How you can create your design strategy, no design skills necessary!
If you are in the position to create a design strategy for your business, I am pleased to tell you that your efforts will be rewarded!
Creating and maintaining a design strategy saves you time, money and headaches each time you are updating your website, software app or marketing material. It ensures your business conveys consistency to your customers. It also helps to steer your design team in the right direction and makes it harder for us to mess anything up!
Planning your design strategy can be fun. What is more, a lot of the strategic decisions can be based on your understanding of your customers and your business. These decisions don’t require a designer at all. By defining your target audience, key messages & value propositions, and your core brand elements, you can develop the basis for a clear and consistent design strategy.
Here are some of the key things to think about when you are creating your design strategy:
1. Target Audience
Define your audience: Who is your target audience? What are their demographics, likes and dislikes? What are the main ways you currently reach your target audience?
Define your reputation: What do your current customers think about you right now? How would you like to improve what they think about you?
2. Key messages and value propositions
“The more facts you tell, the more you sell:” If you were giving a comprehensive sales pitch of your products/services to a prospective customer and they were willing to listen to you for as long as it takes… what would you say? How do you currently convey the facts about your business in your marketing material and in your sales conversations? Here’s a tip…write down each sales fact you can think of as bullet points, then prioritize your list in terms of the main messages you currently give your target audience. This will give you a large repository of messages that you can draw upon for websites, web and mobile apps and marketing material.
Value propositions: Now, let’s think about it another way… what’s the opening sentence or two that you would like people to use to introduce your company? What would you like new sales prospects to learn about you? What would you like your customers to learn about you?
3. Your core brand elements
Logo and colors: Do you have a logo and a color scheme that you are currently using consistently in your marketing material and in your offices? If not, what colors do you feel best reflect the identity of your business? It’s possible to make most combinations of colors look good, although some colors can only be used in small doses on the web and mobile. What’s important for you to decide is what are the main colors you want to represent you online.
Brand elements: Do you have key brand elements that reflect your business? Do you use certain icons/images or videos in your current marketing material that really help to sell your products / services or convey exactly what your business is about.
The outcome- less stress, more success!
Nice work! By defining your target audience, key messages & value propositions in a document and by creating a folder of your core brand elements, you have created the basis for a design strategy. As you develop new websites, web and mobile apps and marketing material, you will be in a position to prioritize the brand elements and key messages that work best for a particular target audience. Creating and maintaining a consistent design strategy will enable you to remove the risk from design projects you undertake, ensuring your projects are less stressful and more successful.