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Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Good Design Is Good Business

            A great brand identity visually expresses the core values and essence of any company or organization with consistency.  It is an essential component in the ongoing success of any company wishing to compete for dominance in a niche market.

    The prime element in reflecting this essence in it's simplest form is the logo.  Whether elegant, outrageous, literal  or conceptual; every logo must be, above all, memorable.  This company 'thumbprint' is the cornerstone of every company’s visual marketing efforts.  A well designed logo is conceptual, the aesthetic is fine tuned and the color palette inspires trust and drives consumer behavior.  It is important to note that in this day and age, visual discernment in consumers is high.  Any logo purchased for $39 at some place like '' will be rejected upon sight, and prospective customers will mentally file your organization into the "you've got to be kidding me" category.  The importance of proper logo development cannot be understated.

            The second main extension of a company’s identity is it's online presence.  Websites, blogs, social media pages and email marketing campaigns are the most visible carriers of a company’s image.  A well designed home page alone can inspire and win over customer loyalties instantly.  Conversely, one that is poorly designed, repels visitors and creates a negative equity for the company. There are no excuses to neglect investing in proper, well integrated, professionally designed visual branding.

            Financially speaking, the development cost of a well executed strategic identity is a "no-brainer" investment in any company’s future.  Design fees are budgeted expenses deducted the same year they are incurred; as opposed to a piece of machinery which usually costs more and is amortized over a number of years.  And yet the benefits of a professionally designed branding system is retained over a longer amount of time.  One related study of a more tangible nature was completed by Yankelvitch  Partners, Inc.  They surveyed senior-level business executives nationwide, asking them to rank the relative importance of a company’s branded marketing materials. The study showed that a company's logo and branded visuals ranked second only to annual sales figures in conveying a company's professionalism and prestige.

            Customers, prospects, investors, potential employees and other important audiences do, in fact,  judge a corporation largely by its branded identity and corporate visual language as it's applied to printed marketing, an online presence, outdoor campaigns, radio and television, etc.  We can also offer tangible proof that even 'specialty' production techniques selected for producing marketing collateral can make a notable difference in how the company is perceived and embraced.  Good branding sets you apart at every opportunity to communicate with your target market.  Starbucks is a great example of successfully consistent, well integrated branding.  From store front signage to packaging to online presence, brochures, interiors, cups and gift cards;  they know how to leverage their perfectly targeted branding solution.

            A company can, for a modest budgeted expense, create and manage a well-strategized visual brand identity, cultivating loyal, trusting customers for many years.  Or it can choose to neglect this foundational process and let customers catch them poorly prepared in every opportunity in which presenting professionalism is essential to winning business.

     Poorly executed and inconsistent brand identities create negative public perception and kill business; on the other hand, well designed and managed brand identities propel companies, inspire loyalty and sell.  In short, good design is always good business.

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