The Role of Design
If all investment decisions were about facts and numbers, and investors were rational, markets would be much less volatile. But investors are people first, and people deal with other people they like. To attract those investors who are early in their Investor Journey, first of all you need to give them a chance to like you.
The first part of liking is to look attractive. Before there’s time allocated to reviewing facts and figures, messages and announcements, there needs to be a subconscious or irrational decision to spend more time looking at you. Why do they decide to do this? Because they like something they see.
Enter: Great design.
Whether the touchpoint is a website, an Annual Report, an email, a blog post, a tweet, a video, an image – it needs to simply look good, and attractive.
It’s the design that helps more investors decide to spend more time and progress to the next stage of their journey to becoming a shareholder.
And when they’ve moved further along in their journey, great design reinforces their decisions so far – they still like you – and helps them to feel personally comfortable with their investment decision.
Of course, design can’t eventually overcome bad facts, but it can soften the blow!
Design appeals to the Emotions
Investors are not always rational in assessing their investment decisions. In particular, when they are early in their journey and haven't decided to look for specific facts, they will be guided emotionally about how they feel about a company, by looking at the design, imagery, style and key messages.
At the stage when all the facts seem the same, it’s the investors who can connect emotionally that will decide to spend more time and look further. Those that don’t will find ways to spend their time with companies that do appeal to their emotional side.
Yet typically company behaviour towards investors has been to communicate with them like robots, provide them with numbers and data, and rely on the rational brain to always make the right decision. Many deliver their key messages as bland, boring, compliant, detailed, factual data which seems to set out to impress because of its complexity. Companies that do this are losing high numbers of potential investors early in their decision making processes.
Great design makes it easy for investors to connect with you, helps them feel smart, and helps them see why you matter.
A great design, whether on a website, in an annual report or elsewhere, will provide features, imagery, style and key messages that appeal to the investor without them really expecting it. These designs will not only have provided the facts needed, but will have left a great impression. And help investors feel good about a company and their decision to invest in it.
A website will have an impressive home page that encourages investors to keep looking. It will provide some (possibly unexpected) appeal, give them some pleasant surprises, and create an above average impression. For example, it should have a designed Investor Fact Sheet, to impress the very time poor investor or broker adviser. It can have interactive maps, infographics, fly throughs, videos, all appealing to the visual senses, carrying the factual messages in an appealing way.
Benefits of Great Design
Great design helps companies stand out from the crowd, creating favourable impressions at a glance.
Continually creating the right impressions makes it easier to deliver the right facts to an ever-changing and largely unknown group of investors (actual and potential) who will behave emotionally and randomly based on impressions gained early and their long term subjective assessment of the ability of the company to generate shareholder value.
The design of your online and offline messaging projects your image, delivers the first investor experience, creates lasting impressions, and co-ordinates your investors' electronic world.
Ask IRM to help.
IRM does great designs that appeal to investors – for websites, annual reports, email templates, presentations and the full set of corporate collateral. We know what investors like to see.
Check out our design credentials by looking at our portfolio of website and annual report designs in our Client Showcase.
Contact us now about your investor communication design needs.