Great Design is Paramount to Success
How can design be measured? Specifically, how can design be measured in dollars and cents and how can it’s importance be clearly translated to stakeholders and key decision makers? As a consultancy we understand that there is an inevitable payout for a well invested and thought out design. To other parties in a company though, it can be viewed as a risk and low priority in the business strategy. As designers we need to find practical and clear ways to show these decision makers (whether it be internal or clients) that a thoughtful design strategy will not only result in a higher ROI but will help every other aspect of the project as well as push a company to the next level.
Previously, traditional product development was segmented and structured into specific points of a business strategy. Now, there are more designers pushing the agenda that it is valuable and crucial throughout the entire process, from start to finish. Starting with research, identifying key customer needs, experiences, and pain points early on alleviates road blocks and costly redesigns down the road. User Experience centered designs have seen an increase in demand and utilizing a strong UX team will help a design be as end user focused as possible. With the rise of UI/UX designers and even “hybrid” designers, it is important to remain focused on the end user’s need and design without bias or stigma.
Apple has always outshone its competitors despite technically sometimes falling short when it comes to features. Apple has embraced their design centered practice for years and has always relied on that image. Genius Bar didn’t make sense financially (taking away 20% of the sales floor and offering “free” support on site), but it became unique to the Apple experience and formed a bond with the customer base that contributed to the massive sales (despite not having the necessary high-ranking tech).
Apple takes this way of thinking from the floors of their flagship stores to their own headquarters. Their “mothership” campus, which was a multibillion-dollar project, is over the top with a 4 story glass entrance, an impeccable level of detail down to the type of wood used (maple, heartwood, center cut only), and the overall grandiose experience of calling Apple Park your office. What seems unnecessary in design and level of detail for a workplace is what sets Apple apart. Chief Design Officer, Jony Ives, says of the otherworldly space, “the value is not what went into the building. It’s what will come out.” And that is the mission of a design focused company. That with a great design, when it is the environment and the standard, comes great results and ROI.
Creating ROI Through Brand Awareness
At Beyond, we know the value of design and the exponentially positive output that comes from great design and sound practice. We also value the importance of creating a strong brand and over the past 25 years have continually developed and polished our own brand identity. A company goes through stages of growth, peaks and valleys, changes, and other milestones. Despite these factors, a brand should be able to weather these storms and evolve as time goes on. We recently reevaluated our own brand using Philip VanDusen’s 7 ways to increase brand awareness. VanDusen is the founder of New York based strategic design and branding consultancy, Verhaal Brand Design. He has been giving design, branding, and marketing advice for over 20 years and his personal mantra is “success happens by design.” We full heartedly agree and found his expertise and guidance to be helpful and have integrated some of his key attributes into our own brand.
We used VanDusen’s 7 ways to increase brand awareness tips to strengthen our own brand. For more of his “musings” visit his website here.
When creating and strengthening a brand, leveraging partnerships and content is crucial. The best way to reach a wider audience is to partner with other similar brands (i.e. Spotify + Starbucks and Apple + Mastercard). By co-posting content and engaging with other companies, your brand increases in value and builds traction. Leveraging content means leveraging social as well. Creating shareable content, specifically visual pieces like graphics and infographics, easily engages with your audience and drives brand awareness through channels like your website, Instagram, and Twitter.
Content is one of the most effective ways to increase brand awareness and turn likes and shares into sales. Publishing original content like blogs and articles increases credibility and establishes a company as original, current, and as a thought leader.
Content is also easy to re-purpose and re-package for different social challenges (as mentioned above) and can be reused as resources to solidify your company as an expert and strengthen your brand.
VanDusen continuously points out the three R’s of design: Recognition, Remembrance, and Reverence. Achieving all three translates directly to a strong brand and an effective brand design, in turn creating high ROI and success.
Recognition: Do prospects, customers, and clients recognize your brand?
Remembrance: Do users know your name? Color palette? Products and services?
Reverence: Is your brand respected? Does it stand out from competition? And is there a deep familiarity with your history, your story, and your mission?
Answering those questions comes from leveraging your connections and partnerships, creating original and thought-provoking content, establishing a unique identity, and being consistent with your messaging, visuals, and brand.
Implementing Design + Strengthening Your Brand
When design is valued and appreciated the possibilities and opportunities for success are endless. Designing with intent and fostering a brand will increase awareness and strengthen identity. We hope you took away some key insights on how to increase ROI with design and establish or reinforce your brand and have a great start to 2019!