Good design is hard to get. Great design, even harder.
Hire a good designer or agency and you get great design, right? Wrong. Design worth talking about doesn't hinge on talented artists (of course that helps.) It's the philosophy with which you approach your work with those designers that matters most.
If you want to go from good to great on the design side, you'll need to commit to a few things (not the design team - YOU):
- You'll need to take a risk. If it's not offending someone, making them nervous or at least a little scary for your organization, you're not there yet.
- It should be a tough sell to your boss. If they love it and embrace it right away, start over. Why? Because unless your audience are conservative 50-somethings, you've missed the mark. Be prepared to defend and protect your idea. (Hey, if it was easy everyone would do it.)
- Don't mess with the creative process. Share your vision and get out. They're dressed cooler than you for a reason -- they're better at this than you.
After launch, when the smoke clears, most people (the critics, silent supporters, boss etc) will say you did a great job and they knew the risk was worth it. You'll feel good -- you might even win some awards for this one -- but the real vindication comes when your audience responds. And if you do it right, they will. Everytime.
That's when you start again.