Do You Have BLUE in your logo? Let’s Explore The Color of Trust!

Maybe this is why our corporate leaders wears so much blue?

What color is the logo of the organization you represent?  Do you share qualities with other brands of the same color?

According to Fast Company. “The implications of color’s effect on people’s emotions are far reaching, and understanding your customers’ connections to certain colors could increase the effectiveness of your company’s branding methods.”

Blue is often thought of as a male color, and since my father’s eyes were the most beautiful blue and this is his favorite month – Blue is this month’s color!

Note:  Over the decades I have worked on logo design, 99% of my male clients choose blue as their logo color of choice! Women tend to choose from all over the color chart.

 

logo color 2015 BLUE

Research complied by web design and marketing company WebPageFX, people make a subconscious judgment about a product in less than 90 seconds of viewing, and a majority of these people base that assessment on color alone. In fact, almost 85% of consumers cite color as the primary reason they buy a particular product, and 80% of people believe color increases brand recognition.”

What can be learned here?  I’d love to hear what you think!

With thanks to Fast Company for this great article –infographic from WebPageFX, written by Rachel Gillett.

What Does Your Logo Color Say To Your Customer? Let’s Explore…YELLOW!

What color is the logo of the organization you represent?  Do you share qualities with other brands of the same color?

logo color 2015 YELLOW

Take a look at the companies that utilize yellow in their logo … this is the least readable color (unless against a black or very dark background) and must be used smartly.

McDonald’s has long known that red and yellow are colors that stimulate hunger, note how many others use yellow in their restaurant logo — Denny’s, Sonic, Subway among others.

According to Fast Company. “The implications of color’s effect on people’s emotions are far reaching, and understanding your customers’ connections to certain colors could increase the effectiveness of your company’s branding methods.

Research complied by web design and marketing company WebPageFX, people make a subconscious judgment about a product in less than 90 seconds of viewing, and a majority of these people base that assessment on color alone. In fact, almost 85% of consumers cite color as the primary reason they buy a particular product, and 80% of people believe color increases brand recognition.”

What can be learned here?  I’d love to hear what you think!

With thanks to Fast Company for this great article –infographic from WebPageFX, written by Rachel Gillett.

Naming Your Business – Not as easy as you might think

Thinking of starting a new business venture – either full time or part-time? Start with the fun part, the name … but do so with caution, read on.

Let’s start with the thing to consider first – can you get a website address for the name or names you are considering? Only search for .com as it will cause you headaches if you go for the others like .co or .net. Hyphens, funny spellings, made up words all mean you’ll need to explain and hopefully business will be so good you won’t have time!

That certainly narrowed the field didn’t it?

Naming a product or company really is a big deal, not unlike naming a child. It matters and it will be with you for a long time.

Here is a quick checklist of what to consider:

 Is it legal? Do a name search – you don’t want to have to change later

 Say it out loud, like you might be answering a phone – how does that feel?

 Try out the new name on at least 10 diverse strangers, not friends who have been through this with you … then ask if they can guess what the product or company is?

 If someone heard this name on the radio would it need to be spelled? Go for simple

 Would your grandmother approve? Your audience is from all walks of life

 Look it up in the Yellow Pages – amazing how many times this has avoided future problems

 Try to think down the road and be sure this name won’t hold you back from growth

 Put it in Google and see what comes up – it might mean something in another language

 Try out the name in a logo design – some words just don’t look right on paper or a website

 Sleep on it for a couple of nights – what seems perfect on Friday might not on Tuesday

I know executives who have purchased their own name so others can’t and organizations who bought up any version of their name that could be used in pornography with xxx. While you are in this name mode, very possibly we should start purchasing URL’s for our own names and for our children. After all a name is forever.

As one client said “What’s in a name? Everything.”

HAIKU TO YOU – NEWS RELEASES TAKE NEW FORM

When Google acquired Zagat the PR team released the news via a rhyming haiku on Twitter as well as what some called a “clever” news release through traditional wire services.

Finally!

I have long had a sign in my office that says “Media are people too” (a gift from my staff who was ribbing me for how often I repeated that phrase) and it is high time that PR communicators and marketers present exciting news in an exciting way.

There are still many, many news releases going out that are small type, no visuals with predictable and boring content. If you were a journalist which would catch your eye?

For 25 years my agency has conducted a survey of journalists asking “what gets your attention?”. From fun inserts (the response to these was 60/40 in favor) to photography with just a descriptive cut line (even before the days of YouTube) it was obvious that to gain news coverage you had to first gain the attention of the journalist. Sometimes fun was just the right packaging and sometimes a picture spoke a thousand words.

Years ago my agency distributed bright orange plastic carrots that had been covered in silver glitter for a soiree in Miami hosted by our client DeBeers diamonds – the “karats” were meant to demonstrate that this event was going to be worth attending and the RSVP’s were off the charts. Another time we delivered live goldfish for a major seafood restaurant client, in an elegant etched fishbowl, complete with custom died gravel and fish food to assure they were well cared for.

Always the new release is emblematic of the news, we follow the AP style and put the news first, even if it is less than favorable and not buried in the hopes it won’t be uncovered. In our media surveys this was a pet peeve “tell us your news, honestly and upfront” – an oft repeated comment in the two decades we have conducted the survey. Little has changed – whether Twitter, Facebook or traditional sources are the recipients it needs to be clear, quick and newsworthy.

The haiku the Google team wrote when they acquired Zagat, the restaurant ratings guide company, went like this:

“Delightful deal done; Zagat and Google now one; foodies have more fun!”

Even the news release got in the news – that is outstanding public relations and effective communicating. Now I’m off to ‘Google’ a good restaurant for dinner tonight….

THERE IS NOTHING AUTOMATIC ABOUT CUSTOMER SERVICE

THERE IS NOTHING AUTOMATIC ABOUT CUSTOMER SERVICE

A prediction: Brand satisfaction in the not too distant future will be measured by how returns, cancellations and customer service issues are handled. Actually I am not going to spend money on any brand, in any store that doesn’t have a clearly displayed and fair return or cancellation policy, starting now! And if I am treated badly while requesting a refund or exchange I will share that experience with all of you!

As a consumer nation we spend far too much of our disposable income on brands that frankly are taking us for granted, and have been for far too long. To paraphrase that great quote from the 1976 film Network – we’re mad and we’re not going to take it anymore!

In just the past month three major corporations owed me refunds that had not shown up on my credit cards statement when promised. So I carved out time to call each one and ironically the “customer service” representatives all said the same thing: “Ah yes Ms. Bennett, we see you are owed a refund, and I see it is being processed now.” Funny thing in all 3 cases the refunds were deposited the next day to my credit card account. Hmmm maybe they were just waiting for my call? What if I had not called?

Most of us do not have the time, temperament or desire to stay on top of purchases, returns, credits or the lack of!

And what is this fabulous new service “automatic renewal”? Far too many of the annual subscriptions I agreed to last year are now letting me know how wonderful it is that they are automatically renewing AND automatically billing my credit card. And, I in turn am now turning off this spigot of fees and have even cancelled my magazine subscriptions and several annual memberships.

These are the same services, websites and magazine subscriptions that are showing up on Spokeo and tell too much of my story to anyone who cares to go to this site where all my online information is gathered in one place! No thank you Facebook and the other sites that have hidden “opt out” locations. So in other words you will tell all my personal information unless I ask you not to? Who told you it was OK in the first place?

I live a great life, but have no desire for anyone/everyone on the planet to know where I live, how I live and to feel free to just charge me for another year of their services!

Brands need to pay attention, because many of us truly are going elsewhere.

If you know of a brand that understands customer service and has a clear return or cancellation policy let me know! I’ve started a list of the good and bad brands and am happy to share in a future column.

Smiley Faces – an icon for our times

We’re all feeling the gloom, some personally through home or job loss, most of us are feeling it in hundreds of little ways from increased concerns about the potential loss of our own homes or jobs; to the daily drive by empty store fronts and concerns about those who lost their livelihood when these stores closed.

Yet there really is hope in this “Great Recession” – I’m seeing a shout out for the good stuff – are you? Recent talk at our office was about last week’s reality show winners and how they exemplified “people next door” and how we are seeing more balance in the news and the Internet between good news and bad.

Our clients too have moved beyond the “what we don’t want to say” messaging to the “let’s focus on this good thing” mentality; and it’s working well with sales inching up every week.

I have a prediction – this summer of 2009 will be a quiet period of regrouping, stablizing and mapping out what’s next. This September will be a dynamic time with new ideas, innovation and creativity making the headlines.

In May car dealers are closing, by September there will be a new model of dealer coming out alongside the 2010 model cars … In May we are seeing a prediction of less far away summer vacations, by September we will hear talk of how families spent meaningful time together in June, July and August near home, but are planning trips to fun new destinations for the holidays or 2010. … In May we are still holding our breath with worry of what might be coming next, in September the exhale will begin.

Today’s New York Times (yes I am a big fan) has a large graphic of a yellow smiley face with the headline: Back by Popular Demand.

Accountability – thank goodness it’s back

Good Morning from Miami – I’ve had 6 meetings in 3 days coupled with hours in my car with time to think and begin this day knowing one thing for sure – even a financial mess like we are in now brings good things.

Marketing is about communicating and compelling – only by knowing the current climate of the consumer, specifically your target audience, can you be successful. Sometimes it’s also about our own actions.

It’s really about accountability isn’t it? Whether it’s the people who are receiving AIG bonuses or those giving it to them – we all want to know “who” and “why” this happened. When marketing a product or service, it’s not going to be an option going forward; we must present honesty and transparency.

It’s been too long since we the people have demanded information – we want to know who is doing what, why and what happens next.

Surely we should have been asking these questions all along, but that would have meant we would own a bit of the responsibility too. Possibly we were all having too good a time to pay attention.

On the other side is our own personal accountability. Most of us are questioning our own actions. Did we really need to have that designer shirt? Eat out so often or drive such a large vehicle?

I have friends who are saying this new economy gives them an excuse to say no, clients who are taking creative new looks at marketing and seeing businesses putting an emphasis on customer service. Doesn’t this mean our world is getting back to basics – you know, being good to one another, saying thank you and being accountable?

Every change brings opportunity. And though there are so many who are in dire straits, we should all do something for those less lucky than we are and be accountable for our neighbors.

I’ve heard several say it feels like they just got off a gerbil wheel and they are relieved. Let’s take this opportunity to be accountable for our world – do something significantly positive today, for someone else.