Choosing a Design Firm
What makes you different? I’ve been asked that question a lot and with good reason. There are thousands of design firms – small shops; regional firms; vertically specialized boutiques; multi-national conglomerates; and let’s not forget the one man show. So how do you choose the right design firm, the right interactive agency, the right integrated marketing firm? Aren’t they all like? Shouldn’t I just put my project out to bid and go with the lowest price for the most work?
Even when you put aside the obvious differences such as price points, technical expertise, aesthetics, and years of experience, there is so much more to consider when looking at which firm will provide the highest value for your marketing dollar.
With the proliferation of social networks, search engine marketing, and e-commerce in a world where ‘Google’ is a verb – having a quality online presence and strong brand identity is crucial to the success of today’s business. The online identity and experience you present to the visitors of your site IS your company. In most cases, it’s likely the first impression a consumer will have, and if you’re strictly an e-commerce play, it very well may be the only way they’ll ever interact with your company. That is why it is crucial to choose a design company that takes into account your overall business objectives; one who works with you to understand your sales goals and target audience; your competitive strengths and weaknesses; and the market in which you’ll be operating.
A good design firm will provide the intelligent insight to translate your company’s objectives into a design and form that resonates with your target audience and allows them to interact with you and your site’s content in a way that best suits THEM. A good design firm will deliver the appropriate tone and environment that will maximize the opportunities to engage visitors without overwhelming them with frivolous displays of technical panache`. A truly excellent firm will ensure that the messaging and identity of your company is strong, clear and consistent across all channels of communications emanating from your business. That your message rises above the noise of countless other companies competing for the attention and money of your target customer.
Websites are not a simple commodity that can be churned out in a cookie-cutter fashion. The design firm you choose should have the technically competency to evaluate, select and implement the appropriate technology for your individual business needs along with the creative vision to not only deliver a strong and pleasing brand identity, but also the ability to deliver a solution that addresses your specific business objectives.
Your website is the face of your business, its design and development should not be taken lightly. Your web presence, along with all of your marketing and branding initiatives, deserve a consultative approach that takes into account your overall business objectives, the competitive landscape, and your target audience to deliver a creative solution that will grow your business.