One Look is Worth a Thousand Words

Mark Frasco - President

June 2014 – This article was originally to be titled “A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words,” but after some investigation, the version used in the title was one of the earliest uses of the concept. The ad says, one look at their tires is worth more than “a hundred advertisements.”

Years ago, today’s proliferation of visual elements in business-to-business promotion could not have been imagined. Artist’s renderings and professional photography were too lengthy a process and too costly for regular change. Once the imagery was determined, it was impractical not to maximize its use. Because visual elements were so difficult to produce, the issue of relevance was largely a matter of time and money.

Today, technology has significantly reduced the obstacles of time and money. Changing visual elements in electronic media can be almost instantaneous, and in print, not difficult. With acopy and paste here, a few buttons pushed there, you can almost instantaneously have a new look and message.

But this brings up another challenge – has change become so easy that we’ve lost control of our brand, our message to the market? When someone doesn’t care for a certain image, or tagline, or even logo – change it. Now, one of the larger challenges for the business owner is to be sure that the look and message of the organization is consistent, across all the various uses – website, business cards, promotional materials, etc.

Why is this important? One study I looked at reported that each of us is pursued, and therefore we see, approximately 250 advertising images per day. If you’re tuned-in 16 hours per day, that is nearly 16 impressions per hour, trying to get your attention. Most are not memorable, but some maintain your interest.

How do you gain recognition and maintain interest? It is important to develop and maintain a brand standard, showing examples of the various uses of images and messages that you send to the market. With the limited resources that many of us have, it is vital to gain attention with what you are able to push into the market. One key component of being memorable is consistency of look, style and content. Whether it’s the Coca Cola or IBM logo, or the NBC chimes, or Kellogg’s Tony the Tiger saying “They’re great!” we have much to learn from these consumer brands. Over time, time after time, these images and messages become ingrained in our thoughts. Consistency, predictability and frequency of message, over time become memorable.

At COACT, we have a brand standard that shows how to use our logo on a dark and light background. We have logo sizing standards. Our color palette is black, white, and silver – when we want your attention, a bit of green. Our use of photos is black and white. When we develop content we are strict about our message, which if you haven’t noticed, is a bit edgy, some would hopefully think, playful, but intended to be professionally provocative.

So here goes nothing, if running your business gets in the way of growing your business, contact us today. Another you might like better, call us today to learn how we will positively disrupt your mindset about business growth possibilities.

Questions or comments? Please contact Mark Frasco at