What do all the best brands have in common? Is it that they have great products or services? Sure. Do they offer a top-notch customer experience? Debatable, but I suppose it’s all relative. But look around. Really look at what some of the most recognizable brands are doing. Apple, Coca-Cola, Nike, McDonald’s, Facebook—and plenty others—all structure their customer experience around one, all-important aspect: design. No, I don’t mean visual design. I mean the design of the overall brand experience. That dedicated focus helped launch them all into billion-dollar companies that are instantly recognizable to almost everyone.
Could it possibly be so simple? Could the enormous revenues generated by these companies really be attributed to design? Aren’t the features—the functionality—what bring in customers? And what exactly is design, anyway?
The answers, respectively are: No. Not really. Hell no. And it’s complicated.
The fact is, great design is a critical fixture of any successful brand.
But what is it?
Put simply, design is the visual component of a business or product. More than that, design is the visual representation and complete experience of a brand. It should be considered at all tiers of business model development from operations, to sales, to marketing, to product design, website design, app, design, user experience… You get the point. According to our founder, Ron Netanel, “design is the totality of how your brand engages a customer through experience.” Big ideas, sure, but anything less would be a waste of time.
Great design is paramount to the success of any business, especially as the world moves further into the digital age. Many companies think about design—much as they would think of their brand—at the end of their initial development. But, like putting up your Christmas lights at 11:59pm on Christmas Day, that’s a mistake. It just doesn’t make sense.
As Steve Jobs—Mr. Aesthetics, himself—once said, “Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.”
If Steve Jobs, the man who took Apple from the edge of obscurity to the multi-billion dollar juggernaut it is today, believed it, then you’d better believe that you should believe it, too. We certainly do.
If you aren’t focusing on the aesthetics of your brand: the colors, imagery, user experience, and cross-platform usability, then you’re setting yourself up to fail. Period.
Good design is all about the user experience—the human experience, what we call Brand to Human®.