Maybe you’re trying to be old-school about your business techniques. Who cares if our offices are threadbare? So what if your website looks like it hasn’t been changed since the 1990s – which maybe it hasn’t? Why worry at all if our poster and business cards just provide no-frills information? Surely none of that matters? It’s all about substance. It’s what you do. Our work is good. Why pour resources into making ourselves look pretty when we know we do the best job we can do? Isn’t that all that matters?
Unfortunately for you, the data doesn’t back you up. The business benefits of design have been made clear over the last decade. (Well, actually the last few decades. I don’t want you to feel too behind the times… but you might be really behind the times.)
Beautiful modern design has been shown to increase sales in products and services. It helps increase your company’s likability and, concomitantly, customer loyalty. But how does it do these things? How can style really be that important here?
Well, when it works, it’s because it’s being combined with great substance. That strong work ethic of yours is incredibly important. I’m not saying you need to take some of the effort away from doing the best job your company can do in order to get design work in. You should be getting new resources in order to spruce up your company’s design, not sacrificing the main function of your current ones.
But again, how and why are these so important? How does design help increase sales? Well, if your company has a particular external aesthetic, then it becomes much easier to market yourself. That logo you had designed back in the 90s? Get rid of it. Replace it with something sleek and modern. Get resources into redesigning that website of yours. Work with them to build an aesthetic identity for your company. Work with someone specializing in graphic design to translate this identity to your printed materials.
When you have pleasing, modern, eye-catching design on your website, people will want to spend time on it. If you’re using online marketing techniques, then people are going to be visiting your website. And you website could have all the useful content in the world, but if the design is an eyesore, then it’s going to put people off. And when you put people off your website, you put people off your business.
By engaging in modern design, you are showing consumers that you know what’s what. That you’ve got your finger on the pulse. That you care both about the hard work you do and the importance of looking the part. If the product or service you provide is something you’re immensely proud of, then you should remember that it was designed in a particular way. Anything from customer service management to the sale of physical goods is a process that has been designed, even if you find it hard to see it that way. Why not translate that design into how your company actually appears at first glance to the outside world?
We live in a world where pretty things are just a click away. If your website or your business cards or your office are an eyesore, someone will lose interest pretty quickly. Make sure you keep those eyes locked on you.