Can we give some props to “Design” for a sec?
Whether you’re a business owner or a house wife,
you are affected by design every day –
ranging from the mundane to the exquisite.
Newspapers, books, food packages, clothing, and websites are things we engage with daily, yet we don’t think twice about the fact that a designer put their finger on each of these items.
Design is a topic you either embrace, or you totally don’t get. There are many types of design from interior design, graphic design, web design, clothing design, architecture, landscaping, containers, etc. etc. It goes even deeper, but this post will focus on graphic and web design.
Most bigger business understand the importance of design, but to those who see the high prices of design and roll your eyes…tune in.
We’ve broken design into three critical ways it is important and worth paying attention to.
1. Design Promotes your Brand
A company’s brand is the persona of the company, and all forms of communication tell your audience what the brand is really about.
If your website looks piecemeal, thrown together by an amateur, or the business owner himself, what does that communicate to a potential paying customer? Are they likely to spend money on your services, when you don’t even spend money to look professional?
There’s a marketing mantra that says
“Perception is Reality.”
This is a good mantra to remember,
when engaging in business and the online world.
This means that the perception of your audience is what truly matters. What the public thinks of your brand is who your brand is. So, whatever you’re putting into the world – whether product or service – isn’t who you are, but how its perceived. Businesses can’t control a consumer, but excellent work and design can play a great role in shaping their perception.
If you think of a website as a store front on the internet, where people go to engage with your services, blog, or even buy product (if you do e-commerce), your web design promotes or demotes the brand.
When building a web presence, focus on your customer and imagine the experience they’re having when interacting with your website. We’ve all heard that “content is king” meaning that it’s the thing that promotes SEO and can drive and engage customers…But, can we agree that “design is queen?”
Who cares about your content it’s not properly displayed, and it’s difficult to consume? Chances are that nobody cares about your content.
Design transcends more than just your website,
when engaging with customers online. Landing pages, emails,
social media, banners, and ads
all engage a web or graphic designer.
Designers ‘get’ branding when it comes to serving their customers. All elements of a company’s brand must be cohesive and consistent across the board, and a good designer will make that happen.
Designers ensure there is brand integrity and congruity in all promotion of the brand. For example, Harley Davidson, Ethan Allen, and Verizon have significantly different brands who all task designers to tailor their artwork to the brand. There is no way you’d confuse these brands when running across them online or anywhere, really.
At Xenatek we work with artists and brand experts to help our clients find their brand voice. I often share this blog and ask a client to answer the questions, if they’re questioning their brand identity.
2. Design Shares your Brand
Edgy or Soft design communicates different messages to its audience. What is your brand and what are you trying to communicate? Who is your audience?
Every decision in design should account for 1) your brand and 2) your audience. In fact, most artists won’t engage with a client’s projects until these two areas are properly understood.
A strong brand is the only kind of brand to build. Having your audience understand your services and brand persona helps bring clarity, plus customers are more likely to engage with an understood or known brand.
When people fully grasp a brand,
it alleviates any anxiety associated with a brand.
Customers who are unsure of who you are as
a company will be left asking questions, but a solid,
clear brand can translate into more sales.
Establishing your brand is impossible without the help of a designer. Designers help in many ways including logos, color schemes, PowerPoints, letterhead, business cards, and any other type of communication.
The reason anyone is in business is to provide one of two things: 1) products or 2) services. Those two activities are created with the intent to engage a customer, donor, member, or let’s just say your “audience.”
If your audience is B2B, you’ll be engaging in a different way than if your target market is the consumer. For example, a Logistics company offering their services should have a significantly different brand than a hair salon or grocery store. Even authors who write adult fiction should have a radically different brand than authors writing children’s fiction.
When engaging with an artist to discuss brand, they will probably cover colors, color-themes, and fonts. One font can be stoic and serious while another is whimsical and young. Because so many people don’t think of their company brand in terms of colors, feelings, and fonts, finding an artist to walk through this process can provide valuable insights and steer a business down the right path.
3. Design Attracts and Engages
To reiterate the importance of design we’ll delve into the concept that if “content is king,” then “design is queen.”
In a digital world, where billions of online users
are bombarded with every type of content
from all different types of companies,
how do you get these users’ attention?
Marketers will tell you it’s a winning strategy that does it – and that’s true…but only if the design piece is in place. The layout of your content, value of the images displayed (make sure they’re clear), and the fonts and their sizes all play a critical role in the way a user will engage with the content on the website.
Thus, design is queen, if content is king. The two must work together to accomplish the goal of engaging and converting the user.