One of Prinova’s key designers, Cyril, sent me this article from Forbes Magazine today. After reading it, I realized just how true the article is. How important good design can be in setting up the essentials of a positive customer experience. And how that customer experience quality not only affects your relationship with that customer, but with all of the friends,. family and colleagues of that customer as they talk – either positively or negatively – about their interactions with your business. And the situation is magnified by social media… so you better hope the comments are positive!
The premise of the article is simple. Design has now become one of the, if not the, key differentiator(s) for businesses. Many now compete on the principle of excellence in design. The standard example of a design driven organization is referenced – Apple… but then the articles moves on to talk about a UK bank, First Direct, that has made excellence in designing all customer touchpoints the cornerstone of its business — with phenomenal success as measured by customer satisfaction and referrals.
I’m not going to try to define good design (though Cyril will – see his blog post). That’s way beyond the scope of this marketers mind. But what I can say is that, like Cyril wrote, there’s something about good design that anyone and everyone seems to be able to recognize. And as marketers, we need to strive to ensure we achieve that in what we put in front of our customers. Even if we don’t make design the cornerstone of our competitive advantage, we need to ensure we don’t forget design is an essential component of not being left behind.
And since design isn’t easy to define, and since it is “elusive” to many, it is incumbent upon us, the marketing leaders in our organizations, to engage experts in design to help us. Whether that help is in the user experience of our website, or in-store displays, our outbound emails, or our paper bills and statements. And if you don’t have the expertise in-house to do the job right, then take the time, money and effort to get your self help from outside experts. It will be worth it.