Good Design Is Good Business
Once focused mainly on packaging and products, design is now a philosophy spanning creative processes that can transform organizations.
Daily, at Argillic Brands, we work with clients ranging in industry and size to uncover the ideal strategies to help them meet their goals, gain market share and change their business for the better. In our experience, we have learned that design encompasses more than just visuals on the screen or in print; it embodies the message and vision of an organization. It affects virtually all aspects of customer and brand experience, from product development to customer service, we believe good design is the cornerstone of a thriving brand.
With strong ties to business development, design’s roots run deep. From the phrase, “Good design is good business,” coined in 1973 by Thomas John Watson, Jr., the former CEO of IBM who put his stamp on the company through the use of modern design.
By forming the first corporate design program at IBM, Thomas Watson Jr., and Eliot Noyes forged a partnership that would shape thinking around corporate design and culture for decades to come. They believed that corporate design must be informed by character rather than a surface image, and that “good design is good business.” Today, as a result of Watson and Noyes’s efforts, these principles continue to serve as some of the foundational tenets of the field of corporate design.
In a sense, a corporation should be like a good painting,” Noyes wrote. “Everything visible should contribute to the correct total statement; nothing visible should detract.
IBM was the first pioneer to embark into this brave, new world, and proved to be tremendously influential. In the 21st century, design is now a very crucial element of every business’ strategy.
Steve Jobs’ statement, “Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works,” the sentiment is clear. Following suit, highly visible organizations like Google and Nike have become well known for their intuitive design innovations that make our lives easier.
Virtually every major corporation and enterprise in today’s world — from Apple to Disney to Starbucks — situates itself in the IBM design legacy, using design as a core tool to express brand personalities and values.
Design is now seen as essential for organizations to express their brands and their values – from Apple’s iPhone, to Starbucks’ in-store experience, and GTbank’s building architecture designs to Disney’s entertainment venues.
In recent years, companies have employed the principles of what we call “design thinking,”- including observation of how humans interact with new things, rapid prototyping and collaboration across multidisciplinary teams – to create everything from consumer services to business strategy.
And many other companies, even those not known for market-disrupting innovation are emphasizing good design in the development of products and customer experiences.
Here is how excellent design can dramatically improve your business.
The bottom line is that a unique and powerful aesthetic will help your products and your brand to stand out. Consider this: Roughly 75 percent of all consumer purchases are impulse purchases, and these decisions are made on a whim. Hence, a product that boasts excellent design will stand out from all other products, subsequently giving your brand a competitive advantage.
High-quality design facilitates more effective communication between your brand and your customers and is subsequently a powerful form of advertising. For example, Apple has invested millions of dollars into crafting the perfect aesthetic. Today, the brand is internationally recognized for the sleek, simple, and elegant feel of both its products and its stores. The brand’s stark minimalist aesthetic is part of its signature and helps to convey brand values and personality to customers. This brand personality helps consumers to connect with a brand; they not only connect with a product on a utilitarian or economic level, but also on an emotional and cultural level.
We’re guessing that if you see a square white box in the top right corner of a square orange box, you would probably immediately think “GTbank,” even if the brand name was nowhere in sight. Similarly, you are probably inclined to automatically associate a large blue eagle on an arch with Dangote, while a black-and-white minimalist apple likely invokes thoughts of a Mac computer, iPods, iPads and range of other Apple products. The Nike swoosh instantaneously procures images of athletic apparel. The bottom line is that highly effective design will instantly garner your brand more recognition, which in turn enhances the visibility of your brand. Investing in high-quality brand and logo design today will inevitably pay off tomorrow.