What is the real value of design for business?

Hiren Panchal
by Hiren Panchal  |  19th May, 2017 in Buzz

“Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.” – Steve Jobs

It is not just on strategies that the success of your branding depends; design plays an extremely important role too. Unfortunately not many understand the importance of design when it comes to branding.

Brand design is not just about its logo or name; it is about the feeling or the overall image a customer has, when he deals with the Brand. If two or more people have the same feeling about your brand, you have a brand that represents your business perfectly. It is only a smart design that is capable of creating this kind of feeling.

Brands such as Apple, Kellogg’s and Vodafone can be easily recognized because of their strong brand design and identity. They may have redesigned their visual identity over the years; but they are still instantly recognizable.

Nike decided to keep its message simple (Just do it) while Pepsi and Coke placed their products powerfully enough to make people remember their brands more often. Ultimately, the credit goes entirely to its branding and design team for doing an excellent job on the brand design.

A decent product can be designed by anyone; but not everyone can design an outstanding product. Take the jeweler Tiffany & Co for instance. It is not about the diamonds, gemstones and silver; it is more about the little blue box that people get when they buy jewelry from Tiffany & Co. Customers do not mind paying more if they are getting branded jewelry in beautiful designs that carry the history of this exclusive jewelry company.

Design goes much beyond visual aesthetics. It communicates how a brand looks and works.

For instance, take Instagram as a brand. The design is a camera which tells the users that the brand is about pictures. This simple but elegant design depicts a positive user experience which is what Instagram is all about.

Similarly AirBnB combined the symbols of people, location and love to come up with a design that suggested belonging. It even named its logo, Belo. The design made it easy to make its customers understand that AirBnB was just like home – where you belong.

In short, it is the design that influences the perception of the value of any brand. Design is about what your product is and how it works. It is more about marketing and less about the actual design that your designers create.

As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words. It is a known fact that the human brain processes visuals or images 60,000 times faster than it can process text. High quality design work can make a powerful impact of your brand on the minds of your potential customers, who will then read your brand as credible and competent. Shabby or poor quality images will only make them abandon your website within seconds.

Branding and Design are inseparable

You get a great brand only when you integrate your design with your brand. It is high time you stopped thinking of design and brand as different disciplines. For instance, you can take off the logo from a BMW car; but you can still identify it as a BMW.

It is all about connecting with people at an emotional level

It is the emotional relationship that helps people connect with their favorite brands and trust them completely. A designer will have to make this happen. He will have to understand the essence and values of a Brand and then transform them into a design with which people can connect instantly.

Design needs to be integrated at the strategic level

A design is not an afterthought that can be put on to the product after it has been created. The designer will have to be involved in the process, right from the beginning. He needs to understand the very purpose behind the creation of a brand or its product. He will have to ask all the relevant questions behind the decision to create the brand or the product. Only then will he be able to come up with the perfect design.

A design needs to be simple yet authentic

Overdesign will have to be avoided in all cases. That said you need not redesign everything. You can improve what you already have. It is about making it better; not about making it different. You should not make the same mistake that Coca Cola made in 1985. It made an effort to replace its popular soft drink with a whole new formula, calling it the “New Coke.” This decision that it took by underestimating the power of its brand only resulted in people boycotting the new product altogether. Thankfully the Brand understood the blunder it had made and launched its original product, calling it the “Classic Coke.” Within months Coca Cola came back to its original number 1 position.

An excellent brand design is one which reinvents the brand continually

A brand can be anything but boring. To survive the tough competition in today’s world, a brand will have to be more fluid with its design, allowing itself to update constantly. Take a look at Google for instance. For every special occasion they end up morphing their logo. It is this constant refreshing change that makes them who they are.

Use your design to bring about a difference

The aim of a brand is to connect with a larger audience and this can only be achieved by using the right design tools that encourage people to change. You will have to do this in a fun way, without compelling people to resist the change you want to bring about in them. Launch a few interesting campaigns on the social media and see the changes they bring about as they go viral on the net.

A good design is one that can convert a casual visitor into a purchaser. Whatever may be the size of your business, you will have to bring your branding and design into order so as to:

  • Gain more and more customers
  • Make your product instantly recognizable
  • Encourage customers to come back to you again and again

Litmus Branding House can help you take your business towards greater heights of success by integrating brand ands design. We understand what great design can do to your brand and are truly passionate about making your brand look good. But before we start working on the task of transforming your brilliant ideas into images that you will love, we would like to understand your brand and get a true feel of your specific requirements.

 

Hiren Panchal

Director, Litmus Branding Pvt. Ltd.
Ahmedabad, India
A designer at heart, marketer by temperament; technology freak and knowledge-seeker by design – that’s me.

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