What brands do you aspire to be like?
I ask every client that question. And Apple or Nike get name-dropped every single time. (Google and Tesla are runners-up.)
So what do these companies have in common–aside from their crazy success?
They are all design-driven companies.
That means they prioritize design (aka thoughtful problem-solving) and build it into their business.
Design is a competitive advantage. Don’t believe it? Well, design-driven companies outperformed the S&P 500 by 211% over a 10-year period. That’s HUGE.
To put it simply:
- Bad design costs you money
- Good design earns you a premium
- Bad design gets lost in the noise
- Good design sets you apart
- Bad design makes you forgettable (or worse)
- Good design makes you covetable
Design Is a Competitive Advantage. So Design Your Business.
As Steve Jobs says,
Here’s 4 key areas to incorporate design:
1. Brand design
Brand design is the big picture, defining all the things you want to be known for and how to bring that to life. That includes your logo, colors, type, imagery, packaging — the entire look that makes you unique. But it’s also what you stand for, what makes you special, and what you promise to deliver to your customers. Brand design is the foundation that your product, service and customer experience spring from.
2. Product design
If you have a product, you’ve already done some product design. Are there opportunities to improve? New features? Different ingredients? A different shape or physical design? What is the packaging like? Does it create an Instagram-worthy unboxing experience? What about new products that meet a different need for your audience? When it comes to designing products, no detail is too small!
3. Service design
Service providers have so many opportunities to get creative and really wow their customers. What’s the onboarding experience like? Do you send gifts or thank yous? Do you have a signature process that you guide them through? What details do you incorporate to make your customer feel special and valued? How do you communicate so that they feel confident and in the loop at all times? When you’re done, do you just leave them hanging or do you check-up on them after? All of this matters! Map out the service you provide from start to finish to identify gaps and brainstorm ways to improve. You want to treat your clients like VIPs!
4. Customer experience design
Customer experience captures every step your customer takes from the moment they first hear about you to them becoming a raving fan (hopefully). That’s a lot of touchpoints. If they visit your website, is it user-friendly? When they step inside your office or retail location, how do you welcome them? Does it smell good? What music is playing? Does your product require a manual? Is it easy-to-understand? Put yourself in your customer’s shoes. If anything was possible, how would you want this experience to go? Create that.