Good design may seem more like a “nice to have” when deciding how to invest your limited resources, but it probably won’t when you’re looking back and asking yourself “what went wrong?” There’s no doubt you’ve got to get design right to get your startup off the ground.
The focus for many startups is technology and service ideas. Of course, there’s a lot of value in coming up with something unique. However, the real difference between a roaring success and a dismal failure is often something else: design. But why?
The answer is simple. Your users couldn’t care less about what’s behind the scenes; they only care about what they can see, feel and their overall experience. Put simply; a high-quality design will significantly impact business results, not just regarding revenue, but also whether your startup gets funding or not. Startups gain a competitive advantage with well thought-out and executed design. To users, the effect of the design is subliminal but nonetheless incredibly powerful.
The three key roles of design for startups are:
- Usability – User Interface (UI) and User Experience (UX) – Regardless if it’s web, mobile or software, it doesn’t matter, it will be infinitely more popular if it’s easy to use.
- Marketing – The action of promoting and selling products or services – The combination of design and marketing is very powerful for any startup; it allows you to compete on a level playing field with the main players. Having great design can get you enough attention and succeed in converting potential customers into actual buyers.
- Branding – How people perceive your product or service – Great design establishes positive perceptions. A memorable logo is just the beginning, albeit a crucial one. Your brand identity must be simple, unique and memorable.
Why is design so underappreciated?
While looking through my Facebook feed recently, I spotted the all too common “I need someone to create a logo for my new business – cheap” request, I laughed to myself and continued scrolling. I see posts of this type all the time from startups looking to handle their design needs on the cheap.
The best piece of advice I can give after years of working in marketing and by starting my creative agency is that there is no better early investment than good design when trying to get your business off the ground.
Investing in design is an investment in trust and credibility.
When building a new brand, you simply have zero validity. Let’s be honest, outside of some close friends and family; no-one knows who you are. You will need to gain trust from the ground up. In the beginning, all you have is the initial impression you make. Your website and business card will both need to convey professionalism and spark interest early on.
In any industry, design is the best way to break through the noise and get noticed. Any client looking to learn more about you will often turn to Google Search, so you’ll need to make a positive first impression. It is important to allocate whatever funds you can to build a clean, polished website and a memorable logo. Wait, there’s more, new customers aren’t the only people you’ll impress, great design attracts great talent, crucial if you want to appeal to candidates that will drive your startup forward.
Your potential customers get bombarded all the time with marketing messages and information from companies hoping to sell them something. Clean, visually appealing media can help you make an indelible impression and ensure your brand stands out. A well-designed user experience (UX) from the start means you can compete. If you don’t invest in design early on, and successfully convey your idea, your idea alone is unlikely to be enough.
Design pays for itself
There’s no doubt there’s a cost to good design, but the consistency of it will pay off when it comes to how customers perceive and value your brand. Once your solid branding is in place, your next step is to implement it consistently across all your branding and promotional materials. Not only on your website but your business cards, signage, print media and the all important email signature.
Take in to account that your logo is not easily altered once set, so make sure it is right from the start. You will create consistency in your branding, which will become a comfort zone for your customers.
Are you looking for a creative agency to take your branding to the next level, manage your social media or create your website or a logo that will make you stand out from the crowd? Let’s chat things over.