Without a basic understanding of graphic design for business, it can be challenging to wade through the noise and ever-growing onslaught of marketing and branding ideas to answer the simple question:
At the end of the day, what designs does our business really need? If our company’s goal is to grow, then what are our “must have” designs versus our “want to have” designs?
In my years of experience as both an entrepreneur and designer, as well as a brand strategist, I have seen firsthand which designs. Here are the 5 graphic design elements that are essential to your business success:
Your company’s logo is the centerpiece of your entire brand, and it’s crucial that your logo uses colors, shapes, placements, and imagery that will immediately capture the interest of your target. The logo is the first thing your customers see, but if your logo looks generic or confusing they are likely to scroll away and find a competitor who better captures their attention.
Seventh Generation, a brand that sells plant-based cleaning, health, and household products, has a memorable logo that visually attracts its target within the first few seconds:
Even if you had never heard of Seventh Generation, when you see the minimal design elements, simple green and white coloring, natural texture and imagery, and company name within the logo, you already have an idea of what their brand stands for.
For product-based health and wellness businesses, a well-designed and functional website that aligns with your visual branding is key to growing your revenue.
Not only is your website the portal to your company where potential customers can learn about your mission, story, and products, but in many cases your website is also where customers will make their purchases. It’s important to re-evaluate your purchasing process regularly and ask the following questions when auditing or creating your website:
- How many clicks does it take for a customer to purchase your product?
- Is there any way to reduce that number to give customers a more seamless experience?
- Is every webpage loading accurately and quickly (on both mobile and desktop)?
- Are your brand attributes and external branding evident at first glance?
For businesses whose products are only available for purchase in stores (with no e-commerce functionality), your website can still direct customers to the nearest location or event where they can find your products.
Another benefit of having your own high-quality website is that you can make a connection with your customers and invite them to join your email list. Even if they don’t make a purchase immediately, these visitors could buy products in the future after receiving emails that familiarize them with your company, your tone, and the unique selling points of your brand.
3. Business Cards
Yes, the internet is full of opportunities for entrepreneurs — but person-to-person interactions still have the power to propel your business forward, particularly through word-of-mouth referrals.
Networking is especially important for service-based businesses, but it’s still a good idea for product-based businesses to have some business cards or postcards on hand in the event that you meet referral partners or ideal customers in the course of your daily life. You never know who you might meet in your daughter’s school drop-off line, at a friend’s dinner party, or at the grocery store.
In moments when you speak with someone about your business in person, it’s important to give them a physical card so they remember to visit your website and learn more later. If you just tell them the name of your product verbally, they may forget to look it up later despite their good intentions.
Business cards or postcards are also ideal for sticking in customers’ orders so they can remember your company and recommend your products to their friends.
4. Product Labels and Packaging
Since Aventive Studio’s core clients are health and wellness product brands, we have included product packaging on this list of must-haves. If you operate a service-based business, you can skip this step.
Have you heard the saying “never judge a book by its cover?” That may be a nice sentiment, but when it comes to branding your customers will immediately judge your products by the visual impression they have in the first few seconds. This first impression is massively important because it dictates:
- Whether they see themselves as one of your customers, and
- How much they are willing to pay for your products.
Let’s say your business sells an incredible anti-aging facial moisturizer, and you want to compete with the likes of Aveda and philosophy. If your label designs look homemade and DIY, you simply won’t be able to charge premium prices for your product because customers will struggle to associate your moisturizer with those well-known (and professionally-branded) companies.
5. Brand Board
Once the colors, logo, fonts, and visual branding elements are in place for your business, it’s important to use them regularly and maintain consistency across your advertisements, marketing efforts, website, and social media platforms.
Customers will recognize, like, and trust your brand once they develop the habit of associating your business with specific colors. Think of how the toy company Mattel, Inc consistently used a specific shade of pink to brand its Barbie dolls over the years, which led to the color itself becoming known as “Barbie Pink” – forever associated with their products.
Our recommended approach to maintain brand consistency is to work with a brand strategist to create a brand board for your company. You can see a real-life example of our brand board for Aventive Studio here.
A standardized brand board that includes the precise color codes and fonts for your company will ensure that your staff, subcontractors, designers, and other partners all utilize the same visual branding elements on outward-facing materials.
We recommend additional design elements such as brand guidelines, social media and email templates, stationary, and car wraps for certain businesses but not others. We consider each client’s unique brand attributes, brand goals, competitive advantage, and target audience before making decisions on which of these items are best positioned to attract their target and generate more revenue.
If your health and wellness product company is ready to craft a visual brand that your customers will remember, schedule a call with the Aventive Studio team. We’re eager to learn more about your project and help you grow your business through strategic branding and design.