Every single company, from the small business owner in his street-side stall to the largest multi-national conglomerate, takes plenty of pain to create a brand they believe in. This brand becomes the reason for their existence and also the reason why they spend sleepless nights thinking about ways to make it better. When you spare no expense to make your product/service as customer-oriented as possible, then why shy away from using quality design?
a) Grabs Attention: A well-designed shoe or computer will not only grab attention because of its features, but also because of its looks. In a shoe store, the first thing that determines whether a person will try a shoe or not is its design. If it looks ugly, it will stay on the shelf unless the customer has come in, specifically, with that model or price-range in mind. So make sure your products look good to grab the eye of your potential customers. This is also what makes them stand out against the run-of-the-mill competition.
b) Creates Recall: When you buy anything, like hair shampoo, you might think that it is the product inside the bottle that matters. Fact is, the product matters only once the customer has bought the bottle and tried it on. To get them to pick your product, your packaging (in this case the bottle), needs to make them want to pick it. There are thousands of products lined up on store-shelves and if you don’t take the effort to create an experience from the moment someone receives a box to the time they start using the product, they won’t have anything to remember you by.
c) Builds your Image: British Petroleum created a surge by changing their logo colours to Green and Yellow. While their logo remained the same, the message was simple – “We care about the environment.” Whether the company goes on to do something about it or not is something different. The fact is, in the eyes of the target audience, this shift in design leads to a shift in perception.
d) Increases Sales: As people start looking at your company and brand differently, they start appreciating it more. If two companies create the same quality of product (equal in every aspect), it is a guarantee that almost every single customer will pick the one they remember the most. Design helps them remember and, therefore, the next time they go to a store, they will pick out what they remember. Make your brand more memorable with some innovative thinking that touches your customers and watch them line-up outside.
e) Improves Market Standings: This is a direct off-shoot from a rise in sales figures. If you start selling more products, chances are that you are outshining your competition. That means, you are toppling them in the popularity charts as well as in the charts that matter the most – the financial charts.
f) A Strategic Investment: As the world is being driven by more visual content, standing out in the crowd is getting harder. Using good design to create your own space, before anything covers your presence, is a great way to set things up for the future.
g) Creates Goodwill: As companies are struggling to compete in the battle of price, recession and severely damaged economies, the ones that will survive are the brands that are trusted by customers. When you create a design, be it for a product, an advertisement or just a hoarding on the street, and connect with the customer, that is what they are looking for. Everyone wants to know that you are thinking about them and nothing says that better than meaningful design.
h) Improves Staff Loyalty: Designing a brand isn’t just about getting customers and increasing sales. It is also about taking care of the people on the inside. When these people sit at their workstations or desks and start their day, they need to have your best interests in their mind. From office interiors to memos to the environment that you create, everything needs to be designed with their welfare in mind. Keep them happy and you’ll guarantee a successful organization that is run by the people – happy people, i.e.
i) Reduce Time to Market: Are you forced to stay fresh in people’s mind with new launches? Are you afraid of slipping out of their sights as they go, everyday, to spend their money? Changing the brand image of your company or simply creating fresh design can stop that enforced product launch. An absolutely brand new product package can change the way people have been looking at the same old thing. No one will care that what is inside is what they have been using all along. What they care about is that there is something new about the product they love. Keep them interested and they’ll keep coming back for more of the same. So you can spend your time in developing something better for the next launch.
j) Create a Better World: We live in a world where quality is an idea that is preached more than it is practiced. By creating a better product, you’ve already breached through the barriers of being average, and moved into the superlatives. Now comes the time when you need to carry that image through all other aspects of your business. By creating good designs, you emphasise on a better planet through fresh designs and thoughts. Your ideas will be the starting point for many others, and the cycle will continue with you at the forefront.
Whether you are looking at making a difference or simply making a profit, you need to realise that running a business is a long-term commitment. If you’ve taken the leap on all other fronts, then you’d better start looking at design as an investment for the future. After all, who doesn’t like to believe in love at first sight?