The single question that can ensure marketing success

17 Jul
You've just said it all...

You’ve just said it all…

Part 1 of 2 part blog post

I’m not a big fan of trade magazines. I force myself to peruse one or two a week because I don’t want to miss the holy grail of marketing knowledge. So far, no grail. However, in the summer issue of Marketing Management, the magazine published by the American Marketing Association, I found a gem.

In the article “Why do you have 2 brains?” by Laura Ries, president of Ries & Ries, I realized something that subconsciously my brain knew since birth: Visuals dominate words.

A strong visual is effortless to digest mentally. In an ad, it will connect with the more powerful right side of the brain which is ruled by emotions. However, if the visual does not convey meaning or is not linked with a verbal concept it will fall flat.

Ries uses the analogy of the hammer and nail, I prefer the bat and the ball. The bat is the visual, the ball is the verbal. To hit a home run, both must work in tandem.

So here’s the big question that Ries poses that can ensure marketing success: “What single, memorable visual defines the essential nature of (your) brand?”

For Tropicana, the image of the straw stuck in an orange conveys fresh squeezed without saying a word. For Budweiser, it’s the Clydesdales. For Coors Light, it’s the silver train.

Because of the reliance on verbal rather than visual, Ries states that social media causes branding problems, rather than solves them.

Follow me on Twitter @KDOReilly or check back in a few days to find out why.

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