How much money should I invest in design for my business?

At Logo CCP we spend all day every day working with brands. And while our big clients work in fiercely competitive markets, it’s actually the smaller or start-up brands that really put our design work to the test.

For small or medium sized businesses, the budget is tighter, the return far more obvious and the rewards greater. The owner will probably have clear visibility and will want to see a clear and present ROI.

Here are some points to consider when assessing your ideal design/branding spend:

1 Whether you like or not, you are a brand owner.

Don’t be bashful. It’s not just Apple and Coke that have a brand. You do too. And good design = good branding. When businesses change hands the brand has a value. A value in pounds that will appear on the balance sheet. Investing in design now means this number will be larger later.

Kraft paid £11.9 Billion for the Cadbury’s brand

2 Design wins business

Design is simply a form of communication with potential clients. Potential clients don’t know anything about you until they see your website/presentation/business card etc. First impressions count so make them brilliant. We recently re-designed a website for a premium holiday company who saw a 38% rise in site visitors and 19% rise in bookings. www.flete.co.uk

3 Design can re-invigorate your company

It’s not just potential and actual clients who are affected by design. A new website we built recently for a large hotel bought a new energy to the staff as well. From being slightly embarrassed they were suddenly proud to work there, proud to talk about it with their friends. Business impact = very high www.soarmillcove.co.uk

We recently helped a large NHS authority by designing an intranet to help their 3000 employees communicate more effectively. They already had an intranet but it was a poorly design. By designing a simple, beautiful one we were able to fundamentally improve the operation – the huge team now communicate and solve problems before they happen.

4 The more strategic you are the greater return

At Logo CCP we try as hard as possible to connect with a business’s core objectives and challenges. Why is a particular sector proving tough to crack? What is the company goal for a certain product? Design that addresses these kinds of issues will return massively for your business. For a pure eCommerce site such as www.nurserythyme.co.uk  the strategy was simply to raise revenue and so far they have seen 20% more visitors adding around £1000 a month to their revenue following our re-design of their site.

5 Find a partner to work with

As with any good agency we inspire confidence in our clients having delivered successful work for them and we love those long term relationships. We know their brand inside out and how they work. It saves time and money and makes the work even better. Call up and chat now and again. Share your business issues. Shoot the breeze. That’s where the magic happens.

And the answer is….

Put your brand at the heart of your business and put it into everything you do. Write it on a wall, send it in an email, go home and tell your partner what it is all about. Nurture it, feed it and it will grow to feed you. Whether you end up with a budget of £500, £5000 or £500,000 will obviously depend to some degree on the size of your business. Much more importantly though, it will depend on the scale of your ambition.

‘In most people’s vocabularies, design means veneer. It’s interior decorating. It’s the fabric of the curtains of the sofa. But to me, nothing could be further from the meaning of design. Design is the fundamental soul of a human-made creation that ends up expressing itself in successive outer layers of the product or service.’

Steve Jobs