It’s a really good topic of debate: how much does design matter? We all know companies that have truly barfy branding but still seem to be thriving. A lot of these that come to my mind are industrial applications — companies who sell giant water mains, or architectural millwork, or emergency plumbing services in the middle of the night. Some of these companies send their servicemen out in beat up trucks with sunbleached vinyl lettering, and they are still turning a profit each month.
But is that really for you? There’s a pattern of choice here: the bigger the service provider, the fewer competitors are on that stage. If you clients are cities and government institutions paying millions per project for your products, suddenly the sharpness of their brand can decline without too much consequence. They’ll use the same old business set (business cards, letterheads, envelopes, etc) and logo that somebody’s cousin drew on a napkin for the founder twenty years back. “Because we always have!” is usually the reason.
The other side of the coin is where you will find the highly competitive industries, as well as the up-and-comers who are just about to give Big Valves Inc a run for their money as they enter the market. When customers have a choice, they invariable go for the one that resonates with them and their values the most. The brand that gives them the most confidence in their product or service will immediately command more attention, and will receive a credibility boost with little added effort.
Think back to the last dinged-up work truck with the missing letters, the last raggedy business card with 80’s font choices, and the last dated tech gadget in a dusty case marked down for quick sale. If these are the last choice on a thing you must have, you’ll purchase, but you won’t be very excited about it!
Given a choice of comparable providers to choose from, a smashing design will seal the deal every time. Point your business at the right market niche and tailor the design of your website and collateral, and you’ll crush it.