Every business needs to build a strong, recognizable brand. Whether you are creating a new website, brick-and-mortar store, or looking to draw attention at a conference, compelling design can be the difference between success and failure.
With that said, most business owners and executives have limited branding experience – making the task of designing a product or managing a designer a daunting task.
In this post, we are going to walk through why every brand needs to invest in compelling design and the process of identifying good design, working with an experienced designer, and providing clear guidance to that designer.
For new companies, we recommend focusing on crafting a handful of essential items. Start with:
- Company name
- Product name
- Visual identity system
- Brand story
- Community outreach (social media, business cards, signs, etc.)
Furthermore, designating a single point of contact (e.g., the CEO or head of marketing) for your designer or design agency will help ensure a smooth process. Regardless of job title, this person needs the ability to make decisions on behalf of the company and should involve the right stakeholders when their input is needed.
What is Good Design?
Famed industrial designer Dieter Ram has 10 Principles of Good Design. We recommend reading all ten, but, for our sake, we are going to highlight two principles here.
First, good design makes a product useful. Good design starts with a deep understanding and appreciation of the problem being solved. Consider a website filled with animations and videos, it may grab someone’s attention – but it must also do a good job of allowing a repeat customer to contact customer support or purchase another product. Otherwise, it could actually detract from the experience and business goals.
Good design should not be measured by a Photoshop mockup alone. It needs to live in the real world and help users reach their intended goals.
Second, good design makes a product understandable. There is a value in minimalism and flat design. But, by the same token, things can be taken too far. Having supporting copy and hints for users will go a long way. Ultimately, the job of design is to hint at the value of the item.
With that said, what is specifically needed varies dramatically from business to business. This is where an experienced designer comes in.
Working with Experienced Designers
At PUNCHY, we tailor our process to match the client’s stage of growth and strategic goals. Depending on the scope, the branding process can take anywhere from four weeks to six months. The large range comes down to the business problems we are trying to solve.
For instance, a new brand that needs to get off the ground may need a simple website design, logo design, and business cards. Meanwhile, an existing brand looking to reposition itself may require a brand refresh or a complete rebrand.
Experienced designers are able to prioritize your needs and create a plan. Moreover, design is cross-discipline, bringing together the needs of different stakeholders. There is a large disparity between a website that looks good and one that looks good, has clear marketing copy, and increases your revenue by converting more users.
Providing Clear, Detailed Guidance
Now that you understand the value in selecting an experienced designer, there are a few steps you should understand as well. The more informed your designer is, the closer they can get to building the brand you envision. Here are a few important considerations.
Your team should articulate:
- How your brand fits into the existing market, including key competitors and points of differentiation
- Who your customers are and why they need your product or service
- Your brand values, mission, and vision
- What makes your brand unique, including its tone and attitude
Giving to Fly, a non-profit organization, works with amputee children to provide airfare for camps, clinics, and training programs. The Giving to Fly team approached PUNCHY with the desire to create an accessible brand to kids, young adults, and parents alike.
Their organization already had a good sense of who they were, and needed the branding expertise that PUNCHY brings to the table. PUNCHY's team asked specific questions, provided realistic timelines, and ultimately build a brand that helped Giving to Fly reach their potential.They continue to grow 3 fold year-after-year, and provided more flight last year than any year prior
Every brand – new or old, big or small – needs to invest in compelling design. A strong brand serves as differentiation and will help users understand your product or service better.
When looking to invest in compelling design, we recommend following this format:
- Scope what should be designed or redesigned, prioritize the here and now
- Decide what factors contribute to good design in your situation
- Select an experienced designer or design agency
- Provide clear, detailed guidance on your vision and your definition of success
Do you own or work at a company looking to elevate its branding? Schedule a free consultation with the PUNCHY team today!