Why design is the most powerful force to grow your business – PART 2

Welcome back to Part 2 of our quest to discover “why design is the most powerful force to grow a business”. If you haven’t already read the previous article, you should definitely go here and read Article #1 now. In that article, I explained the first benefit that design can give a business: how can achive great product design to predictably win the prospect’s buying decision in the big moment.

Today I want to continue this conversation and explore the next set of design tools that definitely will bootstrap your business!

Predictable and constant income is often the difference between owning a growing, thriving business or having one that is constant struggling to maintain.

Therefore in fact the most important sales that you make is not the first, but the second one – in other words when your prospects come back and buy again your product.

It is much harder and more expensive to win completely virgin prospects’ trust and convince them to buy your product, than selling to customers who has bought from you before and they not only already have trust in you but keen on buying your next product.

Imagen how much lower can be your marketing and sales costs and how more predictable your income if there is a magic that provides that your customers will buy from you for the second, third and fourth time.

Well, design is exactly that magic. It helps to win that magical second buying descision.

Design helps to evolve product and brand loyalty through user experience no matter how small your business or what kind of product is it about.

When your prospects buy from you for the second time, they don’t do it because of being persuaded by the first impression but because of having a convincingly positive experience during using the product.

There is a common misbelief between business owners that only big companies can evolve brand loyalty and build a fan base for a product and it needs a marketing campaign with huge budget.

The truth is that yes, a huge marketing campaign do helps to make the public aware of your product on a wide level, BUT does not guarantee that people will be willing to pay for it!

So how can design build product and brand loyalty? How can design achieve that people go crazy for Your Products whoever is your target market: young/old people, bankers, factory managers, suppliers etc.

1. Through the ’Aesthetic-Usability’ effect:

Aesthetic products are percieved as easier to use than less-aesthetic products.

The effect has been observed in several experiments, and has significant implications regarding acceptance, use, and performance of a product in the eyes of the customer.

Aesthetics has a highly important role how people use a product. Aesthetic products are more effective at fostering positive attitudes than unaesthetic products and make people more tolerant of usability problems.

Thus the overall impression of your product beyond the first impression will be way more positive against products where aesthetics didn’t have enough priority in the product developement. Therefore the customers would much rather come back to buy again from you than from competitiors.

One of my favorite example for lack of aesthetic-usability and therefore lack of tolerance of use is the “pay-off” sceene in the Office Space film.  : )

2. Through better ergonomy:

Product designers are not just designing an ’appearance’ and a ’first impresson’ during product developement.

Beside developing aesthetics, the designer’s role is to maximize the ergonomy of the product. It means that he also designs the functions and the usability of a product not just the form. The designer does an immense research and gets a huge ammount of information about the prospective customer/user during a product developement project. He helps defining the way how the functions of a product should be developed by exploring the users needs and fears. He put himself in the prospects shoes, feels their emotions and experiences and then he finetunes the functions of the product – in severe accordance of its form.

One of my favorite examples for this is the magnetic connection of Apple’s MagSafe adapters for Macbook Pro. Sir Jonathan Ive – Apple’s genious chief designer – during a research session has noticed that it’s a common accident type of laptops when they are plugged in someone accidently pulls down with its cable. So they have redesigned the plug to connect only magnetically and when it happens again the cable can unplug automatically.

Designers are focused on such creative little innovations…

3. Through innovation:

Innovation is a quite widely used term. I usually distinguish two kind of innovation:

1. When someone explores a completly unknown, new need and he is the first who satisfies it as a pioneer. This is commonly called ’inventing’ and the pioneer guy is called ’inventor’. For example when Alexander G. Bell invented the telephone. As a pioneer Bell dominated the market at the first decades and built an empire that still does it: AT&T

2. When someone statisfies an already known (and already statisfied by other manufacturers) need in a completly new way. This is when a product creates a brand new cathegory of experiences so it become incomparable with competitors. This is also a way of being a pioneer. When it comes to grow a business this is the most important way of innovation.

My favorite example is when Apple released the iPod. There has already been several mp3 players on the market, but the iPod was the only one who created a killer user experience with the incredible simplicity of its user interface and its usability with the iTunes eco-system. The rest is history – people went crazy for that product…Why?

We, humans are programmed to constantly looking for new experiences. Therefore people will always queue the line where new experiences are offered – and they will always prefer to spend there their money either… and as a pioneer we will always be the only or the best solution for them.

mp3 players looked like this until 2001

mp3 players looked like this until 2001

Then the iPod comes in with its killer user experience and conquered the market

Then the iPod came in with its killer user experience and conquered the market…

So design can make your income way more predictable and perpetual by creating brand loyalty or even product addiction with killer user experience. This can be achived by 3 main design tool: ’Aesthetic-Usability’ effect (1); creating better Ergonomy (2); and Innovation(3).

Ok, that wraps up the 2nd special design force on my List of 3. I’ve covered 2 areas so far (Winning predictably the buying decision[1] and Building perpetual revenue by creating product addiction[2]), and in the next article I’ll tackle special force #3, which is Making yourself FREE FROM PRICE COMPETITION (which is my favorite part of all, as you’ll see).

I hope you’re enjoying this thinking, and as always if you have any questions or comments, please post them below.

It doesn’t matter if you disagree with what I’m saying, or you’ve had an “aha” based on something I’ve said.  I’d love to hear from you, so please join the conversation.

CEO and Chief Designer
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Related articles:
Why design is the most powerful force to grow your business? – PART1

Why design is the most powerful force to grow your business? – PART1

If it isn’t sellable it isn’t good design?

If it isn’t sellable it isn’t good design?

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