November 18, 2020
Thinking about investing in a new brand or creating your first one soon? Here’s a resource that will help you understand the value of design + branding, and help you understand your investment a bit better!
Let me ask you a question: Would you rather buy Coca-Cola or a generic cola product that, quite honestly, tastes the same?
I have another question: Would you rather watch an independent film, or a film by the same creators but that’s produced by (and found on) Netflix?
Last one: Would you rather spend $300 on an IKEA couch, or $300 on an unknown company’s couch from Amazon?
My bet is that you’ll go with the more well-known brand name every time, especially when the cost is comparable. Why is that? Because companies with more recognizable design and branding have more intrinsic market value.
Market value is the price that customers are willing to pay for your product or service. The stronger your design and branding, the higher your market value. In real talk? Great brands can charge higher prices.
THAT is what you want to be thinking about when you invest in a new branding, re-branding, and/or design services. While it’s not always a straight line from “investing in a new brand” to “making a million dollars,” a professional brand can help you stand out and sell more.
Brand value starts with design, because design is the first thing we see and process! Design creates a connection to the customer and, when done right, mirrors what they love and want to fill their life with. You want your customers to think, “That’s totally ME,” which guides them to purchase from your company.
Just think about the last time you were shopping for something new at Target.
When choosing between two items that had the same function or ingredients, what influenced your purchase decision? More appealing packaging, or colors that caught your eye? Was it a feeling that the product was “more you”? That’s the power of great design and branding, and the perfect example of how design influences market value.
A really good example of this is Olly Vitamins.
Their ingredients are essentially the same as other brands, but their packaging, design, and overall brand is different from many other vitamin and supplements brands. It appeals to a different subset of consumers (likely younger people, who are concerned about the quality of their supplements and in supporting a company with more transparent ingredients and values).
And, if you’ve ever seen their commercials, you’ll notice they’re color-packed and reflect the daily emotions and issues people have with some cheekiness and fun. None of that stock-video-looking footage of suburban women having picnics and hanging out in their kitchens. If that’s your jam, that’s fine. But this is a really easy way to see how branding attracts more of YOUR ideal client/customer.
Because of Olly’s brand, they have a higher market value for that particular customer base. These individuals are willing to pay more for Olly because the brand speaks to them.
Design is meant to wow your customer immediately, creating an experience from the first moment they come in contact with your business. This is a huge part of the customer experience and, sometimes, it’s the only part of the customer journey that will actually be experienced.
With the example of Olly vs. NatureMade, even their packaging is an experience. Their supplements come in a unique container, they clearly explain the purpose behind each ingredient, they look different than other vitamins, and it’s much more colorful. Odds are, consumers buy Olly and never connect with the brand in any other way. They might never click on their website, follow the brand on Instagram, or reach out to a customer service agent.
But they continue to buy Olly — and identify as Olly users — because they enjoy the design experience as much as the results of the product.
Now, I’m not trying to tell you that branding and design will be the only factors that play into your revenue and how much you can charge as a business. They are important for getting people “in the door,” so to speak.
While you can attract more customers with beautiful branding and packaging, you have to deliver once they purchase. This includes how consistently you:
Without that, beautiful branding won’t do much for your business. It’s like a pretty gift box with nothing inside it — people are going to be disappointed (and probably a little angry) that they didn’t get what was promised.
For example, let’s talk about Apple.
Would you rather buy an Apple computer ($$$) or a computer that looks and functions exactly the same from another company ($$)?
Most people, when presented with identical options, will choose the product from the brand with the greatest brand value, even at a higher cost, because they trust they’ll be taken care of and the product will do what’s promised.
It’s not just because Apple products look pretty — there are plenty of competitors out there with similar device styling (like the Huawei laptop above). It’s that people know, based on reputation and experience, that Apple backs up their beautiful design with devices that function well.
If you’re not an Apple person, think about Tesla or Nike: both brands have beautiful design backed by a reputation for high quality.
I truly believe that any business can create a brand that resonates with their ideal audience and that makes choosing their products or services a “no-brainer.” if you’re worried that your brand doesn’t scream “ME!” at your ideal customers or clients, or you don’t know where to start, don’t worry!
The first step is getting crystal-freakin’-clear on who you serve and the value you want to provide them. From there, you can hone in on the brand visuals that reflect that service and value.
Get started by defining your brand visuals — inside the Balanced Brand Lab Kit.
This course will walk you through what your user wants, what your brand values are, and how you uniquely serve them so you can connect their needs to your promise. Then, you’ll learn exactly how to showcase all of that with design.
You’ll know it’s working when your customers start saying, “I just knew I had to work with you,” or “This is exactly what I needed.” You can’t fake that kind of chemistry!