Good Design Solutions Make Business Better
As a savvy and forward-thinking business owner, you’re probably already aware that well-executed branding and visual communications can only improve your marketing efforts. But what exactly goes into branding and marketing design that makes it so effective?
In general, good design solutions can create a brand that captures the heart of your company visually so your target audience will know what you do immediately, can set you apart from your competitors and help build trust and loyalty among current and potential clients. The defining factor of good design solutions is that they should also fit your company’s unique processes and make running your business easier. That’s why you started your business, right? You have services, products and processes totally unique to your business, which have gained you a following of loyal clients, and you’re looking to find and connect with more. Why would you invest in marketing and design solutions that make you change your process when you don’t need to? Good design solutions should support your unique processes and ensure visual communication and marketing efforts are focused towards your ideal clients. Anything extra is just a waste of time and money. Here’s a list of ways you can tell your designer’s solutions are working with and for your company.
Good design solutions…
Are easy to implement into your current processes.
You’re an expert on your business process. You know how to provide value where your clients need it, to carry out a service or provide a product that improves your client’s lives in the most efficient and profitable way possible. Adding on to your business process for the sake of a fancy marketing or design solution may help improve your image in some cases. Typically, it just adds more time and effort to your process, increasing overhead and making your job more difficult.
e.g. Many companies have a Facebook page to help establish their brand online. It makes sense for them to have a profile and post to it regularly to reach their target audience. But not all companies NEED a Facebook page. It all depends on where their target audience is located, as well as whether or not it is worth the time it takes to make regular posts to the company profile page. If your company’s target market isn’t on Facebook, then a good design solution is to avoid creating a Facebook page, as it is wasted time and effort among the many marketing tools available today.
Help improve your current processes.
During the information gathering and brainstorming process, designers may help you think more deeply about your current processes and where there may be room for improvement. Ideally, your designer can help you enhance the best parts of your processes and communicate them effectively to your ideal audience. It is the job of the designer to ask questions about your company, to learn about your goals, how you provide value to your customers and to increase that value through their marketing and design solutions.
e.g. Instead of printing out a 100 page product catalog, maybe consider creating a digital document that can be easily updated on the fly and emailed to potential buyers. Instead of using a convoluted and overcomplicated platform (like Wordpress) for your website, consider a more intuitive and all-in-one platform (like Squarespace) that you can save time updating yourself instead of having to consult a designer or developer to make simple changes. Instead of using a paid email marketing tool, consider using a free email marketing tool (like Mailchimp) until your email subscriber list grows large enough to warrant a subscription fee.
Get you excited and thinking about ways to connect with your target market.
Your designer may also try to brainstorm and suggest other design solutions in addition to the basic logo and website as a way to extend your brand across more marketing channels to reach your target audience more effectively. This is a great practice and well worth the time to consider where your ideal clients might be found and how they might be reached, especially if you don’t have the resources to do extensive market research and testing. That said, it is best to be realistic and communicate to your designer what makes the most sense within your budget and allotted time for marketing and business development so the suggested solutions are aligned with your business goals.
e.g. If your ideal client requires a longer sales process and some education on why your services are the best option for them, it might be great to add a blog to your website. This allows your company to become a thought-leader within your industry, helps improve your SEO over time by adding specific and relevant content regularly, and can create blog followers that may eventually turn into loyal clients. While this sounds simple enough, implementing a blog will have more success if you plan your blogging around a schedule that works for your business processes while also allowing for high-quality blog content. This might mean you only post one blog per quarter, but the blogs provide well-researched and insightful content that truly helps your current and potential clients.
At its core, good design is a set of communications that help visually explain what sets your company’s products or services apart from the competition. It provides insight into processes unique to your company, and tells the story of how your company was formed by individuals with highly specific and developed skills. The design solutions employed by your designer should make you, your employees and your current and future clients happy. It should NOT get in the way, make your life more difficult or be a burden on your time.