When it comes to running a successful business, you’ll often have the same people working on the same tasks, just like a well-oiled machine. However, it can often turn into a rut of sorts, always using the same techniques with the same set of eyes. While consistency is critical to run a thriving business, it is also important to look at things from different perspectives. This is especially true for the graphic design arm of your company. Whether you leverage your in-house staff or engage an external design firm to lead the project, seeing it through someone else’s eyes is invaluable to your project’s success.
What is graphic design?
Graphic design is defined by Google as: ‘The art or profession of visual communication that combines images, words, and ideas to convey information to an audience, especially to produce a specific effect.’
But we don’t believe this definition captures it all, so we propose this one instead:
‘Graphic design is the arrangement and manipulation of content, imagery, and graphic elements into compelling formats for both digital and print mediums. It’s the clear communication of the value, benefits, and reasons to believe in a brands’ product, service, or technologies. It’s the development of communications that resonate with a target audience to create awareness, shape perceptions, and encourage them to take action.’
As you can see, graphic design boils down to communicating a message through imagery. So, when you and/or your team are working on a creative initiative for your business, it could be expedient to hold focus groups or brainstorming sessions to solicit feedback and ideas, to vet which design(s) are sending the proper message. This can be beneficial for many reasons, one of which being that it will keep your team out of the rut mentality as mentioned above. Many times, people who have a specific skillset professionally can get stuck in their own heads and have difficulty seeing the bigger picture. This can cause them to be blind to what others might see as flaws or merely extraneous. Teams tend to lack a fresh perspective after working with each other for an extended period. But not all businesses can afford to look outside and engage a design firm for every communication need, so leveraging your internal resources may be your best option. This will allow you to use your budget more wisely to invest it in larger projects with a more significant opportunity.
How should a focus group or brainstorm session look?
To take full advantage of the benefits of internal outside perspective, form your group with people who understand the audience you’re trying to reach. Showcase the different ideas you and your team have. Ask them to include notes about how it makes them feel, the message they believe it’s sending, and even simple things such as legibility, or how the color palette translates.
Once you compare the group’s notes and decide the strongest design that captures your message, you and your team can refine to develop the perfect execution for your business.
It will stick with your team members, long term.
• They’ll remember to keep an open mind
• They’re more likely to be open to soliciting and accepting feedback
• Some may even challenge each other to take risks and push the envelope
Opening up the door to this kind of attitude will work wonders for your design team—and maybe other teams as well.
More benefits of outside perspectives
You’ll find separate teams will begin working together as a complete unit, rather than being stuck in their own silos. This will encourage teamwork and promote the idea of working together to achieve a common goal. Your team will also feel more comfortable voicing their opinions to each other, instead of feeling like they’re overstepping.
As your business thrives in this way, you’ll have more room for growth and development into bigger and bigger thinking. It will provide your employees with a better work environment and culture. They’ll feel more secure in their job, and have comfort knowing they work for a successful open-minded company that believes in communication and that no idea is too stupid to be heard. Happy employees lead to better productivity and higher levels of customer service. They’ll not only recommend your business as a great place to work but as cheerleaders, they’ll promote your business in a positive light.
The trickle effect of merely asking for outside perspectives is enormous. There are so many benefits to creating an open door policy to fresh ideas, so be sure to take as much advantage of them as possible!
When engaging in a new design and communications effort, it is always important to remember the reason for it all; it’s simply communication.
This applies to what your company wants to communicate to prospects, partners, present customers, and employees all the same. You and your teams must always do your best to create positive experiences for every person that touches your brand. People consume media with their eyes first, so make sure you are giving them something worth looking at. Give them something that stirs up emotion and creates ties that connect them with your brand.
The benefits far outweigh the downsides of open communication amongst your team. Even negative comments can help make ideas stronger. Always take all feedback with a grain of salt, and continue to search for ways to improve your business. Gaining the opinions of as many people as possible will provide a more comprehensive picture of how your business is seen—and how you’d like to be perceived. So get out there and take advantage of all the benefits of soliciting outside perspective!
Do you need some fresh eyes on your team and some outside perspective? We invite you to reach out to us for a complimentary 15-minute project assessment where you can learn more about the creative solutions we offer. We’d love to help by providing our point of view.