They say content is king.
But if that king looks like a pauper, how much respect will he get?
To get the best returns on your brand and marketing spend, you need to have the respect of your target audience. Whether we like it or not, people will almost always ‘judge a book by it’s cover’. If you want people to ‘read your book’, then it needs to be visually appealing and portray the appropriate level of quality and professionalism.
To help you in your mission to improve your returns, here are your seven keys to success:
1. Build A Complete Visual Identity
2. Systemise For Efficiency And Quality
Time (is money) efficiencies and improved quality assurance can both be created through the correct application of design. The foundation stone of this is the systemisation of your brand and visual identity. From here, you can create a number of standardised design elements and templates for regularly re-used materials. Done right, you will end up with a design toolkit which allows for a great versatility of design within your brand guidelines, without having to reinvent the wheel all the time.
3. Remember: Good Design Is Only An Amplifier
Great design on it’s own, more than likely won’t make you a leader in your market. It takes a combination of a complete (and appropriate) brand, a great product/service, solid systems, a wonderful offer, etc, etc. Getting your design right will be the difference-maker with competitors on a similar level to yourself. Don’t sacrifice the rest and hope design alone will get you to the top. A lemon is a lemon, no matter how pretty it is.
On the flip side – bad design alone can torpedo your chances of success.
4. Design For Your Target Market
5. Be Willing To Experiment
As with the way you try different promotions, and test the same promotion with different groups and at different times of the year, it is also beneficial to be constantly testing your designs. Regularly make small changes to find out how it affects your promotion results. As with promotions, it’s the measuring and analysing of the results that’s important. Without measurement (and action on that measurement) it’s just change for change’s sake. Remember: adjust the promotion OR the design, not both. Otherwise you won’t know what results they each produced.
6. Avoid ‘Design By Committee’
While getting plenty of feedback is great and securing buy-in from people through consultation is vital, it is important to keep the decision making circle as small as possible. It is the decision-maker’s job to take all the feedback and recommendations received, and action those that are appropriate. This maintains focus on the brief, plus can save a lot of time and money.
7. Find A Designer You Can Trust
Your brand and marketing are vital to the success of your business. Make sure you put them in the hands of someone you have faith in. There will be times when you just don’t know how to go forward and you’ll need some advice you can trust. You also need to know that they are willing to advise you against something if they believe it to be an incorrect decision.
Go forth and conquer with your command of the Seven P’s of marketing: Product, Price, Place, Promotion, People, Process and Physical Evidence – and your secret weapon – the eighth P: Presentation.