If you’re reading this, its most likely because you care about business—whether it’s your own or the one you work for. You’ve probably spent money or seen money spent on the marketing efforts of your company in hopes of making people more aware of your product or service and/or getting people to actually find you in the sea of other providers of your service. But, what happens when they take notice?
Think about it. Is the actual experience that your hopeful customer is going to encounter be a pleasant one? Whether you acknowledge it or not, this really matters. No, really.
Think about it. Does design matter to you? How about when you shop for groceries? Cars? Homes? I would guess that even in the most practical elements, design is everything in the purchasing decision process. The design of your company and everything that touches your customer (or anything your customer touches) sets a perception of your company in the consumer’s mind. From your website to your business card—it all matters. And according to Robert Brunner’s “Do You Matter?” it determines whether your company matters or not in the mind of the consumer. (By the way, I highly recommend this book).
Many companies spend a lot of money getting people to notice their products and services, but have failed to convert the tire-kickers to customers because the consumer did not like what they saw when they initially look at it. Being found is nice, but it’s the experience and engagement that occurs that really matters.
An example is in real estate. You may have the best realtor in town but if the lawn is un-kept, the décor is out of date, and you aren’t making an emotional attachment to the families that find your home—you aren’t going to be selling very quickly—UNLESS—you want to sell it cheap. You can take this metaphor and apply it to your decision to shop at Target versus Walmart or Costco versus Sam’s. Compare all the leading, big box retail stores and you will find that the only companies that can get away with cheap or poor design is the low-cost leader.
A real life example of this theory that “design determines whether you matter or not” can be summed up by your choice to read this magazine. Sure, there were probably other business publications around the area where you found this one but for some reason or another, you are now reading this article. (Here’s a hint: Dress to Impress—to be important, sometimes it takes looking important).
I want to challenge you to look at your brand and ask yourself the question, “Would I enjoy buying from this company?” Take out the big promises you make about your product or service and just rely on the first time experience of a potential customer looking at your company when you are not there to defend or explain it. Not impressed? I would bet your target customer isn’t either. You can do this. Your product and service are too good to not look the part.