My favorite part of working on a full site design is when I'm able to get in the flow. Everything comes together almost effortlessly, the site is looking beautiful. In the end I often feel it's some of my best work to date (which is good, because I know I'm improving).
Then it's time to show the client...and that's where I think things go downhill. (This definitely isn't always the case, most clients like the design and don't often want too many changes, or they have a good eye for design themselves and know when things look good).
"We love what you've done, but we don't want it to look so good."
Those definitely aren't their own words, but that's what it sounds like to me. Dumb it down a bit, it looks too good for our target audience, they are used to seeing websites from the 90's. They won't be used to something this nice. (I know this is quite the exaggeration, but you get the point).
The thing about the 90's is that they started over 25 years ago. It's time to move your industry forward, innovate, stand out from the crowd. In the book, Design Currency, they share some details about the benefits of design in business:
"...companies which strategically used design were approximately 2.5 times more likely to experience market growth and increased demand for products and services, whereas companies that were not using design were 4 times more likely to experience no growth at all."
If you're not using design in your business, you are 4 times more likely to experience no growth at all. Consider that when you are thinking about launching a new product or service.