3 Reasons Why Thoughtful Design Can Differentiate Your Marketing

Bates Creative
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Key Takeaways
​What? Leading brands are investing more in design to make customer experiences more memorable.
So What? As brands work to upstage competitors, there are three ways thoughtful design can help differentiate your marketing from the clutter.
Now What? Downlad "How to Build a Winning Brand Guide," for tips on design best practices and questions to ask yourself that could signal a rebrand.

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Brought to you by: Bates Creative

Design doesn’t simply make things look pretty. It elicits emotion, embodies brand values and engages audiences with customized experiences. Really think about it: Can you create a successful customer experience without design?

As brands worldwide are working to upstage competitors with defining differentiators, they are investing more in design to make the customer experience as captivating and memorable as possible. To be successful in the experience economy, it’s not about what marketers are currently doing, but rather how marketers are taking steps to evoke transformative customer experiences that resonate with their audiences.

Design can be the glue that holds together marketing and branding initiatives to elicit a holistic customer experience. Here are three ways thoughtful design can differentiate your marketing from the clutter.

1. Design Customizes Your Audience’s Experience

Every marketer knows it is critical to understand your target audience before starting a new project or initiative. Not only will that help you drive better results, but it will also give you fodder for personalizing your branded customer experience.

Personalization can help create an impactful customer experience that your audience will come to expect as the marketing standard, if they haven’t done so already. 

As a first step, it’s important to define the audience personas you are aiming to reach and how each of those personas consumes and receives content differently. How are your marketing touch points working together to reach your audience in ways that will not only visually draw them in, but will prompt them to engage and convert to brand loyalists? Creative execution brings that knowledge to life through your branded collateral.

FREE DOWNLOAD: How to Build a Winning Brand Guide

2. Design Inspires Departments to Work Together

To uncover the shift in key marketing initiatives, Adobe partnered with eConsultancy to poll 14,163 online marketing, digital and e-commerce professionals on where they are focusing their efforts in 2017. This compilation of surveyed data can be found in the “Digital Intelligence Briefing: 2017 Digital Trends.”

So, what are they saying?

  • 77% of respondents are investing in design to differentiate their brands. But it’s not the sole responsibility of the marketing department anymore to spearhead these changes—it needs to permeate every aspect of business.
  • 86% of survey respondents agree that design-driven companies outperform other businesses.
  • 82% of respondents value creative thinking within their organizations.
  • Only about a quarter of respondents strongly agree that their customer experience design is consistent across physical and digital worlds.

It’s all about the people on your team who can help elevate your brand because they bring talent that cannot be digitized—creativity, imagination, intuition, ethics and emotional intelligence. And guess what? These people will not always reside in the marketing department. A passion for creativity and design across departments can help strengthen the overall brand mission to push forward and reach business goals.

As we move further into an economy that keeps its pulse on storytelling and emotional connections, customers can detect authentic brands from contrived ones. Survey respondents who work at organizations that constantly strive to advance the customer experience are more than twice as likely to say that a successful customer experience is the responsibility of an entire organization, not a siloed department.

Transforming your business into a smooth operator across all departments with a cohesive visual and visceral brand identity will help to streamline marketing efforts.

3. Design Provides Consistency and Cohesion for Your Brand

Being a design-led brand means having a sharp focus on the overall customer experience by advancing brands with cohesive identities. It’s important to remember that branding and a brand identity are two separate principles but need to work together for a harmonious experience. Here’s a breakdown:

  • Branding – an experience
    • Mission, core values, vision, voice
    • Psychological relationship with customer
    • Intangible
  • Brand identity/design – what we see
    • Colors, fonts, logos, graphic elements, treatments, photography
    • Helps create the user experience
    • Tangible – face of the brand

Design-focused companies are leading the future of customer experience by creating seamless, branded experiences across all touch points that evolve with customer expectations and standards. Design-focused companies stand out from competitors by valuing a trait that can’t be automated—creativity. It’s at the crossroads of what a brand looks like and the feelings it elicits that prompts a consumer to take action.

The status quo is always changing. How are you modernizing your marketing efforts with thoughtful design to break through the clutter?

Interested in more information on how to build a winning brand? Visit Bates Creative’s branding guide.

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