Apple, Braun, BMW, Procter & Gamble, Starbucks – these are just a few examples of companies that have bet on design and thanks to this they have become leaders in their industries. Worldwide experience clearly shows that design has long been not only one of the main competitive advantages but a complete sales tool.
Why does design play such an essential role in our lives and how can we get a financial return with its help?
One of the first to pay attention to the design as a serious competitive advantage was Henry Ford. By the end of the twenties of the last century, his company was facing a serious problem. Ford’s T model was so popular and sold so well that over time it just overloaded the market. Gradually, people began to refuse to buy this vehicle on purely subjective grounds.
Competitive company General Motors skillfully takes advantage of the situation. This has become a serious threat to Ford’s business.
In 1927, the production of Model T was discontinued and replaced by “Model A”. The main design feature of the new car is the design. The car was in a more modern shiny form. Despite the fact that Ford has spent $ 18 million (great money at the time) to retrofit its businesses, the focus on designing the new product has helped him regain leadership in the automotive industry.
The most recent example of design attention is the approach of Apple’s computer giant to the emergence of its products. Company founder Steve Jobs has always paid much attention to design. He personally participates in the design of all products without exception. As a result, his name is in many design patents.
Prior to Apple, the computers of each manufacturer looked the same as the big grey boxes.
It was Jobs who first broke this trend when his company began to produce really beautiful hulls. The first iMac, released in 1996, made of turquoise transparent plastic, even now, more than sixteen years ago, makes a very striking impression. Despite the fact that iMac cost 1299 dollars, which was very expensive for the computers of that time, in the first year it was sold at the rate of 800,000 pieces.
In 2011, Apple became the most expensive brand in the world, outpacing such “monsters” like Google, IBM, McDonald’s, Coca-Cola, Facebook and many others. The company owes its success to various factors, among which design, of course, occupies one of the central locations.
The historical experience of many large companies clearly shows that a competent approach to design creation can become a truly competitive advantage for both the company and its products.
It may create the impression that design is of great importance only for companies that produce something, and for service companies, it is not so important. This is fundamentally wrong.
The question of what is more effective to sell through design: goods or services remains highly controversial. Moreover, when it comes to goods, their design is more of a competitive advantage than a means of sale. When it comes to selling services, design becomes not only a tool but rather the opposite, effective means of promoting them.
The main problem with the sale of services is that they are abstract. They can not be seen, touched or smelled. As a result of providing the service, it is far from clear whether it has been done professionally or not. In addition, companies offering new services on the market always face the same problem: how to explain to people how it works and why they need it. If a new product is easy enough to demonstrate in action, it can be unrealistic with innovative services.
But these problems can be solved using graphic design. For a better description of all aspects of the service, detailed and beautiful sites are created. Notifications of new offers and promotions are made using different types of printed products. In order to create a sustainable image of the company in the mind of the target audience, a corporate identity is developed. As a result of the design, all the materials of the organization make its work even more visible, real and close to the user.
A corporation with a large number of employees and offices in different places cannot be covered with a glance, and the abstract service cannot put it in your pocket. That is why design is sometimes the only means of objectifying a company and its work in reality.
The emotional impact of design is its key advantage compared to other means of influencing the target audience.