Ask any business expert what really matters during times of economic instability and they will say that continuing to market your business is critical. Yet, in business, matters of creativity and design are often seen as something nice to have if you can afford it, but easily cut during uncertain financial times.
As you are competing with other companies selling the same service or product, there are many things which can set your business apart – but first you have to get the customer’s attention. On first impression, the only differentiation between you and your competition may be your branding and image. And that is achieved through professional graphic design of your company’s image through necessary print and web materials.
Professional design leads to communications consistency. Studies indicate that prospects must hear of or see your business numerous times before it will spring to mind unbidden. Having a consistent and memorable message and image can help accelerate recognition and speed up the branding process.
Imagine this: you are at a seminar listening to a dynamic speaker and you ask them to send you more information about their company. When the package arrives, you are surprised to discover the information is barely readable, the colors clash enough to make your eyes ache, and there is a good chance the charts were done by a five year old. You will probably overlook all this, because you met this person, and you already know they know their stuff. But if you received this marketing collateral before meeting and hearing them, it is likely you would question the consultant’s credibility and professionalism.
When you visit a business on the web, navigation and content on a website are extremely important, for it is the visual design which lends credibility and indicates the professionalism and quality of the business. Consumer Web Watch reportedly found that “Design Look” (46.1 percent) and “Information Design/Structure” (28.5 percent) were the top factors people used to determine credibility of the business they were visiting online.
Having a quality product or service is terrific, but it is not enough if no one knows you are there. What better time to let the world know that your business exists, than when your competition is hunkered down and not marketing? Perhaps they are marketing, but doing it themselves, on the cheap and poorly designed – this, too, presents an opportunity differentiate your business. A professional design partner can improve your business image and communications, and it is good for economics. A strategic and well designed brand offers increased, positive exposure and differentiation from the competition. Economically, professional design increases profit through increased acceptance and awareness of your products and services. Beat that!
Excerpts taken from Eileen Parzek article