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Your Brand Will Flop If It Doesn't Stand Out. Try the Contrarian Design Strategy That Worked for These 6 Founders. From chocolate bars to pet care, you may recognize these brands when you see them — and their founders made deliberate decisions to make that happen. Here, they explain how they zeroed in on aesthetics that stand out.

By Frances Dodds Edited by Mark Klekas

How many times have you walked past a storefront, perused a grocery store aisle, or scrolled through your Instagram feed and experienced a little "I want that!" ping to your brain after seeing a particularly compelling image? That, in a nutshell, is the power of great design.

According to research from Insights in Marketing, 93% of consumers say a product's appearance is the most important factor in their purchasing decisions, and 85% say they're heavily influenced by the colors of a product or brand. And because the average consumer spends so much time looking at their phone, brands have more ways than ever to make a visual impact. Bankrate found that 48% of social media users have impulsively bought something advertised to them on social media, and a whopping 72% of Instagram users base their buying decisions on content they see on the platform.

So, in a time when consumers are endlessly bombarded with brands, how do you create something that stands out? Something unconventional and unexpected, but still appealing to the established tastes of your customers? We asked some founders who leaned on design to build best-selling brands. One common strategy? They all looked at their categories and figured out what wasn't there, and designed into that blank space.

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