Lead by Design

Make the Most Underrated Business Decision: Lead by Design

Written by Erik Hansen & Jean Nicolai


If you haven’t read The Designful Company by Marty Neumeier or Rise of the DEO by Christopher Ireland and Maria Giudice, I highly recommend you add both to your reading list. These books outline the importance of good design and the impact it has on your business. As with anything else in business, a company’s visual identity should intentionally evolve – the days of brands that stand the test of time with no movement are gone. Now, a company needs to pay attention to audience trends, preferences, and values and allow its image to align accordingly, making necessary design adaptations to stay relevant. It may seem overwhelming but staying on top of your company’s visual language is totally doable and can lead to some exciting discoveries! Here are a few key factors to consider:


Good design doesn’t have to break the bank

A common misconception is that investing in good design means spending a lot of money. While great design isn’t cheap, it’s an investment that is worth every penny…okay, every dollar! Evolving your brand’s visual language and using design to tell a compelling story about your business is something you can do in incremental steps to see quick results.


You can start small

Evolving your visual language doesn’t need to require a complete revamp of your company’s logo, messaging, and market presence. By giving some thought to the smaller details of your overall design – such as imagery and layouts – you can begin to achieve the visual refresh your company needs.


Work with professionals

Don’t confuse the ability to use Adobe Creative Suite with actually being a designer. Understanding the basics of the software is not all that is required for the evolution or recreation of a company’s identity. Work with a professional designer or agency to explore your needs, ideate creative solutions, and design the assets needed to realize your visual language goals.


Explore your story options

Communication tools like infographics, process maps, and animated videos can give audiences a clear understanding of your message without relying on wordy explanations. Let’s be honest, most people don’t have the time or willingness to read long content. Strong visualization solutions paired with concise and meaningful copy is a far more effective way to grab attention and communicate efficiently. People respond to visuals on a more visceral level, giving your message a greater overall impact.


Once you start paying closer attention, you’ll notice great design is all around you. Companies in all sectors are realizing the potential for reaching audiences through powerful visual language. By deciding to lead with design, you will open a world of possibilities for the positioning of your business, its offerings, and even your company culture. So, where to start?


Understand your audiences

Pay close attention to your audiences’ trends, preferences, and values in order to truly understand your target market. Look at what cars your buyers drive, what clothes they wear, what foods they like to eat, and where they like to spend their time. Studying these audience behaviors will have a major influence on your next designful idea.


Take risks

It takes a lot to turn heads and take market share, so don’t be afraid to get creative…really creative! Challenge your team to think outside the box and to take new approaches to design and messaging on all platforms. The only way to learn what works, and what doesn’t, is to take bold risks see what sticks.


Typography matters

It may seem like a small detail, but the typography you choose is important for the image of your business. Bold or thin, tall or short, playful or contemporary, serif or sans – these decisions should not be taken lightly. When you only have a few words to quickly communicate your message, you want to do it with the right typeface.


Invest in pro photos

Now that stock photos have been around for over 20 years, we are starting to see the same models, textures, and images in a lot of corporate communication. If you want your business to stand out, invest in a professional shoot and get unique images that actually reflect your company, products, and services.


In today’s fast-paced market, your business needs to keep up. Instead of avoiding change, lead by design and don’t be afraid to shake things up. Be proud of what you bring to the table and know that an up-to-date visual language an essential part of the equation. Good branding, design, and creative storytelling will have a positive impact on your business. And if you’re ready to see an unbelievable impact, give our Mekanic team a shout – we’re always armed and ready to help you out!