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Design as Performance: How to Make Them Look

how to make a brand so powerful that they can't look awayYou file into the theater and find a seat. The lights dim, and a spotlight shines on the stage.

A man appears with a stack of papers, looks down at them, and starts reading them in a monotone voice.

You squirm. You fidget. You look for the exit.

Let’s Rewind

You file into the same theater and find a seat, the lights dim, the spotlight shines and a man appears on stage. Music fills the air. He starts singing out — putting all his heart into it — and you are captivated. You can’t look away!

The words resonate. They echo in your mind long after you’ve left the theater.

That’s what design does.

Good design adds a layer of performance to all your marketing materials.

It delivers your information in a way that it grabs attention, holds the viewer captive and makes them remember your message long after you’ve communicated it.

It’s  the difference between a man taking the stage with a stack of papers and reading them in a monotone voice, and one who comes out, stands in a spotlight and sings out with all his heart.

Which one would you pay attention to?

Pamela Wilson

Pamela Wilson

Pamela Wilson is an online educator, author, keynote speaker, and the founder of BIG Brand System. Read reviews of the tools used to run this site and business.

Pamela Wilson

I want to help you take the next step. Pick your free workshop topic and let’s do this!

12 thoughts on “Design as Performance: How to Make Them Look”

  1. All you bloggers out there, If you are serious about making money online or setting up a blog business I suggest you take Pamela’s advise. Take up her course and you will understand what she means and what she can do for your business.

  2. Hi Pamela,

    I’m about to enter Denise Wakeman’s contest to win a copy of “Launch” — Micheal Stelzner’s book. The only requirement for entry is to name the expert you’d most like to interview and, of course, “why”.

    Want to guess who I’m choosing? 😉

    This post on “How to Make Them Look” is the epitome of what you do BEST. Great design that enhances your marketing efforts isn’t easy to accomplish. Your site’s header and tagline roped me in “BIG” time on my very first visit!


  3. I think you’re on to something here, Pamela. I used to say — and I still maintain it was probably true back then, about five or so years back — that design really wasn’t the most important part of the experience for the reader. Back then, it was more content-oriented (because there was a huge gap between the freely available stuff and the good stuff, which was usually cost-prohibitive for most solo entrepreneurial types). But now, two developments have led me to change the viewpoint. The first is the major erosion of that gap — there are a LOT of good-design options out there now, especially with Thesis (and some of the other frameworks) & WordPress, that don’t cost several thousand bucks. The second is the evolution of the trend towards minimalism in design — stripped down sites, larger fonts, spare sidebars (Derek Halpern had a pretty good post on this recently) — which has the awesome side bonus of being easy for most beginner types and non-coders to emulate.

    I still maintain the content is always going to be more important than the visuals, and that there are two aspects to design: one, not to piss off the viewer (which I know you love, Pamela, as a first principle!) and two, to attract them further into the site. You gotta hit both marks for wild success, the former just to break even. But a site that hits both those points does help the viewer form a better impression of the person or business behind the site.

    • I believe the two work together: good design stops people long enough to pay attention to your words, and well-written words keep them engaged long enough for you to communicate your message.

      Derek and I hosted a webinar earlier this year that talked about web design recommendations, and one thing we both agreed on is that uncluttered pages not only look better, they tend to convert better to. Whether that’s converting visitors to opt in to your offer, or converting visitors to buyers, the less confusing and more appealing your site, the better.

  4. Yes, I do beleive that design has a great impact, because many people just enjoy seeing beautiful design, think of Apple. Will it help my marketing? Seeing so many gaudy logos out their and brands so successful, I don’t think it necessarily matters too much.

    What I do think is that if design complements good function and usability, yes it will certainly have an impact.

    Definitely it also helps getting a special target group interested – people who enjoy good design and know that most of the time, improved quality comes with it.

    • I see those companies with their gaudy logos and successful brands, and the same question always comes to my mind … “how much better would their business be if their marketing materials were well designed?”

      It’s not that a company can’t succeed without good design. Design makes people pay attention, and the right kind of attention almost always means more sales. Who doesn’t want that?

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