What makes a good design?
- User experience
AKA, how it looks and how it works.
And above all - INNOVATION. Your small business is unique, your design should be too. You don’t have to follow templates or cookie-cutter design. Be true to your voice and your brand.
Even if YOU understand the idea you are discussing, a visual touch can make your audience understand it in a better way.
Studies have shown that visual appeal can be assessed within about 50 milliseconds. This boils down to the fact that you have to make a good impression within the space of 50 milliseconds.
So, good design has to communicate who you are and what you do in less than a second. WOW.
Good design from your logo, data display, website, social media, print marketing and online campaigns SHOULD make things easier. Your current and potential customers need to understand your business.
You have to pull apart your content and reassemble it in a way that helps you communicate to your audience in the best possible way. Figure out what key things you want to communicate to your consumer when they first lay eyes on your business’ product, website, brand etc. and create a design that works to reflect this.
Chances are that for whatever product or service your business revolves around, there are many other people offering exactly what you do, perhaps in the same price range, with the same benefits etc. So, what can set you apart from your competition is a sleek design.
Design can not only make your product more appealing to your target audience, but it can force you to learn more about them, which, of course, never hurts.
Simply put: A good design can add revenue to your business in the long run.
Good design makes your brand memorable.
Your audience can only discover who you truly are when they know you personally. How do they know you personally? Telling your story through thoughtful design.
Have you ever said or heard “I can’t remember the name of it, but I can picture it”? Often we will remember some element of the material used in packaging or the colouring of the website, some sort of visual cue that we base our memories and experience off.
Blogger and designer Alex Cue notes “Good graphic design ties a piece together. Typography, colors, images, and hierarchy are the resources a graphic designer uses to compose a design that clearly communicates information, value, and reasons to care in a quick, eye-catching manner.”
Remember, branding isn’t just imagery, it’s also language and composition. A smart business knows its customer, and designs their language to appeal to their audience.
Consistency is arguably the key rule to a successful brand, and therefore, a successful business.
An inconsistent brand is forgettable. If your direct audience can’t answer simple questions about your brand’s voice, palette, how your communications generally look, then you might need to get your consistency together.
What can help you stay consistent? A Style Guide (slash Branding Board)! And we can help.
Side note - stay up to date.
While it is important to always stick to YOUR brand style, it is also important to pay attention to and know the current trends. We witness many business or marketing trends which come and go. Similarly designing have trends which come and vanished. Certain styles, colour themes and techniques are really popular for a certain period of time. Keeping an eye on and an awareness of design can help your business capitalize on these trends. It will keep your brand up-to-date and relevant.
Moral of the story.
Lilian Crooks, graphic designer and communications specialist at Harcum College, says:
"Effective design and messaging work in tandem to convey the value of your business legibly and, most importantly, memorably."
If you’ve been second-guessing the value of design for your business – don’t. Good design gives you a competitive edge, drives powerful marketing results and allows you to stand out.
Simply put, good design will only add value to your business.
Even if you have a great story to tell your customers, no one is willing to read it unless you engage them in a right way. Thoughtful, relevant, and eye-catching visuals will set your brand apart.