Okay, we’re the first to admit we love a bit of D-I-Y. But if there’s one thing that always makes us sigh a little, it’s when we see a business that has decided to ‘go it alone’ with their design work and…ahem….failed.
At a time when budgets are frequently under pressure, the temptation to save money on design can be irresistible. After all, it’s amazing what you can do with PowerPoint and smartphone these days. I mean, how hard can it be to design a website, brochure or logo?
While you may save a few hundred dollars by opting for the D-I-Y design route, cutting corners could have far wider costs to your business and/or brand reputation in the long run.
According to Forbes magazine “A brand is a promise. Think of some top brands and you immediately know what they promise: McDonald’s, Coca Cola, Ford, Apple. You know what you’re going to get with a well-branded product or service… it takes a lot of hard work to build and maintain great brands, brands that can speak volumes in just a few syllables.”
Time and again over the past two decades we’ve seen examples of why quality design should never be seen as an expense, but rather as an investment in your brand. While perhaps harder to quantify directly than the purchase of a new piece of equipment or other business assets, there’s little question it can deliver a very real ROI.
Design is a pivotal part of maintaining good brand health. It’s about far more than just making things look nice too. Good design exudes confidence and professionalism for your business or brand. It makes your communications easier to read, navigate and understand. It sends strong brand cues to your customers and prospects. It differentiates your message from your competitors. It builds brand equity. It can also be a source of tremendous pride for your employees. These are all vitally important things for any business.
Trouble is, the reverse is also true. Poorly executed design and typography can have a hugely negative impact on your communications and your brand. Just think about some of the underwhelming letterbox ‘junk mail’ you’ve received over the years. It feels amateurish, disorganised, potentially a bit suspicious and…let’s not mince our words here…. cheap.
Worse still, poorly considered design can undermine your existing brand image very quickly. Suddenly what may have seemed like a way to save some money could turn into a branding disaster, all thanks to a decidedly false economy.
We’re not saying great design alone is a guarantee of results. Clearly there will always be more to your marketing campaigns than simply the way they look. But our advice is to be very careful. Image really does matter. Your communications will almost always be better – and more successful – by design.