In 1956 Thomas Watson, Jr. of IBM famously said, “Good design is good business.” You’ll notice that he qualified his statement with the adjective ”good.” Therefore, let’s take a look at just how ”good” design can have a positive influence on your bottom line.
Good design is effective.
Oftentimes, business professionals regard design as simple “aesthetics” or “styling.” They simply want a designer to come in and “pretty things up.” However, good design is about so much more than just selecting fonts or picking colors.
A professional designer is a business partner who can help you translate and communicate the value of your ideas to consumers, employees, stockholders and even your competitors. He can guide your project from planning, concept development and budgeting, through production and all the way to a finished product. So, it’s crucial to involve the designer in the process as soon as possible. It’s difficult — if not impossible — for a designer to have any real impact, if he’s only involved in the latter stages of a project.
Good design is a real differentiator.
Good design helps set you apart from the competition, motivates your potential customers, cultivates brand recognition, and influences public perception of your company’s products and services. Good design is a fundamental part of creating an image and experience of exclusivity and inclusion. Consumers often select an item because they see a little bit of themselves — or who they wish to be — in that product.
Visit the shelves of your local supermarket and you’ll see that bad “looking” brands far outweigh the good. In fact you’ll probably notice that the well-designed packaging and products almost leap from the shelf. If your business invests in quality design, you will stand out from your competitors. As George Fisher, CEO, Kodak once said, “In the end, what customers really see is what designers design. That is the ultimate tool that a company has in order to be competitive in the marketplace.”
Good design builds trust.
Professional design helps to establish a company or its products as trustworthy. It’s no accident that many of the world’s top brands are also design leaders. How else do you explain companies such as Apple® and Target®, who have successfully persuaded consumers to purchase higher-priced products, during one of the worst economic recessions in history? They did it by building trust, in the minds of the consumer, through good design. That’s not to minimize the role that marketing played in their success. But no amount of advertising or promotion can compensate for an inferior product or service, a bad business model or a poorly managed company. In these cases, their marketing efforts — as they should be — were an extension of the brand. And of course, that brand was reinforced by well-designed products and services.
Good design enhances your marketing efforts.
It costs a lot more to gain a new customer than to retain an existing one. That’s good news for companies who continue to produce quality goods and services, especially in today’s socially controlled environment. A customer’s recommendation often carries more weight than conventional marketing. Loyal customers can become your sales force, simply through word-of-mouth. Thus allowing you to decrease your overall marketing budget.
When you think about graphic design and its potential for your business, remember, good design is good business.