Four fundamentals of great design work

Alex Haddon | 21 September 2017

To ensure you squeeze every bit of return on investment out of your sales and marketing materials, use these four fundamentals to review design work and take it from good to great!

1. Originality

An original idea is still the foundation of your brand strength. Take time to craft this carefully and let courage and creativity be keywords in your thinking. Collaborating from the earliest possible moment with your design agency means business strategy can translate into a communication strategy that delivers the results you are looking for. Confront the potential “So what?” attitude with clear messages on why you, and nothing else, will do. Think deeply about the design concepts and the assets that you use. Explore some more unexpected branding opportunities to surprise and delight your audience.

KEY QUESTIONS: Is it original enough? Does it take the brand to another level? Will this catch the eye of the audience?

2. Authenticity

Sales and marketing is often an interruption so make sure it cuts through by being the right combination of helpful, respectful and informative. Knowing how you help others is a key asset in defining your brand personality and coming across as authentic. Be comfortable with an increased level of transparency and understand how to balance your need to sell with the buyer's need to truly benefit from your product or service.

KEY QUESTIONS: Is this of genuine interest? Is it helpful? Does the tone of voice match the brand personality?

3. Clarity

Don’t get sucked into a vortex of complexity. It can be tempting to become somewhat incomprehensible in your quest for originality. It is critical that you can quickly answer the “Why have I got this?” question that anyone may be thinking. And, it helps to get to the point quickly so be ready with a short and a long version of your brand story so that you have every opportunity covered.

KEY QUESTIONS: Is the proposition clear? Is it easy to know what to do next? Is it memorable?

4. Consistency

This can sometimes be the most boring part, especially if you are planning a long campaign. It can be tempting to go ‘off piste’ to inject variety in what you are doing but you must believe in your message and retain the clarity you have already worked hard to establish. Remember that no one will interact with your brand anywhere near as much as you do internally and you risk causing confusion or weakening your brand awareness. 

KEY QUESTIONS: Does this match the other materials and communication channels? Will it build on established brand awareness?

Reviewing design work by these four fundamentals, you ensure your brand is strong, relevant and effective. The brand becomes a valuable part of your business assets and communicates effectively – delivering competitive advantage.
Every client is unique in our eyes but most need to find the right balance of clarity and originality. We achieve this by making sure that brand assets have sufficient elements and possibilities from the outset; sustaining interest whilst staying ‘on brand’.