In this blog, I’ll be exploring why is design SO important. Understandably I believe heavily in the power of design but hear me out. For me, design matters always has and always will.
I believe design is the number one way you will attract your perfect client. You need to know every tiny thing about your client demographic, as it will affect how you portray your business and your brand.
Based on what you offer, your niche and how you want to be positioned in your market, everything about your business and brand should be aligned with your target audience. What do you want your ideal client to feel and think when they experience your brand? Let’s just say that’s the first reason why design is so important.
Your client demographic will influence your brand’s:
- Colour choices
- Marketing materials
- The tone of voice in the text
- Price point
Let’s explore some examples of how design is used to represent brands.
Why design is so important – a value brand vs a premium brand
This is for the people with a cheap service, for the people working with a ‘sell it cheap and stack them high’ approach. You just want to get it out to the mass market. You want everyone to buy it and you know it’s cheap. The best example is EasyJet.
EasyJet is a budget airline travel company; they are super cheap and proud of it. Everything about them looks and feels cheap; it’s all part of their brand. In design, orange is very much seen as a value colour, so it’s no surprise that they’ve chosen this as their main brand colour.
Their websites are basic and functional. They don’t want them to look fancy and premium as nothing else they do is. They’re purposely making themselves look cheap because that’s their market. They know what they offer and their customers appreciate that.
On the opposite end of the spectrum are the premium colours, such as dark blue and regal purple. For example, back in the day, Cadbury Dairy Milk brand colour originally used purple because the colour purple was so expensive to print. They wanted the brand to be premium and expensive. So without any indication of price, you could have looked at the wrapper, back when it was first launched, and know it was expensive.
It’s all about feelings
Ok, sweeping statement time – “you get what you pay for”. If you spend £5K on a car you know it’s probably very old or very cheap. It won’t be very fast, the build quality is likely to be low, but it will do the job.
Spend £40k on a car and you can get yourself a nice BMW. It’ll be quick and it’ll come with leather seats that are super comfortable. It’ll be nice to drive and will last ages. Now both of the cars do the exact same thing, they take you from point A to point B. But there’s a reason most people want the BMW, it’s the feeling it gives its owners. There are hundreds of cheaper options, but people line up to purchase the BMW because it’s designed to look and feel premium.
This dedication to the details and how you come across should be ingrained into your business. For example, if you’re selling an expensive product which is £3000 per item, you can’t spend £500 on your website and £500 on your branding, as the quality of the work will be sub-par and will cheapen how you come across.
How Strafe Creative uses design to help clients
Let’s use another example. A while ago we worked with a great client who sold bean bags. Their only sales channel was their website and all their marketing funnelled customers directly there.
Unfortunately, they were always having the same issue, people were buying their cheapest options. If they received calls or messages on their live chat, they were always questions about the quality. Once customers bought their bean bags, they would get reviews commenting that they were surprised at the quality of the products!
This was a big issue with how the public perceived them. Interestingly, their bean bags weren’t cheap by any means, £200+ for a bean bag, so, from a price point of view, they were a top tier seller.
After working closely with the team, we concluded that the issue was how they appeared to customers; their brand, website and marketing material all made them look cheap and cheerful. This explained why people only bought their cheapest offerings; they were the only ones they trusted from them. Now, this just goes to show why design is so important! When the bean bag company started out they did all the design themselves, they didn’t know any different.
We started working with this client ahead of a new product launch they were releasing. They also had a growing number of students and young professionals purchasing bean bags, so in order to sell their higher-priced items, they knew they had to change.
We did this in small steps with them, to prove our theory. We first changed their colour from bright orange to blue, which made a huge difference to their look and sales. Secondly, we pushed the team to invest in new, professional photography. Great photography is an excellent way to add credibility to any of your marketing. It’s so easy to take a photo on your phone now, but companies that do invest in top quality photography stand out and notice the change almost immediately. These small changes made a huge difference to their turnover.
Told you, design is important
Now you’re armed with the evidence that design and branding can really make a difference, it’s time to take a step back and review whether you’re attracting the right market for you. You also need to set a realistic budget for investing in design – if you’re only spending £500 on your design work but charging your service out at £10k, then you’re going to have a huge problem selling. In all likelihood, your cheaper appearance is devaluing your main offering. It’s as simple as that.
There is a well-known rule called “the 5-second rule”. It’s the rule that you have made a judgement on someone or something within the first 5 seconds.
Let’s review some of the worst things that happen:
- You’re wearing a badly fitted, cheap-looking suit which cost you £100, but you’re a financial advisor (I see this all the time, it’s crazy to me!).
- You meet someone at an event and they hand you their business card. It feels super thin and flimsy because they skimped on paying for quality ones.
- You’re a personal trainer but can’t afford your own uniform.
- You’re an accountant with no letterheads.
All these little touches, including how you appear to your potential clients, can hugely affect whether or not they want to work with you.
In conclusion, if you’re not willing to invest in your own business, your own appearance, and your brand, you’re probably not willing to invest in creating or delivering a great service either. Unless I’m wanting to spend as little as possible, I’m probably not going to spend anything with you. You must have confidence in your own services to be willing to invest in them, and once you do, you’ll see a big spike in sales.
If you’re looking to work with an agency like Strafe then read more on how to get the most out of a Digital Design Agency here.