It’s impossible to escape design. From turning on the phone, looking outside a bus, or even the shirt to wear, there will always be design.
From colors to shapes all the way down to the typography light around, setting the mood, creating a culture, and even starting a trend are all products of design.
Design is made to bring out emotion, makes people react, makes people act, and in the end, makes people buy what the design is pointing to.
Regardless of whether or not a person is looking for design, there are thousands of designs people see on a day to day basis.
This includes the toothbrush for brushing teeth, the fork used to pick up food, or even the car door and how it is opened.
Functional design and artistic design go hand in hand and have shaped the way people react.
The main question is how would people react to marketing efforts.
The importance of design in marketing
In this day and age, design is an investment that business owners have to weigh carefully: what design would capture their brand, what design would capture their audience, what design would build a brand for years, and a lot of other reasons.
Marketing is one of the fields that utilizes design and with the right approach, the design could make a huge difference.
1. Design helps the brand stand out
When thinking about brands, design, and their influence, one can’t help but mention Apple.
While Apple focuses on building new products every once in a while, there’s something about the design that cements the brand’s logo into the memory of tech consumers.
The goal of marketing isn’t just to get sales, it’s also to raise the awareness of the consumer market towards a certain brand.
Before consumers would buy something, they would first need to know that it exists.
Through the utilization of well designed marketing material as well as having a strong brand in general backing the company up, it is possible to build a long lasting presence and trust with the market.
A smart design would also improve the visibility of the business and help the company rise up above the competition.
With the rise of competition, having good branding would really help a business stand out.
In fact, purchases have been done solely due to branding alone.
When a consumer trusts a brand, not just through what they do, but also how they market and present themselves, the iconic designs would invite more curiosity and interest in what the company is offering compared to a no-brand product.
2. Better design speaks clearer messages
One particular example of a good design that also translates into what the business is doing is Adidas.
The iconic three stripes seen anywhere can automatically be associated with Adidas.
The three stripes are usually associated with racing or sports which is what Adidas capitalizes on as a sports brand.
This day and age, it would be hard to attract an audience with a huge amount of plain text without a font or style to go along with it.
The combination of the font, the text, and the design itself can mean a lot in the world of marketing.
Virgil’s iconid “Off-White” made use of a simple design, font, and color contrast that built one of the largest icons in fashion today.
When a business invests in design, they will be able to convey the message that they built in the first place.
A photograph could say more than a thousand words and this is why it is important to invest in good design in order to convey a solid message.
When a design is able to go deeper than just a packaging itself but embodies what is actually being sold, the effectiveness of the brand grows.
3. Design strengthens the business
Going back to Apple, having a strong brand would allow them to strengthen their hold of the market.
One thing about Apple is that it’s design is so simple and recognizable that it usually stands out above its competition.
For designs that are copies of other designs or are way too similar to other designs, standing out could be a problem.
Having a unique but also very effective design not only captures customers, but also allows the business to stand out in itself.
Every creative design or promotional material that a company puts out should be able to support and embody what the company is trying to convey.
Although sometimes companies and businesses decide to rebrand, they still usually revolve around a principal message that the company’s design is built upon.
Aside from business, one way design really works in strengthening the brand or business it represents is music.
AC/DC and Metallica are two bands that are too iconic for people not to recognize.
Aside from the music, the design around these bands themselves have become iconic enough for them to easily be recognized even by those that aren’t fans.
Of course, times have changed and although the bands cater to an older generation, they are iconic enough to be remembered.
4. Better design, better leads
Attracting new customers is important and for businesses capitalizing on this, using a strategic design to invite more leads is very important.
Aside from the logo, the website is also very important. Nowadays, to attract more leads, having a good user experience is very important.
A website that is logical, understandable, and also very attractive is important for not just attracting new consumers but also retaining them.
Converting leads into customers is hard work and without a good design, one glance at the website won’t be enough to guarantee that those consumers would get further involved with the brand or company.
Nowadays, having a website is very important and one thing that the pandemic has taught the world is the importance of an online presence.
Whether it be an app or website, converting visitors into customers is no easy task.
The first thing that a customer sees is how attractive the platform looks, the second thing is seeing if the design is solid and reliable enough for them to trust the brand or business.
The third thing a customer sees is what the company is selling itself. Whether it be a product or service, having a design that isn’t on par with the consumers’ expectations can easily turn off potential buyers.
How to choose the right design
For those businesses that have yet to decide on a fixed design, theme, and representation, there are a few things that should be considered before diving into the definition.
The problem with misbranding is that yes the business will be able to attract attention, but the attention would be easily lost once the visitor realizes that the business is not what they are looking for.
Having the wrong design would also make it hard for those searching for what the business offers to find it.
Somewhere out in the vast selection of possible designs lies the perfect design for a company that only needs to be found.
There is actually a process in picking out a design that needs to be followed in order to come up with the perfect branding for the business.
Although some businesses are able to stumble upon the perfect design while searching, most businesses still have to go through the tiresome trial and error process until the perfect design and branding can be found.
Eliminating the trial and error process can be done once a business or brand follows certain steps that allows them to narrow everything down to what best represents the company and the next steps forward.
First step: what best represents the company
Find a concept that best represents the company or brand.
This concept should be able to embody the company’s core values, the industry that the company is representing, and what the company aims to accomplish.
Step two: what the target markets is looking for
It is important to make the brand more attractive to the demographic that it is catering.
For youthful markets, keeping up with more modern trends is important.
For corporate markets, having something a bit firm, direct, but also very strong is important. For more artistic markets, making the design artistic as well is important.
The list goes on and on.
Step three: how to stand out from the competition
Once the target market has been identified and the representation of the brand has been conceptualized, it is important to find a way for the design to stand out from its competition without breaking away from what it represents and what consumers are looking for.
This is probably the most complicated process in figuring out the right design. However, when this step is passed, the next step would be easier.
Step four: come up with prototypes
This is where putting all those creative juices into the design comes in.
There could be numerous amounts of designs available and it is important to pick those that really resonate with not just the individual preferences of the business or brand owners but rather the business or brand as a whole.
Step five: testing
While designs change over time, testing them out is very important.
Finding out which one gets the best response and leaves a lasting impact on the consumers is very important.
After testing them out, narrow the design down to the perfect one to represent the company.
Of course, this could change over time but what’s really important is that there will be a solid foundation for the brand or business.
Utilizing design for marketing
Once the right design has been chosen, the company’s marketing materials can then revolve around the initial design.
There are a lot of particular things to watch out for when it comes to picking out the right design.
These include sizes, ratio, colors, angles, fonts and more.
When having a solid foundational design, building around that design in a way that becomes more attractive to audiences is the best way to capture potential customers.
Marketing is not just about attracting customers to the brand but rather allowing them to see the brand for what it is and for them to get more invested in the brand itself.
There are general design marketing techniques that can be combined with the brand’s design itself in order to send a more powerful message.
This is what usually happens with other companies or brands like commercials and other powerful marketing tools.
Although commercials are made to catch attention, in the end, their purpose is for the brand to retain in the minds of the consumers.
How design expands the target market
Marketing doesn’t just revolve around the specific product or service that the brand is selling but should also incorporate the brand into everything that the design touches.
Design can also bring the company into new untapped markets or even merge markets together.
McDonalds used to cater to a more family friendly audience but as the years progressed, they decided to elevate the design for them to retain their current market and also branch out into a more mature market of young adults.
Instead of the happy family friendly clown, the company decided to focus more on interior designs and sleeker packaging. This is one of the examples of how design is able to improve a company’s reach.
It is possible to cater to both a younger and an older audience with the right design without the consumers being confused about the brand itself.
This takes careful planning and also skillful design but nonetheless, it is very much possible.
For a starting company, breaking into one target market is the priority but later on along the road, evolving into a company that is capable of catering a wider target market is something that can be achieved with the right design.
Design is important in all stages of the business name the start up, the solidification, and the expansion.