Before implementing a strategy regarding any aspect of your business, ask yourself one thing: How does this suit my mission statement? Defining your mission statement prior to developing any design strategy will help you to cultivate a plan of action that clients will respect and believe in.
You should take pride in your brand. Your brand is your business, and it determines how others will perceive who you are and what you stand for. The right design strategy is one that encompasses your brand and creates awareness, and there are a few things to consider when developing the right strategy.
Define Your Brand
It’s important to think about where you are before you contemplate where you’re headed. Defining your brand, your goals, and your mission statement is the first step toward developing design strategies that will be beneficial for your business. The design of your business should speak volumes about who you are and what you stand for. Clients should know exactly what it is you’re offering without you having to tell them.
Clients should also have an understanding of the “personality” of your business. Take Slack for example. Slack was well on its way toward success in the B2B industry before the pandemic. However, their ability to capitalize on the effects that COVID-19 had on businesses is what helped them evolve into a B2B powerhouse. Face-to-face interactions among colleagues and associates had become obsolete, and Slack understood that evolution was the next step. This prompted Slack to define themselves as: “the smart alternative to email”. In doing so, Slack capitalized on remote and hybrid workplace necessities for communication, and made it enjoyable for the user(s) by implementing emojis, team building games, and streamlining direct communication. By defining their business model, Slack was able to change with the times, and evolve into a B2B juggernaut. Defining who you are, what you stand for, and who will want what you’re offering is where it all begins.
Specify Your Goals
Consider your ultimate goals before developing a design strategy. Short term goals change constantly, but your end/ultimate goal(s) will serve in generating a strategy that will propel you toward what you want out of your business. Defining your ultimate goal not only will garner a good design strategy, it will inspire you!
Now more than ever, individuals need inspiration. People need someone or something tangible that they can relate to and believe in. What better company to model an inspiring business after than Google? We all know that Google is, well, Google! But, they didn’t cultivate their hype and prestige simply by rolling out new products every year. Rather, it is the reasoning and mission statement behind their innovations that has made them a staple in the B2B industry.
Google’s mission is to: “Organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.” Like the strategy of any profound writer, each and every word in their mission statement is properly selected for its meaning. Google not only organizes searches for relevance and keywords, they organize information as a whole for the convenience of institutions, businesses, and individuals. By striving to make this information universally accessible, Google has been able to roll out features such as analytics to improve online business presence, virtual and hybrid tools for schools and their students, and virtual workspaces for remote and hybrid workers.
Belief In Commitment
It should be noted that in addition to Google’s mission statement, they have a list of commitments as well. These commitments, including: “significantly improving the lives of as many people as possible”, have allowed Google to evolve into the World’s hub for all of its necessities. Not only does Google offer an array of tools for businesses, they are a company that embodies the idea of inspiring clients new and old through their commitments.
Consider how Google has made an impact on its client base when developing your own design strategy. Your brand should scream relevance and that those involved believe in it with conviction. Belief in your brand is contagious. So, ask yourself: What about your brand should inspire your target audience? Once you’ve determined what that thing is, make it a mission to highlight that reason and implement it in your design strategy as Google has.
Do Your Research
Research and analysis can be tedious and seem like a waste of time, especially when you’re excited to get started on design strategies you feel may be perfect for your brand. However, proper analysis will provide the insight you need in order to truly understand the market in which you operate. Do some research on similar businesses, and see what they are doing to attract new clients – or repel them. You also must understand the wants and needs of your audience, not just their basic demographics. This will allow you to craft a design strategy that will prove to be beneficial.
You’ve defined your brand, specified your goals, done your research, and created your own personalized design strategy. Now it’s time to analyze the results. Without this step, it will be impossible to decipher which marketing strategies have been effective, which ones haven’t, and what needs tweaking. Utilize analytics from your site, where it’s listed, and the content you’ve created and figure out what may need to change. Surveys and feedback can also be useful for mining data regarding what individuals have to say about your content.
The most important part of developing a design strategy that suits your business needs is understanding who you are and where you want to be. Once you have a general understanding of what your brand stands for, you will have all you need to develop a good design strategy. However, developing a good design strategy that will suit your business needs is more than just knowing your brand; you must put in the analytic leg work. You have all of the tools at your disposal, now go out and change some lives!