We’re surrounded by design every single day. Each and every detail around us has been through a series of considerations and planning. While there’s no doubt that great design makes our daily lives more pleasant, there’s also a strong correlation between design and business growth.
Research by Design Council has revealed that on average, for every £1 businesses invest in design, they gain over £4 net operating profit and over £20 net turnover. This can mean huge gains for businesses of all sizes.
Companies have a lot to learn from the world’s top designers. Their creativity combined with strategic processes are enviably profound, but ultimately the goal of a designer is to solve a problem – it’s not just about aesthetics.
All companies can benefit from design thinking, consider Airbnb, for example. In 2007, the founders Joe Gebbia and Brian Chesky, were struggling to pay their rent. There was a conference coming to San Francisco and the city’s hotels were fully booked, so they rented out three airbeds on their living-room floor and cooked their guests breakfast. The next day they created a website, airbedandbreakfast.com.
By solving a problem and approaching their new venture with design thinking, Airbnb is now at a $30 billion valuation.
Better user experience
Nowadays, every company owns a website, and for most, gaining new business starts via a strong online presence. It has been estimated that a poorly designed website can cost companies in excess of 20% in lost sales. By prioritising web design and improving the user experience, you can engage your users and make their visit to your website a great one, no matter the device they are using.
Let’s take a look at Netflix, the world’s leading subscription service for watching TV episodes and movies. In June 2011, Netflix rolled out a brand new interface with the codename of the redesign “Density”. While it was looked upon as a failure by some users, numbers told a different story. As a result of the update, Netflix’s engagement grew by 30 to 140 basis points.
Unique brand image
Can you answer this question: what is it about your brand that makes it special and differentiates it from competitors?
Many businesses are so busy collecting new deals and earning money that they forget about their brand image.
If you think about wildly successful companies such as Apple, Coca-Cola or IKEA, each of them has their own unique identity, style and messaging. This is not by chance, it’s the result of their design teams creating a clear and distinct brand message throughout over brand touchpoint.
Have you heard of Asana, a project management tool for small teams? In October 2015, the company went through a complete re-branding, changing its visual language and brand colours. They spend hundreds of hours figuring out how to turn their average blue-and-white website and product into a playful and fun tool that every team across the world would like to use.
Today, Asana has acquired hundreds of new customers and increased its revenue, all thanks to great design and an exciting brand image.
As the founder and director of Information Architects Oliver Reichenstein has put it: Great design is invisible.
While it’s easy to forget about the importance of great design, we must remember how big a value it can add to our companies, leading to growth in revenue and profits.
If you’re looking to start somewhere, follow these three core steps to improving your brand’s visual language and building a stronger relationship with your customers:
- Improve the user experience, both on your website and for your service.
- Strengthen your brand image by choosing the right logo, colours, and other design elements.
- Develop the designer mindset and search for ways how your product or service can solve a problem.
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