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3 Crucial Things That Are Likely Missing From Your Business

There are three things missing from most of the businesses I see, and I can’t help but wonder where they’d be if they simply took these steps. Here’s a hint: they all involve steering attention towards design, and in this era of relationship marketing they’ve become even more important — for small and large businesses alike.

Ask yourself these questions:

1. Does my business lack focus?

Lacking focus and clarity is a common pitfall. The tendency is to try to be all things to all people. It’s tempting — one doesn’t ever want to risk losing potential opportunities. Yet by doing that, you position yourself to be just like everybody else. Ho-hum, a collective sigh and a big “so what?” You’ve just mixed yourself in with the giant soup of mediocrity.

But — if you focus on a unique strength and really push that, then you start setting yourself apart. NOW you’ve staked out your territory and have distinguished your business as the go-to company for that special service that only you offer. Run with it.

2. Am I being lost in the shuffle?

Even after you achieve more focus it’s likely that your business will still struggle to have its message heard, because one thing is still missing: design.

Design brings clarity and consistency to your unique offering — building a targeted, cohesive brand experience. Now you will be seen, understood and everything you put out there will reinforce the same message. Killer.

So, if you lack visibility — good design will get you noticed. It cuts through. And your message will be heard.

Laser positioning with laser branding — you’re now locked and loaded to shoot your competition to smithereens.

Oops! There may be one more question you’re asking yourself in this new socially-engaged world we live in:

3. Why am I so lonely?

If no one is engaging with your business, it could be your personality. Sorry, but you’re probably boring.

Hey, someone had to break it to you, but I have good news! Design can do wonders in this area too because good design has always been about being personable, engaging an audience and pulling people in. The same goes for drawing in your readers, target market, end-users and/or communities.

12 powerful ways good design propels business ROI, design investment, invest in designDesign and visuals are social. Always have been, always will be — from a friendly logo that attracts your attention and warms you to an otherwise faceless company, to a website that draws you in as you happily find the information you need, to an engaging brochure that keeps making you want to turn the page and see what’s next — print, digital, experiential… you name it! Design brings energy and excitement to your offering, whatever it may be.

Furthermore, today’s socially-engaged environment is becoming increasingly visual so that makes design even more relevant. Humanize your company and brand through design. It makes a HUGE difference, and people respond.

Yet, as hard as it is to understand, most businesses lack these things. Without any one of them, it is very difficult to compete. But put them all together and… lookout world!

getting the most from your design investment, invest in designGood custom design that is welcoming, warms the heart and excites the soul is the answer. Cheap online DIY solutions and crowdsourcing won’t get you there. Custom design where you partner with a professional will. Why? Because everything we’ve been discussing here is about the unique “you” and developing a sound strategy that will get you where you need to be, and that means working together with a professional towards the most effective solution. This is no time for a quicky, “one-size-fits-all” approach — it’s too important for your business.

Once you nail down these three basic fundamentals of clarifying, targeting and making your brand visible, a broader visual program can be established. People are attracted to images, and developing a visual strategy is the smart way to take advantage of the social channels, giving people a way to share who you are and what your brand is about. Give others the assistance they need to become your brand ambassadors. More on that soon.

In the meantime, invest in design. The returns are enormous.

Featured image courtesy of stock.xchng
Photo illustration work: Paul Biedermann, re:DESIGN
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