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The not so obvious benefits of incorporating design into your strategy

design & strategy Aug 14, 2019

Samantha Reid | Gallery Design Studio Editor + Copywriter


Design should be an integral part of business strategy, however, many marketers perceive design as a superficial component. True integration of design into your company involves more than paying money for a unique logo and eye-catching website. 

In some areas, the importance of design is evident, like when a business establishes a consistent look and feel across products, signage and stationery. However, design can also benefit your company in a variety of less obvious ways, such as helping businesses build efficient processes and workflows.

So, why should you incorporate design in your business and marketing strategy?


1. Increase sales 


Many business executives overlook the deeper impacts of design. Design can and should be much more than just a finishing touch in product or service development. Design should be implemented when setting strategy, making key decisions, and estimating budgets.

Incorporating design within the business strategy helps companies become and stay successful. Involving design at early stages often saves money as the design process creates better service and product offers, as well as overall better consumer experiences.


2. Drive innovative thinking 


Designers solve problems. Their endgame with any project is to enable others to better comprehend something. To be effective, the goals and vision must be clear to ignore superfluous details and provide efficient, customized solutions.

At its best, creative problem solving is an artful science. During this process, designers take stock of the messages a business wants to convey, the target audience, and the desired method for how the business wants to convey its products/services. It is necessary to creatively synchronize the message, audience, and method into a singular, well-designed solution.


3. Build efficient processes. 


Design enables you to streamline your business processes for greater efficiency. Visualizing the process using the below stages can yield to the most effective solutions:

  • Stage 1: Map the Process. Ensure you have an accurate understanding of the desired solution by mapping out the process visually into a flowchart or workflow, easily understood by all involved parties.
  • Stage 2: Analyze the Process. Now that the individual components are laid out, it is time to examine each individual link in the chain. Is every step in the process completely necessary? Is every step user-friendly? 
  • Stage 3: Redesign the Process. This stage is where collaboration and brainstorming play a major role. Working with others ensures their process is easy to use and understand, as well as meeting the client’s needs.


4. Open up new markets


Early moments in the design process, such as research and prototype stages, often inspire novel product concepts and allow designers to fully understand clients’ needs and preferences.

Comprehending exactly what your audience wants is a critical starting point. As you learn more about customers’ preferences through market research and design-led prototype research, you become better equipped to design products or services they actually want to buy.


5. Improve your market position relative to competitors


Applying design techniques to business strategy provides opportunities like user research and prototyping, to identify customer needs that aren't being met. This information enables your team to create or refine a product or service that fills a verifiable gap in the market.

Design offers a number of ways for businesses to attract new customers and outshine the competition. For example, products are more likely to succeed when their design incorporates trend research that articulates and satisfies customers' wants. 


6. Achieve greater customer loyalty and expand existing relationships 


In addition to attracting new clients, it is vital to remember that design plays a crucial part in retaining your current customer base. Inherent in the best design processes are user monitoring, trend research, and prototyping; these tools ensure you continue to understand and meet customers’ ever-changing needs.

New and fresh designs, whether in the form of new products or a revamped website, show your customers your commitment to continued excellence.


7. Design better employee training tools


As your company grows and add new team members, it will take them time to learn how your group gets work done. Consider the tools that work most efficiently for your team. 

Explainer videos take dense information out of the how-to manual and make it visual for new employees. How-to videos even serve as live resources for other team members who need a refresher. Other educational applications of design, like sequential emails or e-learning courses, can present technical information clearly. With helpful use cases, easy to follow layouts, and visual metaphors, both clients and employees can master specific processes without stress.

The concern with how to transfer key institutional knowledge has long plagued businesses. Training and development can be impeded by poor design, causing a lack of employee focus and potentially wasted training hours.


Bottom line: incorporating design into your business and marketing strategy will improve your organization's products, services, and the entire customer experience. 


About Gallery Design Studio

We're passionate about helping B2B businesses with their ongoing marketing communication design needs. We help our clients transmit complex information clearly, concisely and in a visually engaging way. Relentlessly curious, we're inspired by experimentation, and always looking for better ways to serve our clients.

We’ve collaborated with transformational businesses and government agencies such as The NYC Law Department, CIT Bank and Questback.

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About the Writer

Samantha is a copywriter at Gallery Design Studio. Samantha is passionate about using precise and evocative messaging to connect with clients. She has written for journals, online publications and blogs.

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