“I’m sorry, but your logo is just terrible. You’ll never make any money with a logo like THAT…”

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve thought that as I’ve worked with clients….
…or seen terrible logos on websites that I’ve visited.
…or businesses as I’ve seen while driving around.
When looking for our second dog, we found a breeder who’s website was just HORRENDOUS.
My immediate thought was: These guys need a new website, and PRONTO.
I immediately thought of all the things they needed to fix on their website, because surely they were HURTING for business with such a terrible website!

Ironically, we ended up getting our new puppy through this website…
Not only that, there was a 6 MONTH waiting list!
These guys were NOT hurting for business.
How could this be possible?!
If you’re in any marketing, advertising or design field, maybe you’ve had this same thought?
This breeder was providing a type of breed that was hard to find, and at a reasonable price.
Even though it wasn’t a beautiful site, it had the important information and was clear about what they were offering.
And people (like my wife and I) WANTED what they were selling.
So despite all the design faux pas that drove my wife and I crazy, it really didn’t impact our decision to choose this particular breeder (especially after a few conversations with them).
Because they had what we needed, and our “pain” of not having it was greater than our dislike of their branding.
Is design important? YES.
A poorly designed website can be very problematic.
And when it comes to UX design, it’s crucial to have good design.
But, will a beautiful website and logo solve all your problems? No.
(I know I’m going to upset a lot of my design friends…)
I know plenty of companies that have gorgeous websites but struggle in business, and I know plenty of companies that have terrible logos and websites that are very successful.
What I’ve found is more important than your logo, your website, your business cards, your email signature…
…is: your offer.
If you’re in SaaS, you might have a beautiful website and branding but still struggle to build your user base.
Or your conversion rates aren’t very high…
Usually, this is a symptom of not having a clear enough offer (not design).
Design can help, but if you don’t understand your audience, what their pains are and present clear solutions to their problems, you may struggle.
If you have a hungry crowd of people who have a pain they need solved ASAP – are they going to care that your logo has gradients?
Or that your website has 7 different fonts (including PAPYRUS??)
Probably not.
It’s a lot harder to focus on creating the perfect offer than it is to create beautiful design.
If I could go back and give myself a piece of advice, I would say:
Focus on understanding your audience, their pains, their struggles and their challenges FIRST. Dig deeper than you ever have before until you understand what it is they REALLY need…create a clear, powerful offer…
…then AFTER you’ve figured that out you can focus on design.