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September 24, 2013

What You Don't Know About Design Can Save Your Business Time (and Money)

Design should be a process. The best solutions come from a plan that if followed, gives your company a competitive advantage.

Any touch point with your customers or partners should be done in a way that demonstrates your creative brand across all channels. This includes your website, logo, brochure, Facebook profile, stickers to give away at events and other leave-behind sales materials. This continuous message and “look” offers your company the professional experience your prospects expect, and allows you the best chance to succeed.

Successful design projects 7 phases

When seeking a design strategy provider for your business, here are 7 phases to make sure they follow:

Phase 1: Discovery
Make sure they listen to their clients, gathering all the information and data available to help understand your problems and goals. We guide our clients through this collection process by interviewing them, communicating with them, and helping them get the information.

Phase 2: Strategy
They should take all the information received and all the information collected researching and put their expertise and skills to work. You should develop a sound plan to achieve your goals and needs. We look at competitive analysis, positioning opportunities, mapping charts to guide us in our project strategy, and present our thinking to our clients in a brief. Our clients talk to us. We listen to them and work with them to make sure the strategy moving forward will fulfill the project’s goals.

Phase 3: Exploration
With a roadmap to the goals, let the creative experts use their talents to visually express the strategy. Using design principles such as color, tone, shape, form, texture, space, line, and type, the designers should go through their own process to distill the message into a pure form. It’s hard work, but it should be done honestly. It should be done using every medium, every tactic and should be tested. We believe in designing a custom solution for each client, trying to create innovative and creative things in every design.

On our desks is a call to action: design with a purpose. This key point keeps our designs smart and useful. It gives us a competitive advantage because our client’s best interest is served in the end.
Design process infographic

Phase 4: Present
You’re not done yet! Tape the design to the wall and stand back. Ask yourself, does this fulfill the project’s goal? Is this the best way to connect with the person that touches it, sees it and interacts with it?

If the answer is yes, we present the solution to our client. We listen to their feedback and go back to our desks to polish the solution and get ready for production.

Phase 5: Production
With the approved design, we prepare the solution for all required deliverables.

Phase 6: Delivery
The deliverables should then be implemented. We monitor the production to help ensure the job is done right. The project files are then archived.

Phase 7: Review
We thank our clients for a great partnership. We’ve gotten to know their business and helped them improve the brand value. We have an exit interview to talk about the success and failures of the project and additional opportunities.

Most projects that don’t follow a process are doomed to fail, which means money wasted for your business.

Take a look at your website, business card, sales brochure and other marketing materials. Is there a continuous branded message throughout all touch points? If not, your prospects notice it too, and it’s time to talk about a strategic plan for your branded design.

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