Design and Market Invention

Basic elements of design – like texture, color, balance, and space – set the tone for an organization or product. They can give a futuristic feel with clean lines and a white palette, or use rough textures and earth tones to appear more natural. All of us instinctively understand that these elements give meaning to a design: nobody ever had to teach you that heavy, smoky shadows are a little spooky, or that blue feels calm, or that circles give a sense of wholeness. These are universal elements of design, also called design archetypes, and they are at the deepest structure of graphic design.

Understanding how to use—or not use—design archetypes is at the core of a well-planned Market Invention strategy. Market Invention can use a shift in brand imaging or messaging to pivot into a new market and target unreached customers.

An industry study found that “design-alert businesses” (those who believe that their design plays a central role in their marketing) increase their market share by 6.3% on average. The same study found that shares in design-forward companies outperformed key stock-market indices by 200%.

Whether intentional or not, design sends signals about your product: top-quality, bargain brand, organic, high-tech, trustworthy, fly-by-night. You could be an honest, ethical company, but if your web design doesn’t reflect that, potential customers will assume otherwise. The ethos of your brand is entangled in the elements of design.

Any design service will tell you how important design is (that’s sort of their thing). But do they understand how to use visual design as part of a strategy to create a new market? Good design sets you apart in a sea of alternatives. Think Apple, Spotify, Chobani, Airbnb. It’s no coincidence that those companies are also classic examples of Market Invention.

Ready to invent a space where you’re the leader? Want to work with world-class designers who understand that the bigger aim of design is market domination, not just cutesy logos? Learn more about that process here.


About Merit

Merit is the global leader in market invention. More often than not, our work carves out an entirely new market and transforms industry through research and strategy, communications, creative, and technology. For a company to succeed in the new era of marketing, it needs Merit.

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