In this blog, long-serving business consultant Alan Kaplan explains how you can leverage quality graphic design to strengthen your brand and substantially boost the value of your company.
Brands have enormous potential to create wealth for their owners. The brand value of many of the world’s largest corporate, such as Google and Apple, is billions of dollars, and in some instances constitutes the majority of the value of the enterprise. Nike (84 per cent), Prada (74 per cent) and Acer (71 per cent) are just a few examples of this. (Source: Brand Finance).
The principle of brands being able to contribute substantially to the value of a company holds true irrespective of the size of the company. Once optimal branding and brand marketing strategies have been formulated, they need to be implemented through tactical endeavours. In my view, creative execution should always follow strategy.
Graphic design is an art and visual communication that has the capacity to integrate words, symbols and images – all combined in the best possible way to get a chosen, targeted message across.
As brands and branding is paramount, it is imperative that the creative aspects of elements such as brand identity and positioning be executed in the best possible manner, and in this respect outstanding graphic design can benefit your brand in a number of essential ways including:
- Creating attention and building awareness. When exceptionally undertaken, elements like print advertising, packaging, websites and others are able to break through the clutter and grab attention. If an advertisement is able to capture attention and create interest and your packaging stands out amongst the competition, your brand is off to a really good start. These aspects will enhance brand awareness, as well as speed up the diffusion of new brands. The same principle applies to your website, although in this instance traffic must also be generated through SEO.
- Educating your target market in the most informative and visually beneficial manner about your product and brand.
- Enhancing recall, especially when combined with trigger points (which represent communicating the most important elements of your product or service offering) such as the safety features that have made Volvo famous.
- Building your brand image through excellence and association. The Gatorade lightning bolt, Nike Swish and Apple logo are all excellent examples of logos that have excelled for their owners.
- Differentiating your brand and its value offerings from those of competitors. Standing out from the crowd in a positive manner has many advantages and can certainly impact positively on sales and market share.
Graphic design can be extremely economical when one considers the many benefits that accrue. Whilst larger companies often have their own internal resources, smaller companies generally outsource their requirements to specialists who should have sufficient understanding of both the strategy and the objectives. However, graphic design should not be viewed in a vacuum, but rather holistically as part of your overall branding and marketing effort.
Alan Kaplan, PhD, is an Executive Director of Optivance 360, a multi-disciplinary consultancy that helps SMEs flourish. Alan’s international experience spans more than 25 years across academic, media, agency, client and consulting areas.
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