Here’s a nice short article on Forbes.com written by Adam Swann about the value of good design, and how companies like Apple have invested in design to climb to the top.
Design-oriented organizations invest in thinking this stuff through. They put design at the heart of their company to guide innovation and to continually improve products, service and marketing. They recognize that a great design leads to differentiation, customer loyalty and higher profits.
If you’re a small business owner, you may be thinking, “Isn’t branding for large companies? Apple is a large corporation, and I’m just the little guy.” But these same principles of investment in good design can lead to differentiation, customer loyalty and higher profits for small businesses too. Good design does not just apply to large corporations.
When Everybody Zigs, Zag
Most small business think design is just another expense to be dealt with as cheaply as possible. Small businesses are so far behind with branding - and I’m talking small, local level businesses here - that if you devote even a small investment in your branding, you’ll differentiate yourself enough to make an impact. If nobody around you has invested in design, develop a great brand identity and set yourself apart. Just because they’ve decided not to invest in their business’s appearance doesn’t mean you have to do the same. Be different. Be smart. When everybody zigs, zag.
Applying Good Design
Great design can be applied to a logo, a business card, packaging, signage or anywhere else people come in contact with your brand. Together, these things make up your brand identity and mold your customer’s impression of your brand. Creating a well thought out brand identity can attract loyal and trusting customers who return and tell their friends about your product. If you provide a service, creating a brand identity that looks professional can attract potential clients.
• Follow the lead of big business and commit to good design
• Put good design at the heart of your business
• Think of good design as an opportunity and not just another cost
• A well designed brand identity can easily set you apart in the small business world
• Be different. Be a leader. Differentiate your brand from the competition