So you want your small business to be successful, right?
Off course you do. The trouble is, in the quest for success, it’s easy for small business owners to neglect or undervalue one of the key components…
I get it, your busy, you have a lot to focus on. Everyones been there. As a solo, independent website and graphic designer I know the feeling. But good design is an essential component in the success of your business. Taking advantage of good graphic design and web design can have a hugely positive impact on your business.
Read on to find out 12 reasons why you should consider good design essential for your small businesses…
What Will I Learn?
1. Good Design Demands Attention
Attention is the first step towards making a sale. Without attention your business simply isn’t noticed. If your not getting noticed your not making sales.
Good design increases the leads and sales you receive by demanding attention and increasing exposure.
People are naturally attracted to things that look good and function well. They’re drawn to them, they want to investigate them and they enjoy interacting with them.
Good design has the same effect for business. If your advertisements, promotional material and website are all designed well then people will be naturally drawn to them and your brand also.
More attention and exposure for your business through good design equals more leads and more sales.
The more businesses use design, the more successful they’re likely to be.Design Council
2. Good Design Differentiates You
Good design enables you to stand out from your competitors. It allows you to brand yourself, be different and to communicate what makes you unique.
High quality print and web design can turn a bland, generic company into one that communicates a unique value proposition to the perfect target customer.
You can’t afford to be like everyone else and good design gives you the competitive differentiation needed to gain market share. It allows you to improve your market position relative to your competitors.
Design is an investment in innovative thinking, positioning, branding and communication that creates value for businesses in terms of competitive advantage, customer trust and loyalty, and market share.American Institute of Graphic Arts
3. Good Design Makes a Great First Impression
Your image and how potential customers perceive you is extremely important. It might not always be fair, but it’s a fact that people judge a book by its cover.
Given the choice of doing business with a scruffy, grubby looking individual or a smart, suited and well groomed individual, who would you choose? I’m willing to bet the later.
First impressions count.
Good design creates that great first impression for your businesses at times when you or your staff can’t be there to do it in person.
When a potential customer experiences great design at every point of contact with your business, from your marketing material to your website, they’ll come away with a positive experience and great first impression. And, as you’ll see in detail later, this also leads to happier customers.
What do you want your business be? The scruffy tramp or the well groomed professional?
Participants reported that an unfavourable first impression could lead to early rejection of the website often before the content had been explored in any detail. Design factors included poor navigational aids, lack of clear entry points, colour, text size and even the name of the website.Northumbria University
4. Good Design Presents The Right Image
Ever heard the saying ‘a picture is worth a thousand words’? Well it’s true. It’s not just words that communicate, image does to. So presenting the right one to customers or clients is extremely important.
If your a nail beautician would you want to present a gothic image? Not likely. Unless your targeting a very specific niche within a large city.
Likewise, if your a goth metal band would you want to present a feminine image? Again, probably not. That is unless your a crazy Japanese fetish band or something.
A professional image is of course important but communicating the right image to the right audience is paramount. Good design does just that, it presents the perfect image to your perfect customer.
Of all the factors that were mentioned for rejecting or mistrusting a website, 94% were design related; only 6% were content related.Crazy Egg
5. Good Design Establishes Trust and Credibility
A shift in design means a shift in perception and high quality design will improve both current and potential customers perception of your business by making it appear larger, more professional and better established.
Presenting a consistent image and identity establishes your company as stable, reliable, credible and trustworthy.
Furthermore, if customers can see you’ve invested time and money into good design not only does it send a message that you are successful, it shows that you care about their experience and that you take pride in everything you do.
Participants made a number of comments relating to the rejection and mistrust of websites. 83% of all comments regarding rejection concerned design factors. The look and feel of the website was clearly important.Northumbria University
6. Good Design Increases Perceived Value
Good design conveys many positive qualities, including a higher perceived value. The higher quality or more luxurious a product or service appears to be the more a customer will perceive it as valuable.
Take brands such as Prada, Apple and Etihad Airways for example, they provide high quality products and services but often charge much higher prices compared to competitors. Why? Because customers are willing to pay more based on the high perceived value attached to their brand.
Of course you have to back this perceived value up with real value also, but it’s the perceived value that get’s customers in the door and open to paying higher prices.
By using good design to increase the perceived value of your product or service you’ll not only increase your customer willingness to pay but also the amount their willing to pay. You’re also less likely to have to compete on price.
Businesses that add value through design see a greater impact on business performance than the rest.Design Council
7. Good Design Communicates Effectively
The purpose of your marketing material and website is to communicate valuable information to potential customers. Good design enables you to deliver that valuable information quickly and clearly.
Research shows that on average you have about 10 seconds to make an impression otherwise a visitor will leave your website.
To gain several minutes of user attention, you must clearly communicate your value proposition within 10 seconds.Nielson Norman Group Evidence-Based User Experience Research
The same effect is true for print material. If it’s poorly designed people are much less likely to read it or be able to quickly find the information they need.
Using great design that makes effective use of font’s, white space, layout, contrast and other design elements is an incredibly important factor in communicating clearly and effectively in order to generate increased leads and sales.
[Users] said they were more likely to believe websites that looked professionally designed.Stanford Web Credibility Study
8. Good Design Increases Engagement
Good design and typographic formatting can also dramatically increase reader attention and duration. The longer a potential customer engages with your business or brand the more likely they are to contact or buy from you.
Simple changes such as choosing a legible font size, keeping your sentences between 45 and 75 characters in length and your leading or line height (sentence spacing) 1.3 to 1.5 times your font-size can make all the difference. Together, these little changes can have a hugely positive influence on readability and the level of customer engagement.
Likewise, the good use of contrast, white space, visual hierarchy, colour and other such design elements make interacting with your business a pleasurable experience. Again, contributing to increased engagement and subsequent leads and sales.
In order to strengthen competitiveness, service provider should pay more attention on website quality in the form of improving the website usability, design and information quality.International Journal of Basic & Applied Sciences
9. Good Design Delivers a Better Experience
Good design ensures that your website and sales material not only look good, but also function better.
Design isn’t just about making things look pretty. Good design also improves usability and functionality.
Good design reduces friction between your customer and your desired action, wether that be filling out a contact form, joining your mailing list or making an online purchase.
Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.Steve Jobs
10. Good Design Creates Happier Customers
Good design creates a positive association with your business.
Increased engagement, reduced friction and greater ease of use means your customers interaction with your brand is much more positive. If customers associate a positive feeling with your brand then then they’ll want to interact and do business with you more.
Combining beautiful aesthetics with greater usability creates an overall better experience for your customer. If every interaction with your company is an enjoyable one then potential customers or clients will be much more likely to stick around, take you up on your offer or return for it or repeat business at a later date.
Online environment cue such as website quality, trust and empathy are found to be the critical cue that effect customer purchase intentionInternational Journal of Basic & Applied Sciences
11. Good Design Creates Desire
People want to own or associate with well designed products, services and brands.
If a product, service or business creates a better experience, or better solves a problem for the user, people want it.
Most successful companies know and take advantage of this. Apple being a prime example. Small businesses can benefit equally to though.
Companies that used design were more successful than those that didn’t. On the whole the companies using design were less risk averse, more likely to be developing new products and services – and twice as likely to experience growthDesign for Europe
12. Good Design Creates Recall
Improved image, identity and branding though great design increases business memorability.
Customers will experience improved recognition of your products, services and brand if they demonstrate visual consistency and appeal.
When design and branding is well executed a simple flash of your logo or brand colours can be all it takes to cause positive experiences you’ve worked hard to achieve to come flooding back to your customer, creating instant recall and positive association between products or services.
As well as making you easier to remember, this also has the added benefit of reducing the time needed to market new products and services. Customers will again associate the positive qualities and experiences achieved through previous products, services and design and then attach them to new, similarly branded products or services.
Design helps businesses to stay in touch with their customers and build the strategy that not only keeps those customers but adds new ones and opens up whole new markets.Design Council
Good Design Makes Sense
It can be easy to see design as an unfortunate expense or commodity that can be skimped on. Or even fail to see the benefits at all. When in reality studies and other businesses clearly show that good design is an investment and highly effective tool for generating greater leads, sales and growth for businesses of any size.
”For every £100 a design alert business spends on design, turnover increases by £225″Design Council
As the leading businessman and self-made industrialist Thomas J. Watson said years ago…
Good design is good business.Thomas J. Watson
What do you think? What has your experience been? Are there any further benefits? Has good design helped in your business? Or are you yet to invest? I’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences in the comments below.