Among other important financial decisions businesses make, the overall creative design of the company is something to pay attention to. Depending on the type of business, design can actually elevate sales, customer retention, and employee happiness. On the flip side, a poor design can do the opposite and hinder the comfort level of everyone who walks into a business or visits a website.
One of the challenges of designing a business’s physical and digital space used by many people is that opinions vary about what is aesthetically pleasing. What looks good to one person can be another person’s nightmarish turnoff. Because of this fact, it’s important to have a plan that is based on certain criteria that meet the form and functional needs of the business itself. In other words, design needs to serve a purpose, and, in business, that is usually to portray a message or help solidify branding efficiently. Additionally, a good design can help others feel an emotional connection to the space such as that felt by customers visiting their favorite shop.
Joe Sparano said, “Good design is obvious. Great design is transparent.” Though this quote can be interpreted in various ways, it essentially means that when a design is good, everyone likes it and basically understands the core message. With a great design, though, people are moved by the message.
Design’s Connection to Branding
The great design of a business makes a company recognizable, familiar, and memorable. In a nutshell, this is also the purpose of branding. So, it’s safe to say that what people see and feel when they visit a business in person or online can make or break their perception of that business’s brand.
Additionally, when a business has a great design for its website, visitors have an easier time navigating, finding information, and, ultimately, buying. Having an attractive layout, color scheme, and imagery also helps to keep them on the site longer, thus, encouraging the sale. We all know that a memorable logo and branding attract the right customers and convey brand values within seconds…consider Target, Hallmark, and McDonald’s. However, there is really more to it than that. This is why so many businesses choose a creative team structure to build a strong presence and convey branding.
As with everything else in business, there are trends that affect the popular design. For example, the minimalist approach is on the rise right now, attracting a good portion of young business owners, seeking comfort and simplicity in a complicated world. We see this in overall branding, commercials, social media, interior design, and website layout.
Businesses have taken this trend seriously and moved away from busy, colorful pages full of content, and, instead, opted for more whitespace, simple messaging, and pages that are elegant, functional, and direct. This trend may not be right for every business, but that’s okay. Ultimately, it’s important for each business to develop a branded design that reflects its unique message and place in the market. Understand that following a trend isn’t a surefire way to be successful, it’s just an option that works in some cases.
One of the most important things a business owner can do concerning the design of their business is to take pride in it. When I was actively engaged in business branding coaching, two of the most crucial things that I wanted to see from my clients was a belief in themselves and excitement about their business message and brand. I would constantly say, “Your brand and your image says a lot about you and your business.”.
Design and Business Success
Though there are many facets of a business that can bring a competitive edge, a great design has the ability to passively encourage sales and customer engagement by appealing to the senses. We see this in stores that focus on customer comfort, visual balance, and color placement to draw the eye to certain areas. On the contrary, consider how it feels walking into a store that has insufficient lighting, poor layout, and blaring music. It’s uncomfortable and it turns off buyers. This same ill-feeling can occur when visiting a website that is poorly designed.
Effective design as it applies to a business brand takes time. Designers must consider a company’s overall business, marketing strategy, message, the brand’s personality, your customers’ personalities, unique challenges, and competitors in order to develop a plan to reflect and serve all of the above effectively. “Easy reading is damn hard writing,” said American novelist Nathaniel Hawthorne. And the same applies to design. The most easy-to-use and simple results are often the hardest designs. They require hard work, innovation, and patience.