Any business owner knows that the success of a company is a sum of multiple things: some are small and their influence may not be immediately apparent, others are obvious. But no matter what kind of business you run, there is one thing you simply cannot afford to neglect – your graphic design.
1. Company Logo
Your company’s logo is what people first encounter when they get in touch with your business. All successful businesses share one trait: their logos are immediately recognizable, even if they are partially obscured. One may say that they are recognizable because these companies are so well-known, but this works both ways, and the logo itself contributes greatly to the overall name recognition of the company.
Take Apple, for example. Their original design was overly complicated and rather generic. It would, of course, be an exaggeration to say that it is the change of logo that brought them success; but it is certain that its current logo has long ago became an immanent part of Apple’s corporate identity and cannot be changed without harming the company’s standing a great deal. It ideally combines all the features of the best logos: simplicity, unmistakability and consistency.
2. Collateral Materials
Business cards, brochures, window stickers, visual aids, letterheads – all these things can and should be used to create and maintain your corporate identity. Don’t think that the age of physical collateral material has passed. On the contrary, people today are so used to web marketing, social networks and suchlike that good old printed marketing tools can make all the difference.
For example, recent research carried out by Deliver magazine shows that clients from all age categories who received printed catalogs spent 28% more on average than those who didn’t receive one.
3. Web Design
Today, in a world where people get most of their information from the Internet, it doesn’t come as a surprise that web design plays an enormous role in improving sales. Trends, principles and tricks of the trade aimed at improving conversion rates evolve all the time; and fortunately for business owners, it is one of the best documented marketing directions of today. The Internet is rife with case studies showing the results of various A/B tests, and according to them even seemingly unimportant changes in web design can lead to increase in conversion rates ranging from 5-10% to a whopping 595%.
4. Social Media
Social media design is directly connected with more orthodox web design, but in recent years it has gradually turned into an industry of its own. Various social media, such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and so on occupy an ever-growing part of people’s lives. They spend more time there than simply surfing the Internet. They communicate with each other. They find new information. And businesses that manage to harness this trend are harvesting enormous benefits. The Q3 Social Intelligence Report from Adobe shows that last year such social networks as Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter saw respectively a 39, 150 and 300 percent increase in revenue per visitor.
Most companies treat packaging in a purely utilitarian fashion – as a way to ship their product to clients so that the product isn’t damaged on the way. Which doesn’t mean that it is the way you should behave as well. On the contrary, it is an excellent opportunity to stand out. And it isn’t just a theory. For example, an eye-tracking study by Strategir that researched the influence of different variants of packaging on customer behavior resulted in design changes that increased overall sales by 15%!
With all that new-fangled online marketing one can forget about good old-fashioned methods of attracting attention. TV, magazines, newspapers, signboards, yard signs, flyers and suchlike can and should still be used to promote your services and products. You simply should take into account what mediums may sell your product best. For example, TV ads are the best medium in terms of reach (71%) among affluent adults, being especially effective in selling luxury items (costing more than $75,000). The same goes for magazines. Although magazine reach is somewhat lower than that of online ads (48% vs. 50%), among luxury prospects magazines show much better results.
Graphic design is crucial for creating your company’s identity; and once it is created and established, it is very hard to change it. That is why if you are just starting out it is wise to have a brainstorm and consider every idea very carefully before making any final choices.
Featured photo credit: Bee & Bear Calendar 2010 by 2B design/Victor Chang via flickr.com