When budgets are tight, it’s often the marketing plan that feels the pinch, as business owners struggle to understand how their marketing provides value to their business. Consider that even if a meagre marketing budget is retained, often graphic design is the first to be eliminated from the process in order to save money. Why do we so often devalue visual design enough to try and remove it from the marketing process entirely? Or feel that it is simple enough anyone can do it - when most of our favourite products and services come from design-centric businesses where fantastic visual design is the clear differentiator?
I believe graphic design has measurable value, not only for your business image but to increase sales of your product, simplify your internal processes or improve your customer experience. Here’s four ways investing in creative design will absolutely provide a sustainable advantage for your business.
1. Make an Impression
The most obvious application of graphic design for your business is your image or “visual brand” and more often than not, customers evaluate the quality of your product or service based on visual appeal alone. Great visual branding will provide instant credibility. Consider a tradesperson with a professionally designed brand that appears on their vehicle wrap, their uniforms and their invoices. These choices create an impression in the mind of the customer; that this person is professional, consistent and serious about their business, creating a feeling of trust which will likely influence them to engage their services.
2. Stand Out in a Crowd
All businesses face competition and when it comes to products or services and the differentiator that customers use to finalize their purchasing decisions is often the graphic design. If it comes down to a choice between two products of equal price, quality or service - customers will lean to visual appeal, or creative storytelling as their preferred choice. Design is an opportunity to be unique and a professional graphic artist will use carefully selected colors, typeface and imagery to create a mood or tell a story for your ideal customer that will undoubtedly influence them and increase your sales as a result.
3. Stop Wasting Time
Graphic design can also be used internally to help streamline your business and make your processes more efficient. We have helped businesses create internal order forms and repair sheets that their salespeople and clients use to process orders. The need for a designer to intervene may not be obvious at first, but those sheets are used every day - so developing a user-friendly, clear and concise form that fits on one page becomes an essential tool. A professional graphic designer can do this quickly and prepare it for print using industry standard software, whereas an in-house employee might struggle for hours trying to create something inferior using an outdated program or one not meant for design such as MS word. Graphic design simplifies and provides clarity which is a valuable asset in today’s data-driven, information-heavy age.
4. Make Customers Happier
Ensuring a good and consistent customer experience will save you time and money. Graphic designers can improve the way you communicate with your customers. Consider a cafe with a menu board above the counter. A good designer will consider not only how visually appealing the sign is, but more importantly, how the information is organized so that people are able to quickly identify what their options are and what they want to order. Customers feel more comfortable and you can move them through the line quickly, so it’s a win-win. Good graphic design will anticipate potential user experience issues and eliminate problems before they arise.
It’s tempting to think you can sidestep the design process in the beginning, because access to design tools and cheap options abound on the internet. But cheaping-out usually ends up costing you time, aggravation and could potentially cost you customers. We’ve seen it happen so many times; a client spends their money on several subpar designs, when they could have invested the same amount on a solid design with lasting quality. Creative design for marketing is not about pretty pictures, it’s about creating credibility, simplifying your day to day operations, appealing to your ideal customer and creating a fantastic user experience for them.
So I ask you - does your design do all that?
If not, give us a call.