Do you compete on price alone?

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I was reading the updated Design Council’s Impact of Design on Business report today and as always, found an area that was of particular interest. Its findings related to the value of design to business and the impact that design can allow a company to have with their pricing structure.

It found that 45% of UK companies who don’t make use of great design have to compete mainly on price as opposed to 21% of design aware companies.

We have blogged before about how a well thought out design can add monetary value to your business but these findings show that there is another arm to it too that could result in that all important sale –  a well thought out design can let your business shine and offset some of the decision making in regards to cost. It can show customers that your product is a high quality and I would say, go as far as to show them you are worth the extra money.

So how can design have such an impact?

A professionally designed brand says ‘quality company’, one that has the money and time to invest in its own ‘personality’. It can also give the impression of a developed brand and a stable company. For example, many people start with websites, business cards etc from the likes of Vista print templates and Mr Site, we find that as a company grows and develops they start to see they need a bespoke site that says more about their company than a template. So a professional looking brand can suggests a company that has been around a while and has had the chance to evolve to the next stage (suggesting stability).

A well designed brand says:

  • Quality
  • Stability
  • Size
  • Reliability
  • Strength

A few examples

Think of GHD’s…GHD have a fantastically branded product that you can tell has had a small fortune spent on its branding. Its website is slick, modern and shouts ‘high qality’, imagery is professional and clean and adverts are funky, innovative and a little bit cheeky! They have also kept their high price tag from day one and I can’t see that changing quickly.

Now think of Baked Beans! You see Heinz in the supermarket and you see Tesco Value. Ignoring the taste and brand name (and the ratio of beans to sauce), which would you be more willing to buy? Looking at the labels, the value range looks just that, cheap and lower quality. If the Value can was the same price as the Heinz the chances are you would plump for Heinz due to the more professionally designed label.


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