June 2024

Enhancing bid success: The importance of external design support

8 minutes

In the fiercely competitive world of bidding, standing out is a necessity.
As more organisations vie for the same contracts, the need to differentiate your bid becomes increasingly important. One proven way to elevate your submission above the competition is by integrating professional design. While the content of your bid lays the groundwork, the design shapes how that content is perceived. A well-designed bid doesn't just catch the eye—it makes the content more accessible and understandable, significantly magnifying its persuasive power.

Here’s something to think about: How often have you considered the visual impact of your bid as part of your strategy?
1. The role of design in bidding

Design in the context of bid submissions is often underestimated. Yet, its impact on the decision-makers' perceptions cannot be overstressed. Effective design is what clarifies complex information, guides the reader through logical arguments, and highlights key points that might otherwise be overlooked. In essence, design ensures that your message is understood and remembered.

Professional design agencies like NU Creative, employ various techniques to achieve this—consistent branding enhances credibility, infographics translate complex data into digestible visuals, and a thoughtful layout keeps the reader engaged. In competitive bidding, where clarity and impact are paramount, the role of design is not just supportive but often decisive. It’s about making an immediate connection with evaluators, ensuring they grasp and remember your value proposition at every page turn.

The stats to back it up: 65% of people are visual learners, which means the majority of your evaluators will better understand and remember your bid if it's visually engaging.

Action to takeaway: Go back and review your past bids to identify sections where key points got lost in text-heavy pages.

2. Challenges faced by in-house teams

Bid teams face so many pressures—from tight deadlines to the sheer volume of information that must be accurately conveyed. In-house teams, while deeply knowledgeable about their subject matter, often lack specialised design expertise. This gap can lead to bids that, despite having excellent content, fail to engage or persuade due to poor visual presentation.

Also, the relentless pace and cyclical nature of bid submissions can lead to burnout among team members. This is where external design support can alleviate stress by taking on the heavy lifting of design work. External designers can inject creativity and bring new perspectives that refresh and enhance the in-house team’s efforts, ensuring that each bid is as visually appealing as it is substantively compelling.

Common challenges for in-house teams:

  • Limited access to advanced design tools and software.

  • Insufficient time to dedicate to sophisticated visual presentation due to tight bidding schedules.

Time to reflect: Are there areas where your team struggles that could be supported by external expertise?

3. Benefits of external design support

"Design is the silent ambassador of your brand." – Paul Rand.

Ask yourself: How does your bid design represent your brand?

Engaging external design support offers several strategic advantages. Firstly, professional designers are adept at translating complex proposals into visually appealing formats that communicate more effectively with stakeholders.
Secondly, external designers bring a level of objectivity that can be crucial in identifying areas where the bid may be visually lacking. Their fresh eyes can spot opportunities to improve that internal teams, often too close to the project, might miss. And, outsourcing design frees up your core team to focus on developing content, strategy, and client relations—areas that directly influence the outcome of the bid.
Additionally, external teams come equipped with the latest tools and technologies in graphic design, ensuring your bid is at the cutting edge of current trends and standards. This professional touch not only enhances the aesthetic appeal of your submission but also demonstrates a commitment to quality that can impress your evaluators.

4. Integrating design with content

Successful integration of design and content involves clear communication and collaboration from the outset. Begin by involving your appointed design team early in the process, allowing them to understand the strategic goals of the bid. This integration ensures that the design reinforces the content, rather than overshadowing it.
Regular meetings and updates can help both sides align on the evolving needs of the document. Provide designers with access to all necessary background information and data, enabling them to produce visuals that are not only attractive but accurately represent the proposal's data and narratives.

5. Measuring the impact of design on bid success

To truly appreciate the value added by professional design, it’s important to track specific metrics post-submission. Measure the engagement levels, perhaps through feedback from the evaluators, noting comments on the document’s usability and professionalism. Track win rates before and after employing external design to see measurable impacts.
Also, you can solicit direct feedback from your team and the client, if possible, on how the enhanced design affected the reading experience and comprehension of the bid. This feedback can guide future improvements, ensuring continuous enhancement of your bidding process.

Engagement improvement: According to a study by the Design Management Institute, companies that emphasise design in their business practices see a 41% higher market share and a significant increase in customer engagement compared to those that do not

The integration of professional design into your bid submissions is so much more than a cosmetic enhancement; it's a strategic upgrade that can significantly boost your success rates. By making your proposals more appealing, clearer and more engaging, you position your team to win in an increasingly competitive market.

Ready to transform your bid submissions with professional design? Contact us today to discuss how our design services can help you create winning proposals that stand out for all the right reasons.

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1: What is a brand agency and how can it help with bid submissions?

A brand agency specialises in creating and managing your brand's image. When it comes to bid submissions, a brand agency can ensure that your proposal reflects your brand's identity consistently. This includes using the right colours, fonts, and messaging that align with your brand, making your bid more professional and cohesive.

How NU Creative can help:

At NU Creative, we understand the importance of brand consistency. Our team of experts will work with you to integrate your brand seamlessly into your bid submissions, enhancing your professional image and increasing your chances of success.

2: What benefits do design agencies provide for bid submissions?

Design agencies bring specialised skills in visual communication to your bid submissions. They can transform complex information into clear, engaging visuals, making your proposal easier to understand and more persuasive. This includes creating infographics, charts, and a well-organised layout that captures the evaluator's attention

How NU Creative can help:

NU Creative offers top-tier design services tailored to your needs. Our designers excel in creating visually appealing and effective bids that not only meet but exceed the expectations of evaluators. We ensure that your key messages are highlighted and that your proposal stands out.

3: How does a creative agency in London differ from a general design agency?

A creative agency offers a broader range of services than a typical design agency, often including marketing, branding, and strategic planning alongside design. This holistic approach ensures that every aspect of your bid—from visuals to messaging—is strategically aligned to maximise impact.

How NU Creative can help:

As a leading creative agency in London, NU Creative provides comprehensive services that go beyond just design. We integrate strategic thinking, brand management, and creative excellence to ensure your bids are not only visually stunning but also strategically sound, giving you a competitive edge.

4: Why should I consider external design support for my bids?

External design support brings fresh perspectives, specialised skills, and advanced tools that in-house teams might lack. This support can enhance the visual appeal and clarity of your bid, making it more engaging and easier to understand, which can significantly improve your chances of winning contracts.

How NU Creative can help:

NU Creative offers professional design support that can transform your bid submissions. Our team brings creativity, expertise, and a strategic approach to ensure your proposals are compelling and visually striking. Partnering with us means leveraging our experience to boost your bid success rates.

5: What should I look for in a design partner for my bid submissions?

Look for a design partner with a strong portfolio, experience in your sector, and a deep understanding of your brand. They should be able to work within your timelines and provide creative solutions that enhance your bid’s effectiveness.

How NU Creative can help:

NU Creative is equipped with extensive experience across various industries and a proven track record of success. We collaborate closely with you to understand your brand and goals, ensuring that every bid we design is tailored to your specific needs and stands out in the competitive landscape.

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