The Importance of Design in Business: Lessons from Jeep’s Sales Decline


Design is a crucial element in business. It’s not just about making something look good – it’s about creating a product or service that meets the needs and desires of your target audience. Design can set your business apart from the competition, help you connect with customers on an emotional level, and even impact sales.

A great example of this is the story of how Jeep’s sales went down for a time when they introduced rectangular headlamps. For many years, Jeep had been producing vehicles with round headlamps. These headlamps were seen as iconic and played a significant role in the brand’s identity. There is a popular belief that the rounded headlamps made jeeps look like a successor of horse while the rectangular headlamps made the connection lost.

However, in 1986, Jeep decided to switch to rectangular headlamps. This decision turned out to be a major misstep.

Customers had a strong emotional connection to the round headlamps, and the switch to rectangular headlamps was seen as a departure from the iconic design that they had come to love. Jeep’s sales plummeted, and the company was forced to go back to the round headlamps. This switch back to the original design helped to restore the brand’s identity and sales quickly rebounded.

The lesson here is clear – design matters. In Jeep’s case, a simple change to the design had a significant impact on the business. This is not an isolated incident. Countless businesses have experienced the benefits of great design, and many more have suffered from poor design choices. When the design is done right, it can drive sales, increase brand awareness, and build customer loyalty.

So, what does this mean for your business? It means that you should be paying close attention to your design choices. Whether it’s the design of your product, your packaging, your website, or your marketing materials, everything should be created with your target audience in mind. You need to understand their wants, needs, and desires and design your offerings accordingly. The goal is to create a connection with your customers, and great design is the key to achieving this.

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