Design: The New Avo Toast Of The Marketing World

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Chances are you are feeling intrigued right now. The title of this piece, referencing the beloved breakfast dish, isn’t something you’d normally associate with the field of visual design. Let me enlighten you with the connection I made long ago, but one that others are just now starting to get clued in on.

For far too long, design has been given the short end of the stick, looked at as the second-tier ‘nice to have’ layer rather than a key factor to driving business success. Yet, finally, this perception is changing. Much like avo toast when it first exploded onto the Insta scene a few years ago, design is experiencing a lively boost, as professionals and companies alike realize the power of utilizing visuals to spark demand and drive conversions.

Here’s the thing, the avocado toast movement (as I’ve now taken to calling it) wouldn’t have been half as successful if it wasn’t supported by the User Generated Content (UGC) that flooded social media. And it can be assumed that this is what also pushed brands to realize the potential in investing in professional ‘foodie’ shots, or more accurately, ‘food porn’, to convert loyal followers to loyal customers. When food looks good, the taste is almost irrelevant – you have already converted them.

As strange as it sounds, we eat, shop, and enjoy with our eyes, and if the visuals (both static and animated) aren’t up to scratch, you don’t stand a chance in attracting and retaining the fickle consumer of today.

Of course good design isn’t limited to a single industry or marketing channel for that matter. It now powers all verticals of a business, its value increasing most significantly in the realm of communication. Today, visuals supersede the written word and video above all else, positioning itself as the information conduit of choice. It’s not too surprising, given that more than 50% of people are visual learners and a majority of information transmitted to the brain is visual.  

However, simply being visual in your messaging isn’t enough. Cluttered, repetitive, or worse, boring visuals, are the three challenging aspects that marketers have to combat in engaging their audiences today. So, while I’ve harped on about the importance of good design for the majority of this piece, I wanted to narrow the focus now to one key design format that I know will offer the perfect means for brands and companies alike to make an impact – animation.

Animation, often overlooked due to misinformed ideas of cost and complexity, brings concepts and benefits to the surface in a way that no other output can deliver; with richness, realness, and distinction.  And what’s more, advancements in technology have helped reduce the cost and time, giving it a longevity that can be cut and tailored to suit different marketing needs – from online ads, explainer videos and corporate internal videos, providing incredible and varied storytelling opportunities. The reassuring factor is that for good design to prove good for business, affordability is key and the creative community is taking note.

With the end of 2018 quickly approaching, marketing teams are likely scrambling to get their budgets ready for the year ahead. With reports hinting at marketing spends remaining static, there’s a chance for some brands to offset costs with inhouse band aids, often in the form of a jack-of-all-trades individual, equipped in all likelihood, with a camera phone and a basic knowledge of Powerpoint and Paint. (Ah, memories…)

While we have all been guilty at one point or another of testing the validity of this statement, be it food, clothing, or otherwise, when it comes to the world of work, cutting costs and corners will only prove regretful. Fair warning, you get what you pay for and your audience can tell.

So, what’s the brass tax of it all, i.e. the purpose of my prose? Long gone are the days of hiring a production house to produce a six figure scope of work with animation proving what can be done with very little for very little to make noise for your brand.

As a business owner myself, I get the need to be conscious of spends, but all this means is being smarter and more critical on how to get your money’s worth, crucially understanding the difference between value and price. Make sure you are on the right side of it for 2019 and think twice before you hire Jack.

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