Archive | May 2013

What does your brand color say about you?

1421245_colors_1Have you ever asked why Facebook is blue? or State Farm is red?

In creating your brand identity – most often recognized by your logo – color may make the difference in how your customers perceive your brand.

Since sight in the strongest developed sense in most human beings, it’s only natural that 90% of an assessment for trying out a  product is made by color alone, according to a recent article by Fast Company.

For instance, color often influences the way we think. Here are a few examples provided by the Logo Company:

Qualities – definite, credible, strength, powerful, precise, professional, direct, accuracy
Best for – construction, corporate, oil, finance, fashion, manufacturing, cosmetics, mining, marketing, tradesmen.

Qualities – natural, organic, youth, nurturing, instructional, education, adventurous, ecological, calming, nature
Best for – medicine, science, government, recruitment, ecological-business, tourism, human resource

Qualities – credibility, calming, clean, focused, medical, professional, judicial, power
Best for – medical, scientific, utilities, government, health care, high-tech, recruitment, tradesmen, legal, information technology, dental, corporate

The article also has a super fun emotional color chart.


But what does this really mean for your brand or marketing?
Well, your brand or print ad/digital ad/direct mail headline color will help you target men (blue, green, black) or women (blue, purple, green).

RED conveys passion, excitement and warning… its also proved to outperform Green by 21% in a random test to click on a “Get Started Now” web button when nothing else was changed at all except the color.

Most often though, logo color is chosen because it fit with the individuals perception of their business. While not backed by science, we cannot deny color has some influence on getting our attention.

What influence do you think color really has on marketing?


Tips to better communicate your brand story

As marketer’s we all know the importance of telling your brand’s story effectively  through powerful words and images that capture your brand message and engage your customers.

But when you consider the top consumer brands – Apple, McDonalds, Progressive – they consistently connect with customers and engage them to take action. So, how can you communicate your brand story more effectively like these big brands? Here are a few ways from PRNews to get you started…

1. Understand what makes messages effective.
Focus on keeping your message easy to read, memorable and persuasive.  If you use this strategy and focus on one key benefit, your message will resonate with customers.

2. Understand what makes messengers effective.
The purpose of a messenger is to communicate key organizational messages in such a way that listeners will hear them, understand them and repeat them. To be effective, focus on messages that drive action.

3. Practice and repeat.
Keeping your messages fresh and top of mind is important to ensuring that those messages become used organization-wide and not just by key spokespersons.

4. Focus on your benefits, not your feature.
Lead with benefits rather than with the feature… customers what to know WHY your product/service matters to them. Getting to the true benefits of your organization can be challenging.  To find your benefit, ask: What critical service/need do I fulfill? Why do you do what you do? But why? But why? etc… each time you answer you move closer to the heart of your brand message.

5. Stick to the foundation you built.
Once you establish the vital aspects of why you do what you do – and you’ve found a way to deliver them effectively and with resonance – then stick to it.

6. Nail the takeoff and the landing.
Engaging your audience early on is critical… that’s the takeoff. The landing is about re-engaging them. Be able to recognize when it’s time to wrap things up. Close with remarks that are tightly worded and memorable.

7. Being on message doesn’t mean being robotic.
While its important to communicate your key brand messages, this doesn’t mean you can’t be creative. Use staff meetings, public appearances, interviews and presentations as opportunities to share your message consistently, knowing the more you repeat your key messages, the more your audience will remember them.



Press Release Headlines that Make News

106233_interviewWriting the perfect headline for a press release is one of the hardest parts of making your news worthy to stop the editor and make him/her think… hey, I want to know more about that and so do my readers.

PRNews, one of my favorite sources of late, shared several tips for creating that perfect headline. Here they are…

1. Make it Punchy. A strong, concise headline attracts readers and encourages sharing on social media.

2. Avoid Spammy Keywords. As we all know certain words trigger alerts for spam filters including free, you, mortgage, order now, etc. Excessive punctuation also triggers spam filters.

3. Don’t link… at least in the headline. Putting a link in the headline basically encourages readers to go elsewhere without reading your actual news. Search engines are also suspicious of copy with too many links and may even write your release off as Web spam.

4. Use natural language. Avoid industry jargon and make sure to use the words and phrases your audience actually uses when talking about your subject.

5. Keep it tight. Tell one story in the headline, don’t clutter it up with a bunch of different themes.

6. Use your heads… as in subheads. Recommended no more than 200 characters in the summary or subhead if you feel the need for more information.


Trends in PR Measurement

PR News writer Bill Miltenber spoke with key CEO executives about their online PR strategies  prior to the annual PR News PR Measurement Conference coming up on May 15th.

Here are what some top executives had to say…

Mark Weiner, CEO PRIME Research
The biggest trend is what I call ‘the second wave’ of social media listening, engagement and analytics…. The second wave marries the speed and consistency of automation with the understanding and insights only humans provide. The challenge of the second wave is exacerbated by the need for ‘small data’ to drive ‘big data’ (itself a major trend in business generally).

David Michaelson, Managing Director, Teneo Strategy
The primary trend in measurement today is the movement to create standard measures for public relations activities. This is a critical effort that will hopefully result in the ability to create comparative measures for all stages of the public relations process…

Donald K. Wright, Harold Burson Professor and Chair in Public Relations, Boston University’s College of Communications
Probably the biggest trend is the movement to convince PR practitioners to measure. Research I’ve conducted each year since 2005 clearly shows there is not nearly enough measurement taking place in our field and, unfortunately, when practitioners do measure it often involves use of AVEs and/or mainly measures of communications outputs (instead of outcomes).


What do you feel are growing trends in PR measurement and management?

Does Your Grandma Text?

So I came across this interesting article about “Texting with Grandma” on Chief Marketer and I had to share it.

Many of us don’t associate seniors (those wise adults 55 and older) as technically adapt or consider them sending Tweets, Facebooking or let alone texting their friends, but results from a recent study on eMarketer were very insightful to just how savvy the golden generation really is.

  • A majority of Americans 65+ are now on the Internet or email. Of those on the Internet, 85% have mobile phones compared to 95% of Millennials who have mobile phones.
  • Only about 28% of adults 57-67- year olds actually own a smartphone.
  • While teens fill their time with entertainment, seniors are still more likely to watch TV. Some 63% of those 55+ identify television as their entertainment while mobile phones only gather about 2%.
  • A recent ePrize study revealed that most SMS sweepstakes and instant-win promotions were played by those under 45 years old.
  • Seniors are interested in using their mobile devices for practical information such as prescription alerts, severe weather alerts or appointment reminders.

In general, mobile can be a powerful resource when engaging Baby Boomers. Seniors aren’t concerned about adopting the latest tech craze just to be hip; what’s more important to them is using the technology they’ve already adopted to make their lives easier and stay connected to the people and brands they care about most.