Last month we looked at WORD MAPPING and how it is an effective way to plan out your branding and design strategy. We talked about writing out words that had associations to each other and used ovals (or whatever shape) and lines to connect them. So let’s talk about those lines – those connections.
To connect is to join, link unite, bind, establish a communication or cause to be associated with something or someone else. There are many ways to do this, of course, but we’ll look at just the ways that pertain to branding. Our brains are wired to make connections; it’s how we understand new ideas, remember old ones and decide what information is worth paying attention to. In graphic design we use many tools to help make the connections between the message and the market, and the ones that are most important to you as a business owner or manager are the ones that connect the heart of your brand to the heart of your market. Some of the most widely used tools are:
I am fascinated with the music used in marketing – it’s honestly the first thing I notice now. Have you noticed the growing number of video ads that don’t even use a voice-over anymore? Advertisers are using music to connect. For example, when a company uses a song from the 80’s or earlier, I know they are trying to reach baby boomers. Sometimes the lyrics can be tied (connected) to the product or the storyline in the ad, but sometimes it has nothing to do with it. The advertiser is relying on the connection that already exists between its target audience and the music.
Notice all the sponsored videos that play in your social media that convey a message whether you have the volume turned up or not? We know that video is highly effective at making emotional connections with an audience. A great number of video marketing today relies on tapping into their targets through a very specific and direct emotional trigger that would be much less effective if presented in a different way.
When video is not available, or the advertising is in printed media, then photos are the vehicle most often used for making a connection to the market. The number of royalty-free photo deposits continues to grow, and there are tens of millions of photos to choose from. The key to using photos is to make sure they either illustrate the message, communicate the tone of your message and/or bring your brand closer to the hearts of your target market.
With the development of online marketing, including search engines and social media, there has never been more value in well chosen words. Back in the day a good headline, some descriptive body copy and a definite call to action were the recipe for effective advertising. Now those words are chosen for their ability to match an online search. Content is still king as far as importance in brand building, but an accurate keywords is the bridge into the kingdom.
So how do you connect with your market? What vehicles do you use to carry your message? Do they match the message tone? Do they illustrate your message? Does your marketing build a stronger connection to the hearts of your target market? If you are not 100% sure, read this short article on getting to know your target market. If you would like a professional assessment of your current connections, let’s set up a meeting. There’s no charge, we’ll just look at what you’re doing now and I’ll give you an honest evaluation based on my 30 years experience.