Art and business: Design as a key value differentiator

From website interfaces and company logos to digital graphics and magazine covers, design plays a crucial role in magnifying what a brand truly represents.  It is way beyond aesthetics or graphical outputs. In many cases, design is at the core of the business itself. Some companies grew tremendously just because of a small tweak in their logo; others managed to gain long-term success because of a major overhaul in their creative department. In the business world, a powerful design concept often converts to great profits

 

Image source: pocketdesign.com.au

 

We are at a point in time when visuals have become one of the most important aspects of promoting a brand. Design startups have grown to exponential levels and companies are striving for market superiority through ground-breaking business emblems, graphics, and other creative components of marketing. This is the age when art and design have become ‘capital assets,’ and some of today’s best design houses continue on redefining and revolutionizing standards while keeping product and service quality top-notch. Unsurprisingly, they have become very attractive to investors and investment companies, too.

 

The top design schools

Some of today’s best designers attended formal training and underwent professional mentorship. The likes of Stefan Sagmeister, Michael H. Riley, and Thomas Heatherwick received their design education from what are considered to be the most prestigious design institutions in the world.   According to QS World University Ranking, the top design schools include the Royal College of Art in London, the Rhode Island School of Design in Providence, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Media Lab in Cambridge, and the Pratt Institute in New York. A diploma in any of these schools almost guarantees a beautiful career and a handsome paycheck.

 

Image source: rca.ac.uk

 

Design’s economic value

It is very difficult to measure how much impact a particular design can have on a specific product, service, campaign, or the company as a whole. It is something that cannot be expressed in numbers. However, the most innovative companies are also usually the leaders in design. Others who refuse to do the same (because it is something that cannot be clearly tied to high ROI) may fall behind. According to a study, design-driven companies have outperformed the S&P Index by 219 percent over past 10 years. Such companies include Airbnb, Apple, and Starbucks.

 

Image source: sinndesignproject.eu

 

Improved customer experience

Companies investing heavily in design are most likely to provide the most powerful customer experiences. The idea is to get customers’ attention, increase their engagement in a particular product or service, and motivate them to keep coming back. The ‘right’ design can help the business attain a clear understanding of the various ways that consumers engage with their brand—from brochures and TV advertisements to websites and social media. In other words, those that foster creativity may enjoy greater market share.

Image source: fatcow.com

 

Especially in this day and age of high consumption of digital products, design sits at the core of incredible brand experiences. Many companies are discovering that integrating great design into the business model and operations can significantly boost loyalty among customers, which can ultimately translate into desirable business results.