Good Design Means Better Business

October 21, 2019


Imagine this; you are at Target looking for a stick of deodorant, you've always used the same brand, and it's worked, but now there are so many new choices you’re thinking of ditching the old standby for something different. Some of these new brands look so nice and earth-friendly that they must be worth trying. You put down your old tried and true stick and go for one of the more eye-catching options.

Sound familiar? You’ve likely made subconscious or even conscious choices like this hundreds of times.  

You've also encountered examples of poor brand design, but you likely don't remember those companies by name.

However, if I asked you about the world’s most iconic brands, you'd probably quickly cite one of the following: Google, Disney, Apple, Nike, Coca-Cola, and the like.

But why?

A good, simple design is at the core of sustained commercial success. This is proven; it isn't a mere coincidence.

In an era of increased competition across all sectors and industries, how do some companies deliver exceptional design, time after time? What is “good” design even worth? McKinsey & Company did an extensive study to answer these questions. They went as far as to track the design practices of 300 publicly listed companies across varying industries and international borders. It took them five years, but the results were worth it.

The study found 12 design actions that demonstrated the most significant correlation with improved financial performance and were able to cluster the results into four themes (using the McKinsey Design Index—MDI).

They discovered a strong association between high MDI scores and superior business performance. Companies with better design had higher revenues and greater shareholder returns and achieved both substantially faster than their counterparts. They also found that these results weren’t industry-specific, as they held across services, physical goods, and digital products.

The companies that stood out with stellar design were rewarded at a disproportionately high level—in other words, spending on good design brought significant ROI.

What your brand puts into its graphic design is what you can expect to get back—and then some.

It sounds simple enough, right? Unfortunately, companies both large and small have been slow to catch up. More than ever, companies must listen to their consumers; and consumers want and appreciate good design. The insights are there, it’s only a matter of taking advantage of them. Designers and leaders who place customers at the heart of their decisions will hit the jackpot of success.

A large percentage of companies are not talking to their end-user, and as a result, they are bound to feel the repercussions in lost market share to leaner, more engaged start-ups.

Design is often treated as an inconsequential component to business—mostly at the brand’s peril. It isn’t all the C-suite’s fault however. The problem stems from design teams failing to show management how design influences and directly impacts business goals.

We've personally seen how seemingly small elements of a product's design can have a significant impact on a business's bottom line—incredulous though it may seem.

Technical specs alone won’t always sway the consumer. How you present them though—absolutely can.

Before you go out and redesign a product or rebrand your service offering, understand that this isn't a one-time “set it and forget it” type of deal. Everyone at a company should be empowered, invested, and continuously focused on good design.

Every single business has the potential to be successful, whether a product or service—either online or offline—but it will require commitment to proper design.

Are you ready to take the plunge?

Looking for help building a strong brand? Contact Keenability to find out how we can assist you and your brand.

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