The Value of Quality Design
I’ve always been a nuts and bolts sort of guy. Starting my career as an application developer, I was very focused on function. Throughout the last 15+ years, I’ve solved a lot of problems for a lot of clients. I began to reflect on what the common thread was with the most successful solutions I’ve helped deliver. It was the attention paid to quality design.
Quality design influences almost every process in an organization. It solves the right problems the right way and is strongly correlated with growth. Fuel your growth by understanding how to use quality design in your branding, graphic design, marketing, sales, and operations.
The first time most people start thinking about design is when they are trying to define their organizational identity – their brand. Branding is about more than just graphic design. You need to examine who you are as a company, who you want to be, and the why behind it all. Simon Sinek’s excellent Ted Talk Start with the Why does a great job of communicating a powerful truth of branding. People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it. Being able to distill those truths into a visual identity and key messaging is perhaps the most valuable design exercise you can go through. A well-designed brand sets the stage for everything else you do.
Human beings are visual creatures. A commonly thrown around statistic from 3M is that people process visual information up to 60,000 times faster than text. Design is one of the primary factors in the effectiveness of efforts to generate customer awareness and interest in your business. Whether it’s the logo on the business card you hand out at a networking event, the website a prospect is directed to, the polish of your content marketing, or the packaging of your products— you are making an immediate visual impact on everyone. There are no do-overs on first impressions. Make that impression genuine, appropriate, and correct. Make it Propr.
Have a marketing conversation with a handful of business owners and you’re almost guaranteed to hear this quote by John Wanamaker “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half.” This has never been less true; a true waste of a marketing budget is not spending it. You can have an excellent product, a well-defined brand, and key messages that resonate with your target demographic, but if you don’t tell anyone about yourself they will never find you. Propr designs marketing strategies that deliver the right message, through the right channel, to the right people to grow your business. We work with clients to define the metrics that matter and guide them through executing and monitoring the marketing activities that matter.
It might not be intuitive to think of design as having a significant impact on sales, but it’s a crucial factor in the effort required to achieve sales success. The idea that a great product sells itself is historically untrue, great products fail all the time. Successfully selling is all about influencing people and helping them make a decision. In many ways, design in all of its forms is the beginning of influence. The ability of someone to understand the value of a product or service is made substantially easier when quality design has created real interest. Sales and marketing alignment is one of those concepts that people talk about a lot but rarely ever achieve. Quality design and branding is the rallying point where the pilgrimage to that holy land of growth begins
Great companies don’t just focus design efforts towards their customers, they focus them inwardly as well. Focusing on user experience reduces the effort of doing work. Having well-designed tools and processes for your team ensures people do their jobs the way they are supposed to. Bad design of internal tools creates a myriad of problems. Employees not understanding a time entry system causes a late timesheet, which causes a late invoice, which causes a late payment. A confusing order entry interface creates an incorrect order which generates a cancellation. Propr works with clients to examine their user experiences, and determine the best tools to allow people to enable you to work smarter.
The value in becoming a design-focused organization increases with every process in which design is applied. With such a broad spectrum of opportunity to invest in, understanding where to start can be daunting. Propr works with clients to help identify how they can benefit from increasing the quality of design in their organization and builds a strategic design roadmap to achieve measurable results. Along the way, we help our clients understand how to control their design process enabling them to excel in every way.