The press is in love with reporting horrible things. I’ve even written about many issues that have been affecting my clients but have always tried to see the silver lining. Reports on the economy, oil spills, war, taxes, and human heads found on a plane do wonders to keep us from being optimistic about what’s going on in our business. From a designer’s point of view, there has been a lot of strange behavior from clients that I haven’t seen previously. A 350 point drop in the dow for example might force a business owner from pulling the trigger on that much needed site redesign. The logic is understandable. But it is flawed.
Here’s a real world example for you. I just got out of a meeting with a client of mine that invested in a complete redesign of all their marketing materials. It wasn’t a huge job from a project standpoint, but it was a significant move for them – a move that could possibly make or break the business. The project consisted of a “brochure-ware” website, tri-fold brochure, two 1/4 page advertisements, a free-standing banner, and a rework of their registration form. These materials would become the new look for my client – a fantastic summer camp for children in Manhattan.
The biggest challenge was that registrations were stagnant and they needed a major boost in order to keep the program afloat. With the economy in shambles, my client was hoping that a redesign of all their materials would at best keep their numbers where they were. When the economy bounced back, perhaps so too would the children.
So I embarked on the task of finding my client’s unique perspective and translating it into their design. Their old look was drab, stale and not indicative of the fun spirit found at their camp. So we poured through images, suggested new colors and bold looks. A new design was established that will last them for years to come. Their brochure and website were revamped to make them easier to read, find material, and understand the program. Most of all, it got parents excited to send their kids to summer camp.
A 52% increase in enrollment in less than 2 years. My client was thrilled, not just because their numbers had increased, but because their investment paid off SIGNIFICANTLY within the first year. They did not have to increase their advertising budget as expected. They did not have to worry about changing their pricing or altering their program. All they did was invest in a redesign. All in a horrible economy.
As a designer, I don’t always get hard data that can show a measurable result of how design can impact sales. Sometimes you can track web statistics or direct sales, but in most cases it’s a combination of factors. Also, because I tend to do a lot of work with new businesses, we don’t have much to work from. But here’s an example for you that shows that taking another look at your design can really be a great investment.