Monday, July 27, 2009

Design Wins Again

We often repeat the phrase: Design is a necessity not a decoration. And last week’s business news validated that expression.

Apple Computer, in the mist of one of our worst recessions, posted their best non-holiday quarter ever. If you stop and think about it – Apple grew when everything else was shrinking.

I wonder why? Even though they have always been known for quality they are definitely not the cheapest. They also do not dominate the installed computer base. Some may say it is the iphone and ipod. Those two products do go along way in explaining Apple’s success. But during the same period of time, they also sold millions of desk and lap tops.

You see, Apple understood and understands the power of Design. They came to the realization that consumers are more interested in how it looks versus how it works. Design has become an integral part of Apple equipment. It is not just some “white-wash” to make you think that they are interested in design.

Design is a strategic component of Apple not just some passing tactic for quick- short-term success. You need to just walk pass an Apple store and everything screams – DESIGN.

The lesson learned? You must make design part of your culture, part of your strategic growth. Your staff must become design savvy in their thinking and approach to business growth. You just need to look to Apple for validation.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Are you making the proper investments?

One of the real sad results of today’s economy is how we look at making important business investments. True, “cash my be king” but that does not mean we throw away our business savvy when it comes to business decisions.

An example is your business’ web site. It is one of the most important investments you can/will make for your business. It is the focus of expanding your brand. It is the first place someone will go to validate your organization or be introduced to your products and services. Your web site is one of your most important first-impressions maker. And yet so many business owners and managers are selecting their web sites for the wrong reasons. Let’s take an example out of our personal lives. Our cars and houses are probably two of the most important investments we will make. Now, if you have a family of five and have your main car a two-seater – wrong investment. You are just going to have to return the two-seater and get the right car – the investment.

Or take your logo. A logo is one of several important elements of your brand – and branding is extremely important. Going to get some modernized clip art because it is cheap or quick is the wrong investment. Just hope you are not making your other business decisions with the same short sightedness.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

It is hard to fathom!

This past weekend, our household watched the annual showing of the musical 1776. I am not commenting on the quality of the musical or the accuracy of the story line. Just call me sentimental, but the founding of the USA is a powerful story. A story of men from different geographic areas and different view points coming together for the common good. Everyone of them probably had a hidden agenda that eventually they were able to overcome.

It is hard to fathom what that group of men had to endure for the sake of founding our country. America and the world are much different now and yet the principles that not on relative values but ethical absolutes. A principle is only a principle when it is difficult to follow.

This is suppose to be a blog for creative design. Our founding fathers were truly exceptional designers – designers of something as grand as freedom – now that is some genre.

After watching the DVD, I still feel honored and proud to be an American. I need that yearly reminder to have the courage and belief to say “God bless America”.