The evolution of the Annual Report

Research finds a well-designed Annual Report increases pride of ownership for a company, and this pride increases valuation. Customers are increasingly choosing products and services based on the quality of the experiences they have with them. Your next annual report should be an experience, giving readers an enjoyable little peak inside your business, the more creative you can be the better.

A Good Practice Guide (May 2008) states the primary purpose of the annual report is accountability, particularly to shareholders and or members, the reality in 2019 is that it is so much more than that. Not only does it hold a company accountable, it is a chance to make them relatable as well as approachable. Annual reports are an opportunity to surprise, entertain, connect and forge bonds with readers and If a digital annual report is worthy, it just might be shared by hundreds of thousands of people in a matter of days, generating mass sales and sending engagement levels through the roof.

Design-led companies reported:

41% higher market share

46% competitive advantage overall

50% more loyal customers

70% digital experiences beat competitors

Now imagine taking the above statistics into your next annual report, the information you could get across and the brand loyalty you could gain simply by appealing to people’s subconscious biases towards quality design, as proven by the research of Professor Suzanne Shu in her report titled When and how aesthetics influences financial decisions”. The results presented in her study imply in no uncertain terms that the costs incurred in creating visually appealing, design driven investor products would be highly rewarding and worthwhile. You don’t need to be a design led company to see the value in experimenting with design and seeing what it can realistically do for your business.

“Such investment in aesthetics will have greater consequence for companies associated with functional and non-design-related products than for hedonic or design-related ones.” Suzanne Shu

The transition to digital, design savvy annual reports gives companies room talk about so much more than money, you can tell a twenty-year story in sixty seconds if you are good, you can express your mission and goals for the future, you can express a call to action and bring current societal issues into play. The emergence of corporate social responsibility and sustainability reports are examples of non- compulsory reporting that increases engagement levels exponentially. Just look at Bill and Melinda Gates and The Gates Foundation, their annual report is in the form a letter, with a specific theme and clear call to action that appeals to people’s humanity in an easy to consumer way. Step away from numbers and large blocks of black text in times new roman and in to the world of digital one-page reports that take readers on a journey through your history rather than a journey to nap time.

Call Fresco Creative on (02) 8116 9033 to learn more about how we can assist with the design of your net annual report.