So what does it mean to lead your business by design? And why would it be considered beneficial for all business, no matter the size, to do this? All very important questions for you to ask. And even if you haven’t asked them, I’m going to explain it to you anyway.
What would you consider the attributes of design to consist of? Aesthetics, functionality, or usability? How about the capacity to solve a problem?
If you consider this to be the case, wouldn’t your ultimate goal when working with a graphic designer be not to just to get a great visual, but to design a great product/service which solves a problem that the customer is willing to pay for?
Therefore, Design ≃ Customer ≃ Financial Results all go hand in hand, and should be part of your process in developing a successful business strategy.
Solving the Problem
When you began your business, you would have identified a problem. Whether your product literally solves a problem, or you solved a gap within the market place with the delivery of your service, you’ve had the brainpower to notice the problem and the initiative to do something about it. So well done!
If you continue to identify problems that are crying out for a solution, you are entering the space of innovation. In terms of a successful business, you should be asking yourself if your solution, in its entirety and delivery, is in fact meeting customers’ needs or desires.
Haven’t considered the needs of your client recently? Identify your clients’ pain points through an exercise like the Value Proposition Canvas, which can help you with this.
So what role does a designer have? Adopting a relationship with a designer who looks at a how to solve a problem from your customers/clients perspective, allows a business to lead and innovate – not just be ‘another one’nin their industries market place.
“…The fundamental differentiator in my mind between success and failure is identifying the [customer’s] problem.” Product Manager, Gripple.
Making it Pay
Design could be the differentiator for your business. Integrated design can enhance your customers’ experience immensely and, on that subject alone, can benefit your pricing. As you can imagine, this is hugely beneficial if your company falls into a sector where cost is a main market driver.
Attracting your customer enables your first connection point, the most important of them all. So yes, aesthetics, functionality and usability are so important. By embodying design into your product/service and communicating the unique strengths of your business, the value and point of difference of your brand are paramount. Consider this, what makes a Jeep a Jeep? And what makes someone pay for a Jeep?
When developing your brand, always consider if what is produced is truly reflective of those things. Work with a designer who sits down with you and understands your business, so they can identify your customer’s problem, so you can add HUGE value to your business.
UK Design Council research results showed that for every $100 design savvy companies invested in design, they saw an increase to their turnover of $225.
Just because your competitor can spend thousands on advertising and you can’t, doesn’t mean you can’t match them in design quality.
Consider the UK based company Challs product “Buster”, a drain cleaner. Challs adapts the belief that design should be embedded in everything the company does, both now and in the future. In response to a newly appointed Innovation Room, the Buster range was developed. Innovation created a successful product.
And even though the product itself was working, Buster was struggling to get shelf space from their big-pocketed competitors, so they turned to a designer to solve the problem.
The redesign of the labels and bottles wasn’t just on the cards, but also their product portfolio/strategy. A designer identified the consumers’ problem of product confusion –ptoo many products with too many purposes – so the Buster range was cut to only four products dedicated solely to cleaning and unblocking plug holes and drains. Only after that, were the labels and bottle designs analysed.
As a result, an estimated initial outlay of £100,000 resulted in sales of £2.5 million every year. With a company of just over 50 employees, they’re some pretty incredible figures right?