The way customers perceive companies is changing, especially online. There are countless channels that businesses can be discovered through, including physical publications, search results, and word of mouth.
When customers stumble upon your storefront, or website, first impressions matter. Oftentimes, the very first thing they will take note of is some form of visual element. Whether it be your logo, website design, or even brochures and fliers. Graphic design is playing an increasingly bigger role in not just brand recognition, but marketing and customer loyalty.
1. Your Logo Is Your Centerpiece
It’s surprising how much of the attention customers first put on your business is on your logo. Your logo is what your brand revolves around, and the quality should reflect that. When looking at your logo, you should be able to answer these questions:
“What message am I trying to convey?”
“Why did I choose these colors?”
“How will customers view my brand based on the logo?”
If you can’t answer all of these, it may be time to rethink what went into designing your logo. Feedback from potential customers, not just friends, is also highly important. Your new logo you spent $300 on may look perfect to you, but if it doesn’t make any sense to those who will be buying your product, it’s not the right fit.
2. Your Website Is Always Marketing For You
“Website’s promote you 24/7: No employee will do that,” — Paul Cookson
If your business has regular traffic, odds are your website will too. The difference between the two, is that you can’t be on your website 24/7, selling your product, interacting with customers, etc. Your website needs to be able to pull your potential customers in, and get them interested enough to purchase your goods or services, all by itself. A major component of this process, is what visuals you have on your site. By making sure the designs you present are consistent, and of high quality, you are attracting better impressions for those visiting your site for perhaps the first time.
3. Social Media Was Made For Graphic Designers
It’s no secret that social media posts that include images or designs receive much more engagement than standard, flat, text posts. This being said, it’s crucial to know what is going into these posts, and what you’re expecting out of them.
While graphic elements should always be included in your posts, they are especially important when publishing to primarily visual based platforms, like Instagram, or Pinterest. Knowing your content strategy before posting (Content Calendars are extremely helpful), allows you to stay on-brand across all platforms, and gain more engagement and traffic to your posts and site.
There’s a multitude of visual based media you can use for your social posts, such as standard photography, infographics, posters, or even showing off your new designs. The two most important things to remember is to be creative and consistent.
4. Stand Out From Competition
In this day and age, no matter what industry or market you’re in, chances are, you’ll have competition. There are lots of aspects in business that you can’t control when it comes to your competition. What you can control, however, is how your business presents itself compared to them. With better design, you will receive better brand recognition from customers. This stretches out to all aspects of your business that requires design work. Your website, social media, business cards, flyers, blog posts, are all a chance to distinguish yourself from the sea of competition.
5. Make Your First Impression a Lasting One
We’ve talked about how significant first impressions can be when dealing with your customers. However, it’s important to make sure your graphics are memorable. First impressions are worth nothing, if they don’t stick around long enough. When your customers view your logo in the future, they are reminded of the great experience that they received the first time. Great design makes your business respectable and trustworthy, and encourages loyal customers to continue to come back, time and time again.
6. Upfront Investment Saves You In The Long Run
For business owners who don’t understand the value of graphic design, it can be another unwanted cost. For those who do understand the value, they know that quality design lasts. The cost associated with graphic design work should correlate with how much value it can bring you over time. Not just monetary value, but brand recognition, customer loyalty, and differentiation from your competitors.
For those who don’t take their design seriously to begin with, their design costs will be much higher over time due to multiple revisions and complete design overhauls. That being said, most often with graphic design work, whether you’re working with freelancers or agencies, you pay for what you get. However, paying for excellent design work once, is a much smarter investment than having to pay for average or subpar work multiple times over.
7. Your Brand Is Everywhere
Your web presence and physical locations aren’t the only place where customers and potential customers can see your brand. You’re getting reviewed on Travel sites, you’re getting featured in your local newspaper, industry blogs and niche sites are covering you. The short of it is, your business has the potential to be everywhere, so you want to make sure your design is always a reflection of your business. This is important no matter who is on the other end viewing it.