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Monday, May 19, 2008

Because you can...

... doesn't always mean that you should !...
by David Bookout

Humans seem to naturally want to put their "fingerprints" on things, personalize them, let others know that they have made a "difference".

From a brand perspective, this is exactly what you DO NOT want to do. Brands are built on boring consistency, a promise fulfilled over, and over, and over again.

From this perspective, desktop publishing and now the internet are providing an incredible opportunity for companies of all sizes to stand out amongst the crowd, effectively "branding" themselves with a; clear, concise, compelling and memorable identity, message and positioning.

But are these incredible opportunities being taken advantage of?

No.
In our assessment, not only is the advantage NOT being capitalized on, but companies are often doing damage to their “identity”, as well as considerably lengthening and even short circuiting their sales process.

We frequently see three big mistakes: First, is the use of a myriad of; font styles, colors and formatting options along with every conceivable feature / benefit jammed into a single message platform. People seem to do this because they can. The computer and internet tools, now available on a mass scale, have reduced one barrier while at the same time created a much bigger communication obstacle by adding a significant amount of "noise" and "clutter". Second, is the absence of "customer". People seem to design, both graphically and linguistically for themselves, which isn't a bad thing, but how many companies could survive by simply buying their own products and services in a net zero gain? Third, are critical assessments relative to creative design fulfillment that are often dis-connected, or mis-connected from the essential strategic narratives that a company needs to successfully “communicate” and “connect” with the desired audience. For example, is a beautiful image of desert pyramids consistent with eye care and eye comfort?

To correct this, here are four essential guides:

1) Design Matters - this has been proven for over 1,000,000 years. Humans are biologically "wired" to respond to beauty. We are also wired to repel from things that are not so beautiful. The busier we get, the faster we choose what we resonate with.

2) Customer Perception Matters - this seems simple. But, you would be surprised by how many client conversations miss this key point. If your not rigorously asking; "what" would the customer think "really", and "why" does this product / service offer matter "really", your not focused here.

3) Less Is More - again, this seems simple. But, again, you would be surprised. Effective narratives are NOT delivered via "shotgun". Instead, they are delivered via a sharpshooter's rifle, with the choice for each shot being specifically designed and implemented.

4) Strategy Matters - we all have assessments about things and our assessments are all valid. However, our assessments may, or may NOT be powerful relative to a specific "strategy", narrative, or sequence of events we might choose to have un-fold in the future.

These guides, when used rigorously in the design and implementation of a company’s strategy. Particularly; Marketing, Brand and Communication strategies can go along way in helping a company instill it’s core promise in the heart(s) and mind(s) of customers.

© Copyright 2008 - Effetti, Inc. All rights reserved worldwide.

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The article "Because you can !...", the subtitle "... doesn't always mean that you should !..." and contents herein, unless otherwise specified in writing - by Effetti, Inc. are ALSO licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available by contacting the author through Effetti, Inc. http://www.effettigrowth.com/about-contact.php.

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