One of the most misunderstood parts about branding is the logo. Maybe it’s because we’re around them 24/7, but many people believe their logo is their brand; and any conversation about a “brand” usually drifts toward the colors, fonts and “feel” of a logo.
While the logo is the most remembered tool in your company’s marketing-arsenal (which is a HUGE reason to spend the cash and have a professional design your logo), it has no intrinsic value. By itself, it is just a grouping of letters, symbol or mark. Think of Nike’s logo. Do you even know what a “swoosh” is? The only way a logo can have any real value is when it embodies meaning. The creation of this meaning is the work of branding…which is work that happens long after a graphic designer sends a finished logo file.
Let’s talk about how that meaning gets interjected into a logo.
The best way to think about your logo is a meaning-container. It encapsulates your brand’s unique meaning and communicates it to the market. When meaning is present, people instantaneously attach a set of thoughts and feelings to that logo. It’s from this perspective that those in your market form opinions and beliefs about what that logo means to them.
People don’t care about what you do. They care about how you make them feel.
As people associate feelings with, and attach meaning to, your logo – they are not considering the entirety of your company. They are not thinking about market conditions, supplier relations or the quality of your support staff. Because your customers have limited views, they associate your logo with the experiences they’ve had (or what they heard of others’ experiences) with your company. As a direct result of those encounters, they attach thoughts, perceptions and beliefs directly onto your logo. Simply put, good experiences form good thoughts, perceptions and beliefs, which form positive associations with your logo and company.
As you move forward in your branding journey, please keep this in mind; for your market, your logo is a meaning-container. When that container is unpacked, it’s up to you to determine what feelings and thoughts are discovered. Of course, you can’t control everything. But, you can enhance your brand by improving how the customer experiences your business.
Here are a few questions that will get you started building that meaning into your logo:
1) When the market views your logo, what are your top 5 associations (thoughts/feelings) you want them to have?
2) If you were your own customer, and you just completed a sale/job, what feelings would you have about your company?
3) What are three ways you can make the customer’s experience more meaningful?
By addressing these three questions, you’re on the right road to not only building a meaningful logo but a memorable brand as well.
Do you find yourself catching up on Facebook while watching a movie, losing interest in just a short video, or constantly checking your phone for anything that catches your attention? If any of these examples sound like you, you’re definitely not alone. A study by the National Centre of Biotechnology Information and the U.S. National Library of Medicine found that 79% of respondents used portable devices while also watching TV (known as dual-screening) and 52% check their phone every 30 minutes.
Holding your concentration in the digital world is hard these days. In fact, our attention span only continues to shrink – according to a Microsoft study, the human attention span is deteriorating, saying it has fallen from 12 seconds in 2000 to eight seconds. This is one second less than the believed attention span of a goldfish – yes, a goldfish.
Social media is great for communicating information quickly, however, it continues to rewire our brains to be able to process information quicker. So quick in fact, research is showing that content will get even shorter – known as “micro-content”.
Here are five ways to create micro-content that will capture short attention spans:
1. Get to the Point
Cutting down information to 140 characters or less doesn’t just come in handy on Twitter. Social Media Today published an analysis stating that Facebook posts with 70 or less characters get the most likes and comments; 71 to 140 characters do less well. If you’re looking to encourage retweets on Twitter, perfect your content to around 115 characters.
2. Visual Content
Visual content grabs attention – our brain processes visuals 60,000 times faster than text. Visual content doesn’t have to be just images or video either, they can be anything from infographics, slideshares & more – get creative & mix it up.
Images improve the speed of learning and information retention. Tweets with images are twice as engaging as those without and Facebook posts with photos account for 93% of the most engaging posts on the platform. According to kissmetricks, photos get 53% more likes, 104% more comments and 84% more click-throughs on links than text-based posts. For maximizing your engagement, pair an image or video with a sentence long quip.
The average length watched of a single internet video is 2.7 minutes according to a study by the National Centre of Biotechnology Information and the U.S. National Library of Medicine, so aim to get your information across in the first 8 seconds to grab viewer’s attention.
3. Strategically Write & Publish Content
When crafting your post, use action words. According to buffersocial, tweets that contain more adverbs and verbs have higher click-through rates than noun and adjective heavy tweets. On Facebook ask questions to spark engagement; start with the words “should”, “would” or “which” to gain attention. Post content when your audience is online to get the most exposure – experiment & test what times receive the most responses by posting similar content different hours of the day.
4. Appeal to Your Platform & Audience
Whatever platform you choose to publish micro-content on, customize it in a way to fit with your audience. Get to know each platform’s strengths and weaknesses and determine which one will be best for getting your message across.
5. Using Micro-Content for Your Brand
Micro-content is the hook, line and sinker. Attaching a call to action or providing a link will create a larger connection back to the brand. Think of micro-content as the trailer before the film premiere, enough to catch your attention and gain interest without giving too much away.
If your attention has been held for this long – congratulations, you’ve proven your attention span beats that of a goldfish! Now, it’s your turn to use these five tips and do the same with your audience. Remember, by strategically approaching communication from the perspective of how your audience absorbs information, you will stand a better chance of making a lasting impression. And, knowing how to care for your followers (or goldfish) is essential to keeping the attention & relationship alive.
Kelly Balogh makes up part of the creative team at parari as the Jr. Graphic Designer and social media expert. Kelly has earned her BFA from Virginia Commonwealth University in Painting & Printmaking and applies her vast knowledge in fine arts to her work. Her work has also been featured in multiple galleries across Virginia.