How to use design to sell more: A practical guide to boosting your business
Design is one of the most underrated sales tools out there: it can either bring your brand to greatness and boost your sales, or it can make the best business strategy flop.
We’ve prepared the ultimate guide to using design to sell more. Read on to find out why design is important for driving sales, and learn about 8 top-notch design tips that will help you grow your business. Make sure you read till the end; our article is packed with shortcuts your competitors wished they knew.
Why is design important for driving sales?
Design can be a best friend to your sales:
- It has the power to draw attention to your brand.
- It helps raise brand awareness.
- It increases brand exposure.
- It can prompt people to make purchase decisions.
- It raises brand credibility and authority.
- It differentiates your brand from competitors.
Here are a couple of studies and stats that prove all of the aforementioned points:
- Accenture Strategy’s Design In the Business report reveals that companies with well-designed advertisements get a 125% return on their design-related investments.
- According to Adobe State of Create’s report, 59% of respondents would choose a product or service over their competitors based on good design, and 45% of them paid more for a better-looking product or service.
- The UK Design Council’s report The Value of Design suggests that “companies that see design as integral do not need to compete as much on price as others”.
However, not all designs are capable of it. To turn design into a sales tool, you need to know all the tips and tricks that can help you leverage the benefits. Read on to find out all about it!
Design as a sales tool: 8 design tips that will help your business
Create a character associated with your brand
If you want to sell more with your social media marketing, you need to establish an emotional connection with your audience. There’s no better way to do so than by introducing a brand character (otherwise known as a brand mascot) to your audience.
A brand mascot is a brand spokesperson or avatar that serves as the ambassador of your company. They represent and reinforce everything your brand stands for. They are essentially a humanized character that visually conveys the key messages of your brand.
Brand characters humanize a brand, demonstrate personality, and create a more tangible representation of a company on social media. That’s why they commonly take the form of a humanized object, animal, or even a fictional character or creature.
In French, the word “mascotte” means “lucky charm”, which accurately describes the role brand mascots play in a business’s marketing strategy:
- They help to enhance storytelling and establish an emotional connection between a brand and its audience.
- They drastically increase brand awareness.
- They help improve brand continuity by tying all of the brand’s marketing communications together.
- They offer virality, which brings more brand exposure and introduces a brand to customers outside of your target market.
- They differentiate a brand from its competitors.
- They convey the type of services a brand offers without words, so the audience can understand the brand and the message behind it more effectively.
- They make a brand truly timeless. Many brands are still remembered by their mascot, even though they are no longer in business.
As a result, the use of brand mascots can boost your business and generate more sales.
According to The Moving Picture Company (MPC)’s research on the “effectiveness of advertising with characters”, brands that use mascots or special characters in their campaigns observe a 41% increase in their profits. Partially, this is why 54% of the world’s most admired companies use mascots as a means of communication in their marketing campaigns.
Think Kellog’s Tiger, Android’s robot, McDonald’s Ronald McDonald, Duracell’s Bunny, KFC’s Colonel Sanders, Mr. Clean, and thousands of others…
If you want to be among those companies one day, you need to develop a brand mascot and make sure they appear throughout your marketing designs. You can add the brand character to your logo, include them in your social media posts, place them on your website and in your printed materials.
Just make sure that your brand mascot is truly in-line with your brand. They need to be representative of your company and its values, and should most definitely be designed well. To achieve the best results, you can delegate the design of your mascot to professionals at 99 designs by Vista.
Then, once your mascot design is ready, you can upload it to your VistaCreate brand kit library and add it to all the marketing materials you create. Easy!
Ensure design consistency
Including a brand mascot into your designs isn’t the only way to enhance your design consistency and raise brand awareness. To make sure your marketing materials stand out from the rest and are recognizable, you need to ensure that all of them share the same style, are enriched with similar visuals, and use the same color pattern.
When developing your brand style guidelines, you need to decide on the color palette your brand will use, outline the selection of fonts that will be associated with you, and settle the general style of your visuals. Then, you need to stick to using them.
Make sure you read our article on finding your brand’s true color.
With VistaCreate, it’s easy to be consistent with your designs. All you need to do is create a Brand Kit in the product and apply it to all your designs in a single click. There, you can add your logo, your color palettes, and the text styles your brand uses for its marketing designs. If you manage multiple brands at the same time, you can create several brand kits and name them accordingly:
Experiment with fun designs that have the ability to go viral
Returning customers and brand advocates are extremely important to your brand, as they have the potential to generate your business a lot of sales. However, no matter how loyal your clients are, you can’t only rely on them to make you bank. For your business to grow, you need to focus on both customer retention and customer acquisition.
The starting point for attracting new customers is to grow your brand exposure. Design is a great tool for that.
In the past, it was extremely difficult to introduce your brand to new customers. You had to have a small fortune to invest in marketing and go beyond your local area of impact. Today, however, things are different. Two words: globalization and the internet.
With the rise of digital, even the smallest businesses get a chance to gain worldwide awareness. All they need to do is play their cards right online — produce content that has the potential to go viral on the internet. And for that, humor should be your business’ best friend!
Make sure at least one person on your marketing team is up to date with internet culture. Memes are huge these days, and missing out on an opportunity to use popular meme formats to promote your business online is an enormous loss.
Take a look at how these brands took meme templates and designed memes relevant to their business. Simple and effective — bravo!
Be self-aware. When tapping into the meme culture, make sure you know what your audience thinks of you. While not exactly a matter of design, DuoLingo is a perfect example of a brand that played into the jokes customers make about the brand (ahem, their corporate TikTok is *chef’s kiss*!)
@duolingo after all, we have always said we’re free, fun and ✨effective ✨ at teaching languages. #Duolingo #squidgame #redlightgreenlight #run #helpme #owl ♬ original sound – Golden Stables
And if you’re not too much of a meme connoisseur, you can still make your social media posts exciting with VistaCreate’s vast collection of fun templates. Make sure to check them out:
PSA: There’s a fine line between fun and trendy, and downright offensive. So, if you resort to fun designs, make sure you aren’t being a menace to society. Otherwise, you’ll… Well, you will still get publicity, but with today’s cancel culture — it won’t be the type of brand exposure you want.
Incorporate emerging trends into your design
Blogging is huge (either via actual blogs or on social media) — you have to agree with us on this as you’re currently reading a blog post. 99 times out of 100, blogs — good blogs, at least — use examples from real-life brands to illustrate their articles and prove their points.
A great way to boost your brand and attract public attention to what you’re offering is to be the cutting-edge business that online media uses as an example.
For that, you need to always be on top of all the emerging design trends. Use the trendiest colors, experiment with the styles of your designs, and always be ahead of your competitors.
Check out our article on trending colors and design movements — it’s filled with ideas you can implement into your next marketing design!
Besides, by incorporating trends into your design, you can appeal to a wider audience and become known as a trendsetter yourself. Bonus trust and authority points for you!
Use design to evoke emotion
While embracing modernity, you shouldn’t reject tradition. No matter what’s trendy at the moment, you can’t escape human psychology. Some design elements will never lose their impact on customers.
When creating marketing designs, you need to consider the connotations of all the different elements you include into your project and approach their selection strategically. Colors, fonts, and the positioning of elements play a particularly important role for driving purchase decisions. It’s the power of the subconscious, baby!
When creating your design, you need to have a good idea of what you want to achieve with it. Then, you can pick colors that reinforce this idea and translate it into the visual realm.
- Red is a powerful color that can grab your audience’s attention and prompt them to take action. It’s the color of passion, love, and excitement. It’s a great design choice for when you need to motivate your audience and direct them towards doing something.
- Green is the color of prosperity, tranquility, and positivity. You can use this color to reinforce your design’s power, calm down the audience, and show your infallible power.
- Yellow is the color most strongly associated with the sun, and that’s enough said. If you want to instantly cheer your audience up with a design, you can use yellow to project fun and happiness.
- Blue is a primary color that is often seen as calm, stable, authentic and innovative (there’s a good reason so many tech brands use it!).
- Purple is one of the most mysterious colors. If you want to intrigue your audience and make them anticipate something, use it in your next design.
Learn more about the psychology behind colors in our article!
Copywriting is art, and copywriters have the power of making people want whatever it is your business has to offer. But once your copywriters combat writer’s block and produce copy, your design team needs to amplify the impact of their words by using the right fonts.
Once you have a message ready, it’s not only about what you say, but also about how you say it. Depending on the emotions you want to evoke, you might want to use large and bold fonts that practically scream, or thin and elegant ones that intrigue the audience.
Everything you need to know about fonts and the impact they have on your designs is gathered in one ultimate guide — check it out!
Your design elements don’t exist independently. They all interact with each other, altering the message you want to convey.
Make sure you position all of your elements strategically, so they reinforce the idea behind your design and prompt your audience to take action.
Here’s an example of how a small detail — the woman’s hand pointing at the CTA button — can give the audience a visual cue regarding the action they’re supposed to take next. It’s the small things that matter!
Add User-Generated Content to your marketing designs
Tripadvisor, Amazon, and Aliexpress comment sections… GoodReads, Google Maps reviews… All of them are filled with product and service reviews. And there’s a good reason for that: people trust people.
When interested in making a purchase, people will go out of their way to find out as much as possible about the product they’re considering. Then, they’ll choose the option that has the best user reviews.
However, when people are still at the top of the sales funnel and are barely aware of the product your business is selling, they’re unlikely to go through the struggle of researching it.
This doesn’t mean you can’t spin it around and offer the reviews yourself. Add user-generated content such as customer photos, reviews of your product, and more into your designs; impact people to trust your brand and be more inclined to buy from you.
Besides, there’s an easy way to add pictures from your clients to your designs. Simply download the photo you want to use, upload it to VistaCreate, and use the tool’s background removal feature. Et voila — you have a ready-to-use element for a design that will help you sell more.
Adjust your designs to the social media platform’s format
It doesn’t matter how great of a design you create, if it’s not adjusted to the platform you’re publishing it on, it won’t make a difference.
Formats aren’t interchangeable:
- Facebook posts can’t be posted as an Instagram Story.
- Instagram posts can’t be used for a Twitter header.
- LinkedIn covers won’t look good as YouTube thumbnails.
- Pinterest graphics don’t work as Instagram posts.
When designing your marketing materials, you need to keep the format of the platform in mind, and create the outlay of your design accordingly.
There are two ways you can do this.
- Use templates for different social media formats and create your designs from scratch on a pre-made canvas.
- Resize your existing designs using VistaCreate’s resize feature. In the matter of a few clicks, you can turn an Instagram story into a Facebook post, while also keeping all design elements intact.
Leverage graphic design tools
Finally, you need to remember that design isn’t the end of it all. While it does have a lot of impact on your business’ sales and growth, there are a lot of other business processes that need to be taken care of.
Luckily, the market offers a huge selection of easy-to-use graphic design tools that help you create professional looking designs in minutes. Make use of those!