Is Your Brand a Noun or a Verb? How to Build a Memorable Brand Experience

The Nike “swoosh.” The golden arches of McDonalds. The spare beauty of the Apple symbol.

They’re all recognizable brands whose logos can stand on their own. But they’re much more than that.

These three brands offer a specific experience that makes a promise.

  • Nike promises health, vitality, speed and an active lifestyle.
  • McDonalds promises quick, consistent food at a reasonable price.
  • Apple promises sleek, user-friendly technology that empowers your life.

Here’s a shot from the entrance to a Nike store.

Nike logo

Read article …Is Your Brand a Noun or a Verb? How to Build a Memorable Brand Experience

Boring is Best: How a Brand Style Guide Builds Your Business

Boring can be a virtue. That is, if you define boring as “consistent, unchanging and dependable.”

When it comes to your visual brand, the more “boring,” the better.

Your prospects and your customers are processing a lot of marketing messages every day. When yours come through looking and sounding consistent, it’s one less thing they have to process.

On the other hand, if they look at your materials and don’t recognize your business, there’s a chance you’ll lose them. They’ll throw out your mailer, surf away from your website, or unsubscribe from your emails.

How a Brand Style Guide Keeps Your Customers Engaged

Make your marketing job easier (and more effective) by building a simple brand style guide for your business.

It can be as simple as making a note of your branding decisions as you make them. Refer back to this master document every time you create a piece of marketing for your business.

Use the fonts, colors and messaging noted in the document consistently over time. Your customers will recognize your business, and will learn to trust your messages.

And your marketing job will be easier, because many of the decisions will already be made!

Do You Have a Brand Style Guide?

How about you — do you use a style guide? If so, where do you keep it? Let me know in the comments.

And if not, will you create one now? I want to hear about it!

The Right Way to Use Images to Market Your Business

Your brain processes images differently than words. And when you use both words and well-chosen images in combination, you activate both parts of your viewer’s brain, which helps them remember your message over time.

But you can’t use just any old image. To use images effectively, first understand the two basic categories of images: literal and conceptual.

In many cases, literal images are perfect, and very appropriate. Literal images depict something as it is, in the best light possible. They work best for:

  • Product catalogs
  • Location shots
  • Headshots

Images that are considered conceptual encourage the viewer to make a connection or fill in the blank between the image and the words you use with it.

See the video for a few examples. This category of images can powerfully cement your message in your viewers’ minds.

How about you?

How do you use images in your marketing? What do you find challenging about it? Let me know in the comments.

You can learn how to create website and social media images with the free resource found in How to Create the Best Web and Social Media Images.

How to Use Visual Hierarchy for Clearer Marketing Materials

Visual hierarchy sounds complicated, but it’s not.

It refers to the idea that information on a page should have a clear sense of order. That order is imposed by you, the person who’s designing the page.

Why Your Reader Needs to See Visual Hierarchy

When your reader first encounters your page of information, their initial impulse is to ask “Where do I start?”

You can make this clear by establishing the most important item on the page through design. It might be an image, a headline or a coupon. Whatever it is, make it larger, bolder and brighter than the rest of the page.

After that, their eyes will move around the page seeking what to look at next. Make it obvious by using the next-most-important image or text a little smaller. It shouldn’t call as much attention to itself as the main text or image.

And finally, most pages have some necessary-but-not-crucial text or images. These may be disclaimers, footer text on a web page, or a map to an event.

These items should be smallest of all. You don’t want them to compete with your main image/text or your secondary image/text.

When your page uses clear visual hierarchy, your information will be absorbed in the order in which you intended, and your reader will find it easy to understand.

Practice Information Discrimination

Get into the habit of stepping back and classifying your information before you start setting it up on your pages. Visual hierarchy may not come naturally at first, but the more you practice it, the easier it will be to use.