The one thing that blew me away with the Steve Jobs phenomena, which all came to a head around the time of his movie and book being released (and no doubt heightened by his death) was the fact that the world was so enamored by a CEO who really understood design. If you’ve seen the movie, you’ll know that he had hissy fits with his designers over the smallest details.

The reason the business world was so taken by Steve Jobs was not just his visionary skills, but also the fact that he was a CEO who got involved in a critical area that most do not. Surely, the theory goes, CEO’s are just number and overall maintenance guys (and gals), the ones who keep the whole ship moving towards its vision with, you’d hope, stability. But no; Steve Jobs turned that theory on its head. As a CEO, he understood that design and branding had to be number one. He knew his product was good, but it was the entire Apple ‘package’ that would totally transform his company from being a technology one, to really, being a complete lifestyle brand.

And this is what we see so often in the marketplace: people think that just because they have an excellent product or service, that this alone should do the selling. And so great design is seen as an expense, as opposed to an absolutely necessary investment.

Likewise advertising. Why would you spend/waste your money by giving it to media companies? Clearly it’s an unnecessary expense in tough markets like these, where cash should be preserved. However the reality is that GREAT design is no longer an option. It is just what is required as an entry level into your
market.

In this ultra-competitive, global world in which we live, consumers will not tolerate anything less than things done at the highest level. And this applies locally, not just globally. A local school has to do things at the ‘world’s’ level, as does a charity – and even a church.

Today, we are inundated daily with marketing messages, and all are done with the class and polish of a brand like Apple. So no matter how big or small the market you serve is, your new entry level design and branding requirements are now at a whole new level. And with the competition out there, your organization needs to put its best foot forward, as there is plenty of choices for them.