Color Your World: How Color Impacts Your BrandPosted by Carrie Young on June 12, 2013 at 3:21 PM
This winter my 12 year-old conducted a science experiment about how color impacts students' performances on math tests. Her hypothesis was that since eating something minty helps students perform better on tests, it follows that taking a test on mint green paper would have the same effect. It turns out that the color green does not impact math performance, but I thought it was a pretty interesting idea from a seventh grader.
The psychology of color is well-documented, and whether we realize it or not, color impacts our moods - and our brand preferences.
Why Blue is True
Can you name ten companies whose logos are blue? Pretty easy. All the major social media businesses - including Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter - use blue as their primary brand color. Tiffany's iconic robin's egg blue is instantly recognizable, IBM's nickname Big Blue came from its brand color, and Best Buy calls its retail employees "Blue Shirt Nation." A significant number of U.S. corporations choose blue as their main brand color because it's popular, perceived as trustworthy and even patriotic. The downside? It's hard to stand out from the competition when everyone else is blue, too.
Red is for Winners
Speaking of popular and patriotic, red is next in line. The Coca Cola brand - the most recognized brand in the world - is worth $78B according to Interbrand's 2012 Best Global Brands study. Target owns the color red; the bulls-eye logo was the first brand my daughter recognized when she was two - and she's been a loyal Target shopper ever since. Red is also said to stimulate appetites - which may help explain why so many restaurants choose red within their brand color palette: Think McDonald's, Pizza Hut, KFC and Wendy's.
Green with Envy?
"Lively. Radiant. Lush. A color of elegance and beauty that enhances our sense of well being, balance and harmony." Meet Emerald, Pantone's 2013 color of the year. Green has long been associated with nature, tranquility and relaxation. While it's less popular than blue for brand identity design, it can evoke powerful emotional reactions. Just ask any John Deere loyalist or Green Bay Packer fan.
So, when you're evaluating your color options - whether it's your company's brand identity, product packaging or new office space - remember it's not just your personal preference. It's what will stand out from the clutter and resonate with the people important to your success.
Club CC Discusses the Changing Face Of NewsPosted by Dave Heinsch on June 7, 2013 at 8:07 AM
Traditional media challenges and new media opportunities - those were the topics on tap at Padilla's second gathering of the Communications CockTALE Club (Club CC) Wednesday evening. Club CC's guest speaker Rick Kupchella, former KARE-11 anchor and founder of the news-aggregation site BringMeTheNews, retraced his career - from his start as a teenage reporter for a National Public Radio affiliate in Kentucky, to the mid-90s "glory days" at KARE 11, to his current endeavor (where Padilla was an initial investor) to give new media the proper focus.
Kupchella also tackled the free fall of TV advertising revenue (a more than 40-percent drop in the Twin Cities between 1999 and 2009), its impact on news gathering, and how tumbling media business models gave rise to new channels. His assessment? The user experience that most new media delivers today remains polluted with ad content designed to attract clicks. Unfortunately, it includes little (if any) of what advertisers really want - true brand engagement.
His vision? It's a transparent, but much more tightly integrated combination of real news - compiled and delivered by veteran journalists - and sponsored content that drives brand engagement. With about 30 years of journalistic experience under his belt and people like Don Shelby, William Wilcoxen, Art Hughes, Kevyn Burger and Eric Perkins in his camp - not to mention his fair share of Ron Burgandy-esque charm - Kupchella is probably on to something.
"Holy Crap" Moments are Good for BusinessPosted by Kathy Burnham on June 4, 2013 at 1:38 PM
Myth: Every sales person knows all s/he needs to know about their customers.
Truth: Voice-of-customer insights uncover information that forces companies to rethink approaches to marketing and sales.
Reality: When companies can show research results that point to disparities between how customers make purchase decisions and how marketing and sales think customers make purchase decisions, "holy crap" moments can lead to new strategies ...and grow revenue.
This is exactly what happened when one of our clients - a global leader in its category - surveyed customers, prospects and sales people about the who, how and when of purchase decisions for services. It's not all-too-surprising that when product-only suppliers evolve their businesses to offer after-sale services, they realize that selling "people" is a whole lot different than selling "stuff." WAY different. And even more different when selling to cultures outside of the U.S.
What customers and prospects told us about how and when they make decisions about services (like training and support contracts) is quite different from what sales people believe. For one thing, the time to sell services really isn't at the time of a product purchase -- even if we marketers previously advised sales people that it was.
Another "ah-ha" moment: The customer's budget for paying for services isn't necessarily the same as the budget used to purchase said products in the first place. Which also means that the decision-maker is most likely a different person...in a different department. It further means the sales staff needs to start playing golf with a different foursome made up of people they probably don't know well...yet.
And what does all of this mean for our client? It's time to tweak the pitch for sales people and guide them to a new customer contact a bit further down the product's lifecycle.
The moral of this story: As much as we hate to admit it, "holy crap" moments really are good for business. In fact, we'd go so far as to believe they're essential to business.
Content's role in successful online media relationsPosted by Matt Kucharski on May 28, 2013 at 4:30 PM
Our friends at iAcquire approached me and several industry colleagues for our take on traditional versus social media relations and how to be successful. The collection of opinions in this post is a worthwhile read no matter what level you are in your career.
How does online media relations differ from traditional media outreach, and what's a surefire way to be successful in online media relations outreach?
The rapid rise of social media in all of its forms combined with easier-to-produce digital content have been huge for public relations professionals - especially those who always knew that public relations was more than "getting ink." Regardless of whether your public relations resources are in-house or at an agency, it's time to rely on them for what they really do - build and protect brands and reputations using all of the available tools - paid, earned, owned and shared.
Does that mean media relations has gone away? Absolutely not. Human beings - especially those making big decisions and forming critical opinions - will always seek out trusted third parties for advice and validation and, as such, media relations needs to be part of any content marketing strategy. But the media is redefining itself, and that means we need to redefine our perceptions of who the media are. Those trusted third parties might be traditional media outlets, but they also might be influential bloggers or even socially connected early adopters. Our job is to find them and give them content that they will find useful enough to share with their readers and viewers. That's critical, because most media outlets - whether formal or informal - don't have the same resources to develop as much original content as they had in the past, so we need to be even more diligent about creating content that's useful and not just promotional garbage.
The psychology of referrals: 3 reasons people advocate for brandsPosted by Matt Kucharski on May 8, 2013 at 9:56 AM
If you've seen a recent photo of me, you know that I go through a lot of razor blades - not just for my chin but for my head. So when I read an article about Dollar Shave Club, an e-commerce business that sends a month's worth of really good shaving cartridges for a fraction of the price of what you'd pay at the store, I was all-in. Anyone who shaves every day knows that $7/month for four high-quality cartridges is an incredible deal -so incredible that I was motivated to tell my Facebook friends all about it.
Which is SO not me...
It didn't hurt that the cool people at DSC (that's what I call them now that I'm in "the club") made it really easy for me post with a simple click-and-send, but I'm really not the kind of guy to advocate for brands on social media.
It just so happens that soon after my smoother-than-LeBron-in-the-paint shaving AND buying experience, we had a SMERF team meeting here at Padilla. That's our Social Media Elite Response Force for those of you uninitiated. We got into a great discussion about why people choose to advocate for brands, and the smart folks on the team were able to boil it down to three motivators:
- Helping Others: There may not be an "i" in team, but there's a "self" in selflessness. In other words, helping someone out also makes the helper feel good. While the DSC folks said they'd reward me with points for referrals, it's not really motivating me. As a relatively recent head shaver (don't judge me), I was really and truly annoyed at the prospect of paying $3 for a handle and $20 for a pack of 3 friggin' cartridges. Self actualization was achieved when several of my felly baldy social media friends acknowledged my post with their Likes and comments.
- Validation: Some people do it simply because they want everyone to know that they did it. It could be because they need validation after making a high-involvement purchase (like the more than 400,000 people who Like and post on the Toyota Prius Facebook page) or it could be simply because they want people to know what they're doing online - like the people who let friends know that they took the Grey Poupon Society of Good Taste test and passed.
- Perks: Some people just want the free shit (hope Lynn isn't reading this!) There's nothing wrong with that, and I'd argue it's the most straightforward reward that brands can offer. My colleague and social media role model Michelle Wright is a daily deals site addict who is more than happy to tell her closest social acquaintances about her latest Groupon score if it means getting a kick-back on her next purchase with the site (so long as it's something she thinks her friends would Like).
And then there are some that use more than one motivator. The marketers for the Broadway musical Book of Mormon are using Big Door to create a program where you earn rewards for sharing information (the free shit component), and the "street team" members also are the first to receive news about this very popular, hard-to-get-into show and can share it with friends (part validation, part helping others). Our digital creative director Bob Brin calls it "gamification." I call it "too much time on your hands."
So what's this all mean? If one of the goals for your campaign is to drive referrals, you need to understand which of these three motivators comes into play, and develop your content marketing strategy accordingly.
Oh, one last thing. Sharing this post via Twitter, LinkedIn or Facebook page will not only help me out, it'll also make you feel really, really good. Sorry, no free shit, though.