In 1973, IBM's chief executive Thomas J. Watson, Jr. stated that "good design is good business." That statement is still true today. A recent study shows that companies that placed an emphasis on design grew 299 percent between 2003 and 2013. While most of the companies in that study were giants like Apple and Nike, this idea can still apply to any small business.
What is your impression when you land on a website that looks "homemade"? Does it lack any sign of brand consistency or clarity? Do you hesitate to give them your personal information? Do you wonder about the credibility of their business? Compare that to your experience on a website that looks professionally designed. It's usually easy to read, easy to navigate and entices you to learn more about the products or services. The brand consistency also builds trust and makes you feel good about doing business with them.
The quality of your website creates a perception of value to your audience. When your design looks unorganized, has low-quality images, or doesn't convey your message clearly, you could be losing out on potential business.
Communication & First Impressions
Marketing pieces that are professionally designed can communicate your message more clearly. A well-designed piece can also evoke emotion in that communication. Think about something as simple as a business card. When someone hands you their card what is your impression? If it's on lightweight paper, has a low-quality logo or doesn't convey all the contact information clearly, what message is that sending to your brain about their business? Compare that to receiving a card that is printed on thick stock with a professional logo and clean typography. Words that come to mind might be quality, experience or knowledge. Something as small as your business card can really say a lot about your business.
Reflecting Your Brand
There are so many great professionals out there. They are AMAZING at what they do and they offer high-quality products and services, but the customers they are trying to reach might not know that. Part of the problem might be that they just never really understood the value that good design could have on their business and their brand.
We shouldn't "judge a book by its cover," right? Yet we do it all the time. For example, what does it say about your brand if the photo in your advertisement is pixelated or your logo is distorted? To me, it says that if this business doesn't even care enough about how their ad looks to the public, what kind of thought or care are they putting into their products or services? People are unconsciously making decisions based on design every day. Make sure your designs reflect the quality of your business.
What To Do
Take the time to evaluate all your brand assets. Look at your logo, your business card, website, and any other print or digital graphics you are using. Ask yourself, and/or a trusted colleague, the following?
- Does my brand identity reflect the quality of my products or services?
- Do all my marketing pieces look consistent (logo, colors, typography)?
- Are my pieces communicating the message I want to deliver?
- Can I improve on what I have?
- What impression do my marketing designs give my customers?
- What kind of feedback, if any, am I getting about my brand from my customers?
By taking the time to evaluate your visual communication, you can get a clearer picture of what you can do to make sure that good design brings you good business.
Need someone to help you with that good design? Let's chat!