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Pretty Pays: The impact of design on business

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Regardless of the brand environment I’ve found myself in over the years—in-house corporate marketing, agency or in my own firm—one situation holds true: Clients have strong opinions about the value that good design brings to the table.

Generally, they divide into one of these two buckets:

So what’s the reality? Does pretty impact customer behavior and have some play at the bottom line? The short answer is yes. And it’s not just for consumer firms like Apple and Nike, anymore. Engineering, heavy industry and other traditionally non-marketing firms are in the game.

Design supports the bottom line by boosting:

But, take a pragmatic approach to making pretty pay. Choose a branding firm or consultant where you will be a middle-sized client—not the biggest or the smallest—so you get the attention you need without the overhead you don’t. Don’t let ego lure you to choose a big name firm, if you don’t need that kind of massaging. And, unlike what your mother told you, your business isn’t necessarily pretty just the way it is. It will definitely need grooming, styling and design sparkle to catch and keep the eye of your target audience.

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