Steve Jobs used to say "Design is not just how it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works." What he meant is, the user-friendliness and usefulness of the design of a product (a hardware or a software, a brochure or a website, a logo or a building) is also as important as how it looks like. To understand this correctly, one needs to first pass the basic stage of a good looking design. Something that appeals to the eyes and to the senses (and makes sense as well). Most of the times, that's where a potential customer interacts with the product/service/brand for the first time. Good taste matters a lot here. And the good taste develops with relentless exploring, studying and experimenting; fueled by one's natural obsession for the best.
Neurologically humans are attracted towards beauty and smartness. Neuroaesthetics, a sub-discipline of empirical aesthetics, uses neuroscience to explain and understand the aesthetic experiences at the neurological level. Some areas of brain play role in aesthetic responses to artworks or appraisal of objects of evolutionary importance, such as the desirability of foods or the attractiveness of potential mates. Hence it's no surprise that often a good design, be it the design of the product itself or design of its visual communication, helps selling the product much faster; whereas a bad design makes it difficult. Finally the quality of the product/service matters the most. However the first point of sell, in most cases, remains - the visual communication design, which includes identity, collaterals, web presence etc. Most of the customers in this IT age are well aware. They have smartphones - a free visual gateway to the world's best brands and best art. Seeing best content repeatedly makes their brains associate best brands with good design. Therefore, they reject a brand/product/service merely by seeing its visual communication design, as it doesn't fit their idea of an upmarket or trustworthy brand. Hence typically bad design is actually worse than not having any visual communication. And a good design is always something that looks, feels and works well - for majority of the target audience, and in the present era.
Jobs created the world's first trillion dollar company with his hunger and taste for great design. It reflected everywhere - from his computer's motherboard design (which is not even a visible aspect of the product!) to the patented staircase design of Apple stores. He had a rare appetite to pay Paul Rand $100K for creating 1 visual identity design concept (i.e. logo) for his company NeXT, 3 decades ago. Today in a world without Steve, we have a few companies with the taste for (good) design. Rest of them still consider it to be secondary and settle on either having no visual communication design (bad) or having a bad visual communication design (worse). Thanks to the neuroaesthetically evolved and wise decision makers, more and more companies are shifting from worse/bad design to good design!