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How Growth-Driven Design (GDD) Leads to Brand Alignment

Emilio O'Neill August 8, 2022
How Growth-Driven Design (GDD) Leads to Brand Alignment by Emilio O'Neill, Brand Director at House of Revenue®

Every forward-thinking company strives to not just stay relevant but to become leaders in their industry in the near and distant future. Outdated websites, communication channels, and service offerings that miss the needs of modern markets haunt professionals across B2B and B2C markets.

But continually updating your website, marketing strategies, and product offerings can be just as disastrous. That sort of unfocused disruption will confuse customers and cause frustration, even if everything runs smoothly (which it won't).

So you can't stay the same, but you also can't make big changes. What are you to do?

Enter Growth-Driven Design (GDD).

The incremental, measured, and user-experience-focused principles of Growth-Driven Design create better brand alignment, help you strengthen your marketing, and ultimately result in more leads when executed correctly. In this guide, we'll take a deeper look at how Growth-Driven Design works and how it can improve your Revenue Strategy.

How Does GDD Work?

Growth-Driven Design is built on these three core principles: strategy, launch pads, and continuous improvement.

Strategy

Before you get started on any customer-facing changes, it's important to flesh out a strategy that ensures every change has a reasonable likelihood of creating the outcomes you want. To begin, delve deep into your buyer's point of view and explore what problems they're trying to solve every time they visit your website.

Some approaches you can take to create your strategy include discussions about:

  • Business and website goals
  • User experience (UX) research
  • Jobs to be done throughout the project
  • Fundamental assumptions
  • Buyer personas
  • Journey mapping
  • Global strategy
  • A brainstorm wishlist

Launch Pad

Once you have that information to guide your path, you can create a launch pad. Similar to a sandbox, this is an exploratory new platform where you can build out new functions and try new layouts. This quickly-built website is going to be the bones for your future website build.

But it's important to remember one factor — it's a simple work-in-progress, not the finalized product.

Continuous Improvement

With the launch pad, you and your team can start to prioritize different constructions or optimizations that will drive the launch pad closer to a finished website.

In order to determine what tasks will deliver the greatest effect, follow these steps:

  1. Decide your current focus.
  2. Parse through your UX research to determine which items are the most important for improving UX.
  3. Brainstorm different action items that can help pave the way.
  4. Prioritize those actions and associated wishlist items.
  5. Organize the top priorities into tasks for a 'build sprint.'
  6. Write the action item card that defines or summarizes the item.

Identify Pain Points

The reason why Growth-Driven Design is so instrumental is that it requires you to consider your company's upgrades and website builds from the perspective of the user — your customers and leads.

Begin identifying pain points by considering these key areas:

Internal Client Issues

Everyone in your company has a different perspective on what the clients they interact with need and want. So to encourage cross-departmental brainstorming, you need to adopt a common language about your brand, your products, and the core direction of your company — in other words, you need brand alignment.

This task shouldn't fall solely on the shoulders of your creative director. Instead, it needs to be owned by your production designers, who play an integral role in implementing your company's vision and turning goals into concrete productions. Before your design can get underway, production designers need to create and disperse a shared language that everyone involved in the project can use to set expectations, manage files and tasks, and hand off active tasks.

Benefits of starting with aligned language include:

  • Faster operations within the project's timeline and deadlines.
  • Minimal budget spend on marketing stack expenses, as the team can easily find tools at a cheaper price point (such as Figma, which hosts a library of compatible plugins and can replace multiple disparate tools with a single platform).
  • More coherent brand messaging and stories, as well as more aligned marketing pieces that communicate that story.
  • More creative marketing collateral and assets; when your teams can easily communicate and express ideas, it's easier to be creative and imagine new brand assets.

What Issues Are Our Clients Facing? 

Just like your internal teams need to have a coherent understanding of brand alignment, your clients also need clear insight into your brand identity. Their needs and interactions influence their perspective of your brand; they'll also have a different perspective as your brand grows and changes.

Because of this, there are three common pain points — called the "Three Cs" — that companies can solve through GDD:

Conversion:

See where customers spend time on your website through page view analytics and heat maps. These tools can help you track where they're interested, where they're confused, and where they're frustrated.

Consistency:

Everything your clients experience should be consistent. This includes everything from brand voice and tone to marketing materials and deliverables. Even if you're making branding changes, aim for incremental and undisruptive changes. Consistency is also crucial if customers engage with you through third-party providers, so make sure your business partners and vendors can implement your branding guidelines.

Credit:

Give your clients some credit, and have faith in their loyalty to your brand. Listen to their feedback, check to ensure your brand ethos aligns with their values, and zero in on any potential friction so you can remove it. Your customers want to be part of your community, and actively engaging with their feedback can help you grow to new heights.

Create General Systems

All companies have multiple types of external and internal systems, ranging from presentation systems to operational systems. In fact, there are so many systems and standard operating procedures that many companies don't record them all.

However, to succeed with Growth-Driven Design, it's important to develop and implement a design system so that all of the active creators in your organization follow the same processes and act with the same voice.

Some of the essential parts of any generalized design system or guide include:

  • Message: Create a paragraph that acts as your company's value statement or objective.
  • Logos: Detail your central logo and accepted variations, so no one uses outdated branding.
  • Colors: Establish core branding colors, acceptable variations, and your established colors for web- and print-based text.
  • Font: Build a consistent body of fonts that your company will use across all marketing and product assets.
  • Photos: These can be public domain (such as from Pexels or Unsplash) or proprietary.
  • Image Lockups: These images complement your photos but are vector or raster images.
  • Presentation Deck Styles: Create templates or style guidelines for presentation materials, so there is a consistent look, format, and organization.
  • Icons: Icon sets, like Google's Material Design icon set, keep your interface coherent and easy to navigate.
  • Mockups: Create mocks or templates for ebook designs, so you have high-quality representations for your website, social media, and third-party sites.
  • Social Media: Create example social media resources that your teams can use to create and update social media channels across different platforms.

How Does This Create Revenue?

Growth-Driven Design, and the brand alignment it fosters, is essential for creating a consistent user experience across all areas of your business. Communal and community-driven design allows your company to repeatedly develop new assets and designs that meet users' needs.

Then you can continuously make incremental, data-based improvements that don't put your company at risk or diverge from the common ground between your business and your clients. 

Over time, you can continue to experiment, assess the results, and pull back or make additional changes. As a result, your brand will grow and adapt with your audience, fighting off obsolescence without making risky bets.

Create Brand Alignment With House of Revenue

At House of Revenue, we help businesses implement Growth-Driven Design processes so they can grow, experiment, and adapt. Contact us today to learn more about our services or Growth-Driven Design.