Design Trumps Technology

We are in the age of design. The future now belongs to a very different kind of skill and talent, those who are creative and connect.

Yet too many people are still enamored and stuck on technology.  That was what was important in 2001 – functionality, horsepower, software coding, Powerpoint. Keep working and doing business this way and you will have missed your customer and your employer (your main customer).  Technology has become boring.  As Michael Dell had stated, “Over time, all technologies commoditize.”

Think about what has made Apple excel in a commodity market: their design and attention to aesthetics.  They pay attention to each step of your buying experience – how you experience their store, open a new product or interact with their music.  It is the difference between selling their products at commodity prices and capturing the imagination and cravings of a hungry tribe of people who want to experience life, not interact with technology.

Your business offers a commodity.  Your job is a commodity – selling, delivering, servicing, marketing.  How do you avoid succumbing to being treated like a commodity?  Commodities get pushed down in price or expended from the labor force.  Commodities are boring.  We can find them anywhere.

Design must be the centerpoint.  You cannot win by throwing more money at boring marketing methods.  We are smarter buyers today.  We have seen all the tricks and know the script that is being played out.  Junk mail is a commodity.  Advertising is dead.  Cold calling is extremely rude.

Designers think about connecting.  How do they create an experience which helps someone say yes and stimulates their desire to buy?  Designers sell differently and deliver higher perceived value in their products and services.  While it used to be the engineer who had the keys to the kingdom through their special knowledge of cryptic software code, corporate smart-speak or special selling tools, the field has been drastically leveled.  We all have access to all the same tools at ridiculously low prices now.  We can all use the tools to create an experience.

In the movie, the Soloist, Nathaniel Ayers is a musical prodigy.  He makes brilliant music with a violin that has only 2 strings; the others broke.  Today in business, the veneer is coming down. Many people have the best violins that money can buy, and yet the brilliant designers with talent that can pick up any instrument, tool and system and play it are arising.  It is true fairness.  Talent, passion and design are shining through.  The instruments are becoming more and more secondary.

Here is the bottom line.  To help your career, business or job, you have all the tools necessary today than ever before to be successful.  Your success will not be from picking the wrong tools. It will be from a lack of design, not technology. If your sales process is boring, the designers will win.  If your service is unimaginative, you will lose to the business who carefully orchestrates the customer experience.
Start with design, not technology.  Why would a person buy and how should they feel all 60 minutes of the engagement?  How can you wow them?  When a person touches your product or experiences your website, are they unimpressed or continually intrigued and enticed?

Surprisingly, the cost difference materially is rarely a large impact.  The cost of paying the brain bill is what stops most people.  Pay that bill and put your heart into how you make people love your company, brand and service and nothing will stop you.  You will elevate your brand, service and products above the commodity game and into the realm of pure buyer desire.

Published by Don Dalrymple

I partner with founders and entrepreneurs in startup businesses. I write and consult on strategy, systems, team building and growing revenue.

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