October 18, 2017 Erica Rai

How Our Design-Led Approach Drives Business Outcomes


The average internet user sees upwards to 5,000 ads a day. In this busy digital age, design can be the deciding factor in customer decisions and, ultimately, conversions.
“Design isn’t just about beauty; it’s about market relevance and meaningful results.”
John Maeda

A recent survey found that design-led agencies are more strategic in their thinking and hold ideas of emotion, research, and an open fostering of “a good idea can come from anywhere,” in a much higher regard than non-design-led agencies.

At Consensus, our creative team jumpstarts every project or campaign, laying out the vision for the experience from the very beginning, generating ideas, providing direction, and sculpting the ultimate customer experience across each specified channel or the omnichannel.

Our design-led approach has proven effective, increasing engagement and outcomes for our clients that are routinely above industry and category benchmarks across multiple mediums:

How do we make it happen? Our design-led approach is based on 1) a deep understanding of the customer experience, 2) a deep respect for creating emotional connections and establishing brand trust, and 3) creating with a collaborative toolset.

1. A deep understanding of the customer experience (CX)
Our approach to CX is all about a deep understanding of our target audience, creating effective visuals, and defining relevant interactions. What does the customer need or expect in that channel, at that moment? Knowing the psychology behind customer behavior and how to change it is critical to driving the right outcomes. Key components to this understanding include:

  • Demonstrating the benefit of change: making the customer realize they need this change in order to be at the forefront of their industry.
  • Empowering the audience to change: making the change easy for customers to make.
  • Showing social proof that others trust in the change: word-of-mouth is the most trusted form of advertising, and effectively broadcasting this conversation through various channels is powerful to reinforcing brand trust.

Our design team works alongside our research team to discover and truly understand customer profiles and what their journey and overall experience looks like. This understanding helps our teams to formulate the exact tactics to be used in a campaign or project in order to meet our primary business objectives.

2. Recognizing the importance of brand trust and emotional engagement

Without brand trust, the customer journey ends quickly.

Customers engage on an emotional level. They want to feel good about a change, upgrade, or experience. They want to be heard, understood and have a connection to a brand–a loyalty and trust that is highly emotional.

Our creative teams at Consensus are continually at the forefront of the latest innovations in technology and digital media. Today, the content delivery method best suited to emotional engagement is video:

  • Viewers retain 95% of a message when they watch it in a video compared to 10% when reading it.
  • Internet video traffic will be 69% of all global consumer Internet traffic in 2017.
  • By 2019, internet video traffic will account for 80% of all consumer Internet traffic.
  • The average user spends 88% more time on a website with video.
  • Internet video traffic will be 69% of all global consumer Internet traffic in 2017.

Our creative teams have successfully created multiple videos, both animated, with stock video, and professionally shot, produced in HD, to market products, create awareness, and increase engagement and trust.

For our friends at IDEXX, we filmed a series of videos on-site at 5 locations across the U.S., including IDEXX headquarters, where we shot the CEO promoting the benefits of IDEXX Cornerstone. These videos are used on websites and across social channels to promote the power of the software, trust in the product, and most importantly, the IDEXX brand.

For Bold360, by LogMeIn, we created a product video that received 800K impressions and only took 4 weeks to produce from start to launch; now that’s a remarkable success story.

3. Creating with a collaborative toolset

Our design-led approach is fueled by collaboration with our clients. The right toolset allows us to get and respond to feedback quickly, whether we’re in the IA, UX or the concepting phase of a project.

Some of our favorite tools for testing, conceptualizing, and presenting are the following:

  • Usabilla – Test your concepts, and get answers directly from your users before committing to a digital experience.
  • UXPin – Creating navigational models, sitemaps, wireframes, and documentation, all in one amazing online application that includes Sketch integration and CSS applications, giving designers peace of mind that concepts are developed exactly as intended.
  • Notism – Love this online environment for sharing concepts and video with our clients for easy review and feedback. With its responsive previews and timeline-based video functionality, it’s incredibly simple to drop comments, draw arrows, include supporting images or links, and have a conversation directly inline with creative concepts.

The design-led team
We train and educate our team to be creative with their designs, always thinking beyond being on-brand and beautiful, with an eye to achieving user goals. Every design element we place on the page has a purpose. It drives users to take action, easily access information, emotionally connect, and engage.

With design-led, our creative team’s involvement from the very beginning of a project has resulted in more conversions and increased engagement for our clients’ brands.

As year-end budgets are upon us, consider how Consensus can implement our design-led approach in your next marketing initiative to stand out in a cluttered digital landscape, and make an impact on your customers.

Contact us.