So you’ve finished an engineering degree. Somewhere through the fourth year a couple of friends and you arrive at a great idea, that you develop and grow. And now, you’re finally ready to make it a business. Between the hassles of operating at a sustainable level and juggling roles from marketing and sales to accounting and product development, the last thing you need to focus on is design – yes? In all fairness, how could anyone possibly worry about how good their company looks when even bringing in money to run daily operations is a challenge in today’s cut-throat start-up ecosystem.
But the truth is that good design is worth way more to small businesses than you may have been led to believe. Apart from it’s obvious aesthetic appeal, it can inspire confidence in your brand, set you apart from competition, and even increase the net worth of your company.
Still not convinced? Here’s what your brand stands to gain with good design.
You’ve heard the adage First impressions are last impressions; perhaps even Dress for the job you want, not the job you have. And if adages are considered general truths for living, their veracity can be extended to businesses as well. But don’t take our word for it – which one of these two beverage businesses are you most likely to trust?
As you can see, it is essential to carefully consider how you want to be portrayed from the get go; the lasting impression you want to leave on clients, partners, investors and everyone else. Tasteful, well-thought-out design will take you miles here. And take it from us, a customer who appreciates good design, most often becomes a customer for life.
Let me illustrate the emphasis of design on market distinction with three brand examples – Apple, AirBnB, and Baskin-Robbins. Enough Said?
Each one of these uber-successful brands have their own distinct identities that help them stand out in almost every market. The important lesson to draw from here, as far as businesses go, is that humility will take you nowhere in the industry. If a brand doesn’t dare to stand out from the competition, it will only fade away.
Great design can do all this and more; it is the difference between making your brand memorable and easily forgotten. In an age when customers hardly have any time to compare products and services, winning market share is largely dependent on carving an identity that isn’t already a trend. Any company that doesn’t manage to do this risks becoming a copycat brand – with no perceived trust or reliability.
Apart from faithful customers, great design also attracts like-minded employees. When you invest in a branding activity, you’re taking care to actually define the brand’s attitude – which in turn will draw employees who relate to the same ethos.
But are we really telling you that good design can impact your attrition rates? Well, yes. It’s no secret that the best employees are the ones who subscribe to their company’s philosophy and culture completely. And by projecting the same, a company is bound to attract potential employees who identify with the brand, engage better at work, and reduce attrition.
The benefits of good design are multifold. And the design language you choose to adopt – as a brand – can even be an asset to your business. Consider this: sans branding Coca Cola is aerated sugar water, the iPhone is overpriced outdated tech, and Airbnb – just a platform for squatters. Good design is a market differentiator – an absolute necessity for startups today. It gives your business an identity; something that your customers will need to subscribe to your vision. Take time to define and develop it – this is not an overnight process. And we’re certain you’ll see your business grow.