How to... increase design's impact on marketing

Design and the bottom line: a design-driven strategy can pay big dividends for canny brand marketers.

First impressions count. The success of a product is not necessarily down to design, but its look and feel is almost always the first thing to leave an impression. Nonetheless, design is also about making products or services work efficiently. Consider what influence it has in terms of the brand, attracting customers, and customer enjoyment.

Measure for measure. Consider the type of "return" you want from design. This could be anything from increased footfall to a shift in product perception, sales growth or the use of sustainable materials. Soft measures are hard to quantify, but they are still measurable.

Treat design as an investment, not a cost. Design agencies have often bemoaned the fact that design is brought in far too late, typically at the end of the planning process. Successful brands view design as a creative, rather than functional, process.

Don’t look at design in isolation. Separating its influence from other factors contributing to brand success is a challenge. Great design typically evokes a feeling, making your product memorable. Ensure the design aspect ties in with the overall marketing context.

Follow Apple’s lead. Just last month, Apple said it was looking to double the size of its in-house creative design team, to boost its brand image with content from dedicated designers. Consider a similar strategy, albeit on a smaller scale.

Be prepared to wait. Unlike an ad campaign where one can measure the effect on purchasing behaviour over a short time, branding and identity are often slow-burners.


Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus
Brand Republic Jobs

subscribe now


Lynx tells men not to leave love to fate
HBO captures awkwardness of watching sex scenes with parents
Primark to open first US stores with Boston chosen as flagship location
Marketing spend on the up but a reality check is needed before celebrating
Top 10 ads of the week: Jackpotjoy and BT Broadband fend off Kevin Bacon
Lidl beats Tesco to 10m Facebook fans
Center Parcs ad banned for encouraging parents to take kids out of school
Coca-Cola, Cadbury and Amazon named top brands for targeting youth market
Leaked document shows Nokia to be rebranded as Microsoft Mobile
Nike lays-off hardware staff in move that casts doubt on future of FuelBand
Greenpeace says save the bees or humans will die
What brands need to know about changes to VAT and online downloads in 2015
Jimmy Savile victims urged to claim compensation in new ad campaign
UKIP launches biggest  ad campaign and stirs up 'racist' accusations
Apple boss Tim Cook provides voiceover on ad touting firm's renewed green commitments
John Lewis walks consumers through its history to celebrate 150 years of business
Waitrose boosts content strategy with 'Weekend Kitchen with Waitrose' C4 tie-up
Hottest virals: Cute puppies star in Pedigree ad, plus Idris Elba and Fruyo
Amnesty International burns candles to illuminate new hope
Toyota achieves the impossible by calming angry Roman drivers
Tom of Finland's 'homoerotic' drawings made into stamps
YouTube reveals user habits to appeal to 'older' marketers
Ex-M&S marketing chief Steven Sharp consulting at WPP
Wolff Olins reveals new CEO after Apple poaches Karl Heiselman
Glasgow offers £30,000 prize to best digital idea for 2014 Commonwealth Games
Google's revenues surge but shares drop as it grapples with transition to mobile
Facebook beats Twitter to most 'marketing friendly' social media site crown, says DMA
Fableists believe children like Finn should be outdoors enjoying life
Homebase, Baileys and Camelot join the line-up at Media360
MasterCard renews Rugby World Cup sponsorship to push cashless message