Written by Anthony Del Gigante
Good design pleases the senses, improves the function of a product or service, and even has the power to spark emotions. That being said, is it also possible for design to have a direct impact on your brand’s bottom line? Can you add value to your brand by making good design a priority? We answer these questions and more in our fact-filled infographic, Why Good Design Matters for Businesses.
Measuring the Impact of Design on Business Value
Researchers at McKinsey & Company recently performed an in-depth analysis of the impact of design on a brand’s bottom line. After an analysis of 300 publicly traded companies, researcher found that good design had a direct influence on brand value. The positive effect of design on a firm’s bottom line was most noticeable in terms of revenue growth and shareholder return. For example, the top 25% of firms with the best design practices outperformed their competitors by 32% in revenue growth and 52% in shareholder return. The research also showed that the correlation between design and above-average performance wasn’t limited to a particular type of firm or industry. Design-focused firms eclipsed their peers across a range of industries, including retail banking, consumer packaged goods, and medical technology.
What Are the Advantages of Focusing on Design?
Now that we’ve established that there’s a correlation between design and brand value, it’s time to look at why design matters and why you should make it a priority. A well-designed brand obviously has numerous benefits, but these are especially worthy of a closer look:
Design Is a Fundamental Part of Branding:The concept of design encompasses all of the elements that make up your brand identity and distinguishes you from your peers. When you look at the most recognizable and valuable global brands, you’ll see that their brand design is original and easily identified, targeted to their desired customer, and consistent across all platforms.
Here’s the estimated business value of some of the most iconic global brands:
- Technology giant Apple has an estimated business value of $214 billion
- Search engine Google is valued at $156 billion
- Amazon has an estimated business value of $101 billion
- The business value of Microsoft is estimated at $93 billion
- Coca-Cola has an estimated business value of $66 billion
Design Communicates Authenticity: The majority of consumers judge a brand by its logo, website layout, and other design elements. With an increasing number of consumer interactions taking place online, 75% of consumers say their impression of a brand is influenced by its website design. It also means that you have to establish your brand’s professionalism and trustworthiness in less time than it takes to make your morning cup of coffee. For example, more than half of visitors will spend fewer than 15 seconds on your website and form their opinion of the site and your brand within 50 milliseconds.
Design Is About Making the Entire Consumer Experience Better:Thinking of design as merely an aesthetic concern underestimates the effect that good design can have on the overall consumer experience. In describing design, Steve Jobs once said, “It’s not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.”
Don Norman, one of the leaders in modern design thinking, took things even further by stating that design should impact consumers on several levels. Norman identified three areas essential to design theory:
- The design must impact the consumer on a visceral level and create a positive first impression.
- Design should include the behavioral aspects of the consumer interaction and ensure that the experience is both pleasurable and intuitive.
- Design should reflect the larger story, message, or meaning being conveyed.
How Can Firms Improve Their Design Practices?
In the course of their research, McKinsey identified a number of practices that are common among firms excelling in design:
- The top firms set design goals, track their movement toward those goals using quantifiable measurements and metrics, and adjust their strategies as needed based on their performance.
- Successful firms do away with silos and spread design responsibility and accountability across all functions.
- Successful brands don’t look at design as a “one and done” process. It’s essential that you continually assess, rethink, and refine your design to ensure that it’s consistent with your brand and message.
- Good design must consider the needs, wants, and preferences of the consumer.
Utilizing these design tactics will enable you to make all aspects of your own business better—including its products and services—and add value to your brand.
Anthony Del Gigante, Chief Creative Officer at MDG Advertising
Anthony Del Gigante is chief creative officer at MDG Advertising, a full-service ad agency in Brooklyn, New York and Boca Raton, Florida. Over the years, his unique talents in brand strategy, visual identity development, and brand activation have consistently delivered measurable results for a wide range of world-renowned clients, including American Express, Verizon, AbbVie, and Cushman Wakefield. A brand specialist, Anthony leads MDG’s creative development, working with clients to develop creative, strategic, and functional solutions for their brands.