Design is important whether you are running a small business or a large corporation. There’s a reason multimillion dollar companies spend fortunes on hiring the best design talent, and insist on original and creative ways to reach to their customers.
For small businesses, this competition becomes even more serious. With more than 30 million small business operating in USA, to stay afloat and make progress as a business, you need to do everything you can to make sure you gain loyal patronage and a unique identity within the industry as early and as effectively as possible.
The easiest and perhaps the most impacting way to do that is to employ design as your magic tool. Design is what drives the business. There’s enough research to suggest that the companies that utilize design to its maximum potential, stand to earn more than their competitors.
Today, we are going to talk about ways design impacts the business, and how you can use it to make it work for you.
1. It Breaks Through The Clutter
Did you know that, on average, a large corporation in America spends about 20% of its profits on its marketing and advertisement – components heavy with design? And that 99.7% of all businesses in America are small-businesses, clamoring for customers’ attention, trying to stay afloat and not go under like half of them do in the first five years of their life?
In such a highly competitive world of business, with so much going on, and every business trying to woo the consumer, an original, creative, and a uniquely simple design is what breaks through the noise.
A design that is neat, well-crafted, has all the necessary information (who, what, where, when), and is coherent, attracts the passersby. It also shows your professionalism, clarity of thought, and encourages the customer to think they can expect a similar level of professionalism and clarity when conducting business with you.
If you can complement it with a top-notch customer service and a great product, well, you’re golden.
2. It Gives You an Inspiring Logo
Consider your brand logo as the first impression of your company. No matter the size of your business, it’s the logo of your company that will first attract the buyer towards you. If your logo is well-designed, is reflective of your business as a whole, and communicates your business philosophy attractively, well, consider half of the battle won.
Because as a startup that has no prior reputation or people to talk you up, it’s the logo that will convince people that you have what it takes to give them the perfect service or deliver them the perfect product.
As a startup you may not have the budget to hire the best design talent money can buy, but if you have a clear grasp of who you are as a brand and how you’d want yourself to be perceived, you can create stunning logo designs from DIY logo makers too.
Once you’ve got a sexy logo design, you can create your all future brand management campaigns around it.
3. It Gives You Brand Identity
A great business design, whether it’s a logo for a shop or website, adds consistency and continuity in all touch-points of communication between you and your customer.
This seamless experience of consistent design is what gives any business its unique brand image. Since every good business design is well-thought of, it encompasses every aspect of the design brief: what the business is about, its philosophy, the colors and vibe it represents, the future goals it have. As a result, you get a design that is as unique and as coherent as you are.
Using this brand identity effectively, you can tell people what to expect from you just by looking at your logo. Are you a friendly café, a more upscale fine eatery, a rugged, country style burger joint, or a hip and trendy bar… a good restaurant logo design shares all this important information with your customers way before they set a foot inside.
Applying this unique identity in everything you do, your business colors, shop architecture, web design, staff uniform, etc. you help give your customers a consistent experience and continue establishing your brand in the market.
4. It Guides Your Marketing Plans
Since the advent of marketing and advertisement, most of the business fortune has been made through successful marketing – reaching out to a potential customer and convincing them to buy what you’re selling.
A lot of modern marketing is based on the visuals: design. Since human beings are wired to remember a lot of what they see, design is the most influential tool in any marketer’s kit to drive home the message of the business. Consistent design throughout all your various branding channels helps give shape to a strong marketing plan.
It can guide you where to sell, different ways to connect to the customers, strategies to pitch new products, deciding upon social media marketing channels to invest in, and so much more.
5. It Gives You Credibility
Did you know that 75% of customers equate a business’ credibility with how its website has been designed? According to a study by Stanford, a huge majority of the people who visit a website decide whether a business is credible or not just by looking at its website.
And this is not a surprising statistic, to be honest. With the world becoming increasingly visual, it seems almost a given that people would be paying such huge attention to visual design. And this is why businesses are becoming increasingly fierce in protecting their brand identity design and why you should too.
To establish your business as credible, and to build your business brand identity, decide on a design theme that is neat, legible, simple, and representative, and tell people how serious you are about your start-up.
6. It Makes Your Business Memorable
There’s nothing worse than being forgotten when you’re running a small establishment. So much is dependent on making people return to your business over and over again. While the repeated customers will only come if you offer them excellent customer services, the initial contact depends on how attractive (and thus credible) you seem to a casual onlooker. And you only have milliseconds to ensure that contact.
If there’s something in your design that stops them in their tracks (whether real or online), then you’ve won the first round. And a good design strives to make people stop and take notice. Depending on your unique business identity, the colors, the font choice, ad copy, placement, and organization, all of it can help you create an outstanding business design that is easy to recognize and remember.
And working in the current market of design-sophisticated buyers, you’ve got your work cut out for you. With more and more businesses winning customers with superior and attention-grabbing designs, people are used to witnessing good design everywhere and can spot a bad one from 15 billboards away.
So make sure you give them a design that is worth remembering.
7. It’s Built-in Advertising
Every business, big or small, needs to have an advertising budget. It is recommended that regardless of business size, companies should spend 2-5% of their profits towards their marketing and advertisement budgets. For a small business, 5% can be a significant amount. More so for a startup.
With such shoestring budgets, startups are always looking out for original ways to market their brands without investing hundreds and thousands towards the effort.
Guess what is something that can work as your advertisement tool without actually being one? Yes, good design!
Thing is, design is a way in which we present and share our marketing assets. But just by creating a great piece of design work, the work itself becomes a tool for promotion. Much like a beautifully crafted business card, whose original purpose is just introduction and networking.
Similarly, every time we employ good design in any of our branding tools, logo, website, Facebook post, anything, it becomes one of the built-in advertising tools for our business.
And as we said above, attractive and appealing design is naturally tied to trust and credibility, therefore, honing this inbuilt advertising tool ensures your success even further.
8. It Creates Customer Relationships
Thoughtful and meaningful designs help you curate experiences for your customers. In the evolved economy of present times, consumers are less interested in buying products and more interested in buying experiences.
Products and services that promise to deliver emotions, experiences, and connections stand to gain more than those that are primarily focused on just their goods. Designs that engage customers through their use of colors, layout, icons, and ad copy create more than just sales.
As a small business competing in a saturated market, use good design as your lucky charm to win hearts and create relationships. To make it work though, you’ll have to have a strong grasp of what moves your target consumer so you can match their step.
9. It Makes The Platform Easy To Use
In the most practical sense, good design is also highly functional and easy to use. The qualities that make any design ‘good’ also make it functional: simplicity, coherence, organization, presence of important pieces of information (who, what, where, when), and layout that is easy to follow.
According to Adobe, companies that employ design as their differentiating tool are gaining over their competitors with a margin of 219%. And this is not exclusively because a website is great to look at. Because sites that only look good and not allow greater functionality actually hurt the business.
Therefore, when we focus on creating a website or any other business platform – even the architecture of the physical store – we should keep in mind that any good design inherently supports the function of the business, if it doesn’t, reconsider the design.
Remember that to make design work for you, instead of function molding itself to the design, it’s the other way round.
10. It Generates More Money
This last one is almost a no-brainer. So far every point we have discussed – how the design breaks through the clutter, and how it makes the brand stand out – all of these indicate how following good design practices we can achieve these major business goals:
- Establish brand identities,
- Make the brand memorable,
- Create functional design, and
- Create lasting customer connections.
Collectively, all these business goals culminate in greater profits. Good design leads people to not only start noticing your brand but remember it too. It builds trust, offers credibility, and promises to deliver professionalism. It also makes your brand unique, with a distinct personality, and encourages them to engage with you again and again.
Easy-to-use and functional design helps them conduct the business transaction not only quite conveniently but the intuitive design also creates connections in the process, fostering relationships, and building loyalty.
Such practices, continued year after year, can increase sales leads, profits, and eventually customer base. So who cares if your business is small today, if you decide now to be serious and focused on design and use it to its fullest and unlimited advantage, who knows where you might be 5 years into the future? Listed on NASDAQ or even New York Stock Exchange, perhaps? Who knows.
Design has emerged as perhaps the most important tool when creating the brand and marketing strategy for your small-sized business. Since you may not be able to compete with large corporations (in the near future) in terms of reach and money, make sure you make up for it by utilizing a business concept that understands your new startup and has the intelligence to convey its message to the customers in the most organized and effective way possible.
The design community is abuzz with top-notch design talent and new designers with original ideas. Tap into this creative pool and get someone to help you transform your small-size business into a thriving brand to watch out for.
Anne Sherman works as a freelance content writer, by providing quality and SEO optimized write ups to help boost their ranking as well as appeal to their customers. She likes to spend her time at the library reading or playing cross-word puzzles.