Nowadays, customers aren’t easily satisfied with just good products or services. They want something more: sensitive, emotional, and experiential. That’s why company brands are increasingly dedicated to creating a comprehensive customer experience. Here are 5 principles to win over customers’ preference through design using best practices as examples.
Simplicity does not mean minimalism. It means your design shouldn’t confuse customers with chaotic visuals amounting to messy or pointless imagery. To achieve simplicity, you have to get in touch with the essence of your brand in order to trim the parts that are not essential. Look at it this way: when writing your resume, you may have had to cull many work experiences you would have liked to include but opted not to because you know potential employers only had a limited amount of time to review. You had to be succinct and to the point. The same with design! Simplicity makes it easier for customers to understand what your brand means. Remove the unessential. Avoid the sensory overload.
Avoid confusion by differentiating and defining yourself through design; in other words, use design to set yourself apart from competitors. Here, uniqueness is not necessarily synonymous with “peculiar” or “nonconformity.” Instead, uniqueness stands for how best to present to your customers what makes you different and more appealing. Your design should have a unique theme, style, and characteristic. It could be user-friendly. It could be bold and avant-garde. It could be colorful and playful. It could be anything. However, make sure your design choices are done with a purpose. Your visuals and designs should be consistent with your brand image and values and convey clearly what you want your customers to experience.
As just touched on, it is essential to ensure that the look and feel of every design is consistent to avoid customer confusion. Apply your chosen “uniqueness” to every touch point. Let’s say you choose eco-friendly as your design theme: your products should be manufactured by recyclable materials. You may also app
ly the theme to your store design. However, that’s not enough. Imagine how off-message and contradictory it would be if you adopted excessive packaging with fancy design. Your goal is to make the comprehensive experience coherent and logical.
- Engage the senses
Consistency should be carried through into in-store design. Your brand’s emotional and experiential appeal can be heightened through the five sense; i.e., sight, sound, taste, touch, and smell. Nothing is more persuasive than touch. Apple stores display their laptop screens at precisely 70 degrees because research tells them that that angle invites customers to manipulate products. MUJI uses air fresheners in its stores to create a soothing shopping environment. Macy’s pumps loud, high-energy music on its new Millennial floor. Each approach helps the brand make an emotional connection with customers and distinguishes the experience in a memorable way.
- Embody the brand
No matter how you’d like to apply design to your marketing strategy and create a customer experience, you must make sure it doesn’t conflict with your brand core values and image. Your design should embody your brand’s unique philosophy and communicate it to customers. Any inconsistent design may dilute your brand equity. Always remember your values, and take every advantage possible way to present them though design.