I’m not sure why, but even in 2021, one of the biggest immediate differences between business to business marketing and consumer marketing is in the use of good graphic design. Just compare the overwhelming amount of cheaply-designed advertising in trade magazines with any mainstream consumer title. Even though it’s less obvious, the same applies online, both in adverts and in website design. My local hairdresser has a more attractive website than most medium-sized B2B companies.
Why is this? Is clear, impactful design seen as acting against the air of authority that most B2B companies want to project? If so, I think that’s a big mistake. Great graphic design can make any company seem more classy, if that’s what’s desired.
It’s much more than the logo and the corporate colours. Graphic design should provide a set of rules that run right through a company’s entire marketing collateral (as well as the products themselves). This will tie everything together, so customers passing from one medium to another (such as from an advert to a website) know where they are and have confidence they’re on the right track.
Even the most traditionally dull material, from White Papers to administrative documentation, can play a role in projecting a company’s desired image if the business has a good brand style guide. It’s not a frothy nice-to-have extra – it’s a real asset. And be prepared to pay for it to be done properly. Good corporate graphic designers pick up a lot of their ideas with experience.