The Importance of Design in Business Learning from Apple Stores

The Importance of Design in Business: Lessons from Apple

If you haven’t yet heard about Apple Inc. newest flagship store located at Union Square in downtown San Francisco, you are going to want to check this out. Why? Because they are revolutionizing the way retailers, and all businesses, need to think about design.

The new Apple location features 42-foot sliding doors of glass, a second-floor 6K video screen, indoor trees, a restored fountain that’s over 4 decades old, and large open and interaction-friendly spaces all over the building. It seems the revolutionary leader in tech design is taking it one step further and changing the way we look at retail design and the customer’s physical experience. This may explain why they hired former Burberry CEO Angela Ahrendts as their Senior Vice President of Retail and Online Stores. After all, you can lay down all the marketing strategies that you want, but if your designs and layouts are wanting, who’s going to pay attention to your message?

It seems Apple is on the move to make sure their message is fully heard by reconfirming a very important lesson for every business: Good design in business is important.

The Importance of Good Design in Business

First Impressions Matter – And So Does the Quality of Design

Studies show that our brains compute things visually more than anything else:

  • According to a Hyerle 2000 Study, 90% of information that lands on the brain is visual
  • According to the Social Science Research Network, 65% of the population consists of visual learners
  • According to a 1996 Jensen Study, our eyes register an average of 36,000 visual messages per hour.

Apple Inc. is one of the world’s most valuable companies because it understands what people want. The San Francisco store is evidence of that.

When people walk into the store and are greeted by large glass doors, beautiful greenery, and open and welcoming spaces, their brains compute all that beauty, and they are drawn in. That makes them more amenable to paying attention to the new products on display and even buying them.

You should take these facts into consideration when marketing your business. The key to attracting the attention of potential customers long enough to bring your products to their attention lies in good design. If you can get your target audience through the physical or digital door, then you have a chance to generate sales.

Good Design Promotes Interaction with Customers and Makes Them Happy

The newest flagship Apple store is not just about generating sales, it has a strong emphasis on customer experience and service.

The store has a “Genius Grove” section where customers get to interact with Apple geniuses who provide tech support. “The Avenue” section of the store on the other hand, not only provides a display of the latest products on the market but also, Apple experts who will explain to existing and potential customers, how to get the most out of their products.

So what does this teach us?

That good design is a necessary aspect of customer care service. After all:

  • Around 82% of U.S. clients tend to bail on a brand after experiencing bad customer care service
  • About 89% of companies expect to compete based on customer experience compared to only 36% four years ago.

Your physical stores should be designed with the customer’s comfort in mind. The same rule applies to your online stores. All aspects of your e-commerce store should be navigable and interactive to enhance the experience.

Effective Branding and Good Design Go Hand-In-Hand

Research shows that:

Apple is a company that understands the power of branding. Apple is supposed to be a fruit. But that’s probably not what comes to your mind when you hear the word now, is it? Both the company name and the logo reinforce each other.

In addition, Apple Inc. has branded itself in such a way that it is seen as a brand that leads the way forward when it comes to mobile tech products. It’s also the brand that everyone who is hip, cool, and wealthy wants to be associated with.

So, it’s no surprise that the San Francisco store’s design is also leading the way as far as retail design is concerned. In addition to “The Avenue” and the “Genius Grove” sections, there is also “The Forum” section, which has been designed to enhance the Apple Brand further. Events will be held in this area, including sessions for developers and entrepreneurs, as well as events for artists, teachers, gamers, and photographers.

Branding matters greatly in business, but it has to go hand in hand with good design. How you design your physical store or digital space, affects your branding efforts, so take the time to design your business space in a way that reinforces your brand visibility (think logo, business activities, motto, and business name). Also, design your online and offline workspace and systems to enhance employee-client interactions, thus reinforcing a more positive view and perception of your business brand.