“Brands are for the likes of Tesco,” declared the man who’d just walked into our studio. I couldn’t be bothered to argue. Droning on about his firm’s lack of fortunes, it was clear that he had no intention of investing any more than you or I would spend on a tank of petrol. He placed no value on the benefits of decent design.
This conversation is one we endure on a regular basis – websites that offer logo design for £5 have, in many people’s eyes, commoditised my industry; “Why should I pay you ‘X’ amount, when I can get it for a fraction of the cost online, from my cousin etcetera, etcetera.”
The answers simple. It just won’t look as good. Good design is something to behold, it’s something that has a contagious effect – it spreads and people talk about it. It’s the beautifully designed packaging that makes you want to buy one brand of sausages over another. It’s the reason that iPads are more in demand than Nexus’ and yet, are twice the price.
Everywhere you look there are examples of how good design is influencing people’s choices.
The bottom line is, good design makes a difference to your business, and if you don’t believe me you’re deluding yourself. Why does every major company invest a ton of money in their brand identity and strategy? Why has this very magazine hired someone specifically to lay out this page you’re reading now in an aesthetically pleasing manner?
Traditionally, this has been a problem at a grass roots level. Shops will spend thousands on ugly signage, or services will fork out a year’s mortgage payments on a website that isn’t fit for its true purpose, yet mention designing an identity for a reasonable sum, and they break out in a cold sweat.
There are positive signs out there. Recently, an estate agency local to me has rebranded with a fresh approach that was completely different to every other agent in the area. It had been well thought through and the execution was first class. The designer responsible has paid attention to carving a differential between their client and the competition.
Fortunately, we’re seeing lots of new local companies springing up, keen to invest in the design of all aspects of their brand, and owned by switched on, up-and-coming entrepreneurs who appreciate the value that well designed brand identities can bring to their company.
I’ve talked before about paying a fair price for the skills and services of someone who not only has the skill set, but also the relevant experience on how to make your business stand out. These people will make you money – and quite possibly a lot of money. Don’t believe the hype, and don’t devalue your brand – if you want people to invest in your company, you have to invest in it yourself first.