Creative Advertising Examples With Awesome Typography

Creative typography forms an integral part of any design, be it print or digital. And when it comes to creative advertising, proper use of typography can go a long way in conveying the ad’s message to the masses. After all, the goal of an advertisement is to convey a particular statement to the people, and there can be no better way to get your point across than by employing awesome typography in the advertisements’ design.

Typography can do everything from adding meaning to drawing attention, and using it right can mean the difference between mediocrity and stardom in the world of advertising. In this post, we take a look at some of the most striking examples of typography in ads from around the world.

WMF Knives: Apple

Flashy special effects are great attention grabbers. We can say this creatively designed print ad makes great use of that fact. The use of typography is truly innovative.

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Nike Italy

Creative and unique implementation of different font styles and color combinations make this ad extremely exciting and memorable.
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GreenMovie Sound Dept.: Watch the sound, 2

Here, you notice loads of typography used for emphasis. Demonstrating that no matter what type of print ad you need to create, you should consider typography an indispensable element of the ad rather than merely text.

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McDonald’s McFlurry: Mona

Mix your own McFlurry – Choose between Cornetto, Daim, Kit Kat, Smarties, Caramel, Strawberry and Chocolate Sauce. McDonald’s – I’m lovin’ it.
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Chevrolet Summer

Simple and intuitive use of the print ad medium where you can see different color contrast that does a good job of grabbing attention and making this ad stick out.

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Chupa Chups: Lollypops, 3

This creative ad asserts that it’s impossible to get it out of your mouth. This is a cool idea with a beautiful execution!

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MTV: Happy End

In print ads, a striking image is great at catching viewers’ eyes. However, since it’s an ad it demands that all compulsory text be crammed into the composition, as well.

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Volkswagen Polo: Percent

Here, we see how text elements can be creatively placed to convey a totally different message. Quite impressive and visually alluring.

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Mountain Dew

Typography plays a big role in this concept. It really grabs the attention and makes people want to read.

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Dockers

Sober typography and fonts for conveying a serious message along with humorous fonts for something more amusing. Combining the right typography with nice elements, colors and shapes will get you some great results.

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V&A by Pentagram (Alan Fletcher)

Probably the mark that Pentagram is most renowned for, the late Alan Fletcher’s identity for the V&A Museum, designed in 1988 is breathtakingly simple and brilliant. The V and A mirror each other in form and the ampersand simply creates the crossbar of the A, ridding the need for any further detail on it. Brilliant.

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CityHint by Deividas Bielskis aka Contrast8

This custom liquid-like identity for CityHint, an easy way to find and book spa and salon appointments, has a beautiful sense of flow and is a great example of letters working interlinking together effectively. In both cases the letter ‘t’ adds detail to other letters in the logotype.

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MailChimp

The handwritten logo for popular email newsletter platform MailChimp reflects its informal and friendly nature, and along with its simian monkey mascot, forms a central part of the brand’s appeal. Typography guru Jessica Hische was recently asked to tackle a logo redesign; she lightened the weight of the logo overall and improved the vector drawing, with the letterforms revised for legibility, especially at small sizes. The end result, as shown above, is a more refined, refreshed look whilst still portraying MailChimp’s playful ethos.

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Cadbury’s

We couldn’t complete this list without including the big daddy of typographic logos. Minor tweaks have been made to this logo, based on the signature of William Cadbury, since it first appeared on transport livery in 1921. But it’s remained essentially the same almost a century later – a true case of ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’.

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FedEx by Lando

Designed in 1994 by Lindon Leader, the then-senior design director at Landor, the FedEx logo is proof that simple, clever type-based logos can still look as fresh and smart 20 years down the line.

Impossible to ignore once you’ve spotted it, the FedEx logo contains a very appropriate directional arrow, indicating FedEx’s commitment to speedily delivering parcels on time. Cleverly, the FedEx logo also changes in colour to indicate different sectors of the company one is dealing with.

With many branches dotted worldwide, Landor offers an in-depth, branding service, specializing in strategy, brand naming and innovation and boasts a portfolio of many enduring identity designs such as FedEx, BP and Levi’s.

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Visa

The Visa logo has gone through a few redesigns over the years, and here’s the latest look for the global credit card company, launched this January. The new look tweaks the classic design, removing all traces of yellow. But few will blink an eye: the iconic typography is so firmly embedded in the public conciousness that it’s still instantly recognisable without it.

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The Future of Video Will Not Be Televised, It Will Be Personalized

Last year, the luxury automaker Lexus launched a single ad campaign that involved more than one thousand individual videos. Using Facebook’s audience segmentation technology, the campaign reached millions of hyper-targeted customers with unprecedented precision: A design-minded female executive living in San Francisco, for instance, would see a different video than a design-minded, vinyl-loving male exec in Los Angeles. The award-winning campaign vastly surpassed its goals, reaching 11.2 million Facebook users with a video view rate 315 percent higher than expected and a 1,673 percent higher engagement rate. Behold the power of personalized video advertising.

Digital display advertising is more popular than ever. In January, eMarketer projected that 2016 will mark the first time display spending exceeds search ad spending in the United States, with $9.59 billion devoted to video—up from $7.46 billion in 2015. That rapid growth in video consumption, expected to reach nearly $15 billion by 2019, is no doubt thanks to the recent premium on mobile experience. Mobile video ad spending climbed 80.6 percent last year, per eMarketer, beating out desktop for the first time. And yet despite video’s primacy, personalized video is still fertile, untested ground—the Lexus “1000:1” campaign, already a year old, remains a gold standard. As marketers may soon discover, however, one thousand videos are merely the tip of the iceberg.

In the broadest of strokes, a personalized video advertisement laser-focuses on a customer’s interests with far greater precision than traditional video advertising. Truly personalized video requires advertisers to offer consumers experiences relevant to their backgrounds, tastes and personalities. And as consumers increasingly turn to digital content over broadcast TV, it’s no longer enough for advertisers to recycle broadcast ads on digital platforms like Facebook, Snapchat, YouTube, Hulu and Amazon.

According to Bryan Cook, executive content producer at Team One, the agency behind the Lexus campaign, “The simplest way to think about personalized video ads is that you take data that you have on individual consumers—where they live, what they earn, what their interests are, etc.—and then create ads that are relevant to those individual consumers based on that data. For example, if you live in Los Angeles and are into music and fashion, we can make an ad that contains all of these things so that you are more likely to pay attention.”

Social networks like Facebook and Twitter allow advertisers to identify smaller and smaller audiences—if they’ve got the chops to handle the data. “Most modern digital platforms can provide rich data to brands looking to be more relevant,” said Alastair Green, Team One’s executive creative director. “Ownership data, browsing and media consumption data, activities and hobbies are all available. In fact, everything that someone posts in the digital world could be used if you have enough assets and the pipeline constructed to create dynamic video ads.”

However, the biggest obstacle in creating effective personalized video ads is probably the logistical one—big data is, well, big, and hyper-relevance requires hyper-diligence. “It takes a huge amount of cross-discipline collaboration,” said Cook. “Media, creative, production, technology, accounts and many other departments will all touch a project like this. Working together in a very organized fashion is a must, as one mistake can decimate the budget and the schedule.” Scaling a campaign of this nature could cost brands hundreds of thousands of dollars in production costs but technology firms, such as Jivox, are making it easier for brands to tap into their first-party data and then dynamically insert personalized ads.

Cook also stresses that “you need a creative approach flexible enough to stretch across thousands of ad units; a production pipeline that is capable of creating all of those units with minimal chance for human error; and a trafficking process that is capable of QC’ing, tagging and then delivering all of those assets in such a way that they can be served seamlessly.”

But the opportunities offered by personalized video advertising are likely well worth the hurdles. Jason Beckerman, CEO of Unified, a marketing intelligence platform that collaborated with Team One on the Lexus campaign, sees game-changing possibilities even in the immediate future. “The 2016 presidential election will see candidates embracing personalized video to reach undecided voters or to sway voters who currently support their opponent,” he said. “U.S. consumers should expect to see a lot of video from both campaigns between now and Election Day.”

It’s a compelling prediction. Suppose a candidate insults veterans during a speech or the family member of a veteran, the opposing candidate could then serve you with an ad that contains the video of the offending speech. The ad could be tailored further to your religious affiliation, career and other personal tastes. According to Beckerman, “the possibilities are really limitless.”

In the long term, he said, “connected television, digital radio, websites and mobile applications, and eventually, the coming wave of virtual reality-enabled devices and applications will all deploy personalized video conjoined with the power of identity graphs.”

With great power, of course, comes great responsibility, and marketers must walk a delicate line when it comes to consumer data. “The growth of personalized videos could have a similar path as mass-media buying habits,” Green predicted. “We move from audience segments of thousands to hundreds, to eventually a segment of one. It’s certainly possible, but does it make sense financially? Will those ads get too relevant and become creepy?”

“Some brands and marketers will also get personalized videos wrong,” he said, “which might lead to backlash on the amount of data that brands have access to. Our industry has a responsibility to be careful with information we can mine and use.”

Source: AdWeek


Top 10 Nightspots In Delhi

The Blue Bar

Located at the gorgeous Taj Palace Hotel, this red-and-black themed lounge and bar is one of the best places to be on a Saturday night. Here’s what a recent party-goer had to say: “Next to the pool, this has to be my favourite bar to go to during the winters. Good music and drinks, excellent Food & Beverage staff, great music and almost always a decent crowd. Don’t forget to ask your bartender to stir one of their signature cocktails or sangrias for you.”

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Ice Lounge

Delhi’s first bar made entirely of ice! Yes you read right – ice! 35,000 kg of ice was especially flown in from Canada for master sculptor Julian Bayley to sculpt into one of the city’s coolest hangout spots. No doubt you’ll be taken by the Mughal India theme, but even your complimentary vodka drink probably won’t be enough to keep you in there longer than the recommended 45 minutes. So while this definitely is a destination not to be missed, don’t be afraid to add more to your evening plans. PS – Sunday is Karaoke night!

Ice-Lounge-Delhi

Set’z

This luxury fine-dining restaurant takes on a whole new flavour when the sun goes down. Known for its great food and superior service, Set’z can turn into one of the most happening restaurant cum nightspots in DLF if you let it. Stylish, sophisticated and large enough to comfortably seat 150, make sure you try their signature Ice Shots or Alcohol Popsicles to put the cherry on top of your evening out.

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Keya

Frequently touted as Delhi’s first “serious bar,” Keya is a place where you can hang out with friends and have great conversation over drinks. Husband-wife duo Anusuiya and Marut Sikka’s brainchild (after the success of their restaurant Magique), the super cool interiors and extensive cocktail menu is what makes this place unique. House music, female servers and an overall relaxed, international feel makes this a top spot for your next ladies’ night out.

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Kitty Su

Voted by DJ Mag as one of the world’s top 100 clubs (it comes in at #88), Kitty Su is truly alive and kicking every single night! Pop, Sufi Rock, Trap, Deep House – you name it, they’ve got it. A truly progressive place, LGBTQ as well as straight couples can avail of exclusive “Twosome” tickets. Travelling? No problem. Drop by the Kitty Su Mumbai or Chandigarh for more. Also check out their site for exclusive merch and an awesome events calendar that’ll help you plan your parties every month.

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The China Kitchen

This is what you get when you complement the rarest selection of whiskies, fine wines and signature cocktails with mouth-watering, authentic Chinese cuisine in exactly the right quantities. Super versatile too; it’s the perfect place for a pre-dinner something or even some after dinner dessert and champagne. Located at the beautiful Hyatt, this is the only bar in the city that is open till the early hours of the morning. You can also get in touch with management to book private parties – a real treat for your friends.

The China Kitchen

Story

Located at the stylish Westin Gurgaon, Story is a destination that has something for everyone. Themed nights including an awesome Liquid Spirits Buffet on Tuesdays, Flat 20% off corporate discount on Wednesdays and a Hell-o Jell-o Ladies Night on Thursday. While Story has got your drinks covered, the Westin’s other food destinations are mostly open till late as well. Why not stop by Mix to get a refreshing latte or iced coffee after you’re done dancing? Don’t mind if I do…

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Summer House Café

LThis cool new rooftop hangout is the ultimate addition to Aurobindo Market. Funky decor (the bar’s made from the shell of a minibus), live music and fresh air make this a great spot for smokers as well as non-smokers. A variety of live events, talks and comedy nights take place throughout the week which you can keep up with by liking the Café’s Facebook page. They also have pretty quirky contests from time to time so make sure to tag yourselves when you’re there if you want to get lucky!

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Hybrid

Get ready for a different experience. Get ready for Hybrid…In the morning it’s a café, in the evening it’s a restaurant and after 10pm, it’s a nightclub. The 8,000 square foot industrial themed space is outfitted with a combination of plush leather seats and more functional benches that sit surprisingly well against the textured wood, coloured brick and intriguing artefact-laden walls. Hybrid is truly ready for anything you throw at it, the question is; are you?

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Fio

Fio Country Kitchen & Bar is an extraordinary place. Elegant yet rustic, tranquil yet spirited, and made up of no less than five different indoor and outdoor spaces that together form its “Garden of Five Senses,” Fio is made to be experienced again and again and again. The aroma of the sumptuous North Indian and Italian cuisine and general zen ambience is sure to prove a heady mix that will transport you to wherever you want your night to go. The result is; you’ll never be bored at Fio and will surely be back for more.

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print advertising

Is Print Advertising Still Worth It?

With Internet marketing and social media becoming so popular, the more traditional methods of marketing seem to have fallen by the wayside.

Everywhere you look, there is talk of using the Internet as a marketing outlet and while social media and online advertising is certainly effective, it isn’t the only method of marketing out there.

Every time something new comes up, people assume it will wipe out previous techniques. For this reason, many thought radio would be gone forever when television appeared. In some cases, it does work this way, but when it comes to marketing, the more people you can reach – whatever the mediums used – the better.

Print Advertising Cons

Paper marketing still exists, but this doesn’t mean that there aren’t any downsides to using this method. Since social media and online advertising can be very cheap or even free, the fact of the matter is that many business owners don’t even consider the more expensive print advertising anymore.

Magazines can be particularly expensive to place ads in, but you can get smaller ads for less. Newspapers can be good alternatives to magazines, as well. However, the full ad cost goes beyond the price of simply placing it in a newspaper or magazine. Hiring a photographer or graphic artist for a quality visual ad, or a copywriter for an effective print ad can be pretty expensive too. You have to shell out a lot of money simply to create an ad, even before you arrange to have it included in a magazine / newspaper where you hope relevant target customers will see it.

Another issue with print marketing is that younger people read and search online rather than in the Yellow Pages or a newspaper. It is fairly uncommon to see anyone under the age of 30 reading a newspaper in print form, since they can read it easily on the go online or on their smartphones. However, your ad may be made available in both print and online editions, which still is a useful method of promotion.

Overall, if your audience is over 30 or even 35, you should consider placing your ads in newspapers. Magazines, because of their targeted marketing and appeal in print, are still an excellent way to reach any target market. While some are available online, most people still prefer to read paper versions of their favourite weekly or monthly mag.

Pros of Print Marketing

Despite the cost, there are some serious benefits to having your business appear in a magazine or newspaper. First, print ads convey a certain level of professionalism; something that isn’t always evident online where everyone can pay less $10 to get their ad on a popular website. If you and your brand want to be respected, advertising in print is still considered one of the higher quality options because of its premium price. This is one reason you may still want to consider advertising in print – people will look at your business differently.

Print marketing tends to target a very specific audience, which means your ad will reach plenty of people who are more likely to be interested in your products and services. When it comes to magazines, you are placing your promotional materials in front of people interested enough in that specific topic to purchase a magazine about it.

How to Make It Work for Your Business

An effective print marketing campaign should involve plenty of planning ahead of time. You need to know exactly what you want your ad to achieve and then figure out the best way to reach that goal. This is what your graphic artist or copywriter will work toward and ultimately what will make your ad a success or a failure.

Keep in mind that most ads are not designed to sell, but to get people to remember your brand or to learn more about you. You want your name to pop up when customers are looking at a wide variety of products in stores. It’s always a good idea to give a website address where people can find out more about your business, but even this will usually see a low number of people actually checking it out.

Repetition is key when it comes to getting people to remember you. That’s why you see the same exact ad on television over and over every time you watch a certain show. By making sure your ad gets in front of people on a regular basis, you can be rest assured they will remember your brand when they need or want a product / service you offer. Generally, people need to see an ad 7 times before they actually act or fulfill a call to action.

Print advertising may not be as popular with some businesses these days, but it is still a very useful method of promotion. Your best option is to use a combination of both online and print marketing, to reach as many people as possible in as many ways.

 


Magazine vs Newspaper

Magazine vs Newspaper: Which is Better?

Newspapers and magazines are two important forms of print media that are read to obtain information and derive entertainment from by millions of people around the world. People are so used to newspapers and magazines that they hardly pay any attention to the differences between them. This article tries to explain which medium may be a better fit for your needs by distinguishing between their main features.

Magazine and newspaper ads differ greatly; you cannot take a magazine ad and run it in a newspaper or vice versa. But, aside from the creative, what makes the two so different? From an advertiser’s standpoint, it all depends on how you are looking to reach your audience. Let’s break it down into more chewable bits.

  1. REACH:Newspapers are great for reaching a huge, general market. This is demonstrated by the numerous ads you see from big retail giants like Big Bazaar and Shoppers Stop. Magazines, on the other hand, have a more narrow focus. In other words, they are very specific to their audiences.
  1. AFFORDABILITY: If cost is a concern, newspapers are your best bet. But as any good advertiser knows, sometimes you have to accept a higher cost to get the results you desire. If your campaigns hinges on reaching a particular market and demographic, you may have to choose a more expensive advertising option to get what you need. Negotiating a great rate is not impossible when it comes to dealing with magazines, though. There are ways around the given rate card rate that may initially intimidate greener advertisers.
  1. TIME: On the other hand, you may be out of luck with magazines altogether if you require an immediate response to your ads. Magazine ad lead times and sales curves are much longer when compared to those of newspapers. Magazines also often require placements to be made months in advance to accommodate creative and printing restrictions. Newspapers, however, have a much quicker turnaround for ad placement – often within a week or even a day.
  1. DESIGN: An obvious appeal about magazines is that they catch our eye with their glossy, colourful images. Newspapers, comparatively, are dull. In terms of branding purposes and image creation, magazines are by far a better choice as they will be able to convey these messages more clearly. In addition to the basic design, another disadvantage to keep in mind when it comes to newspapers is that your ad may get lost in the clutter. Unless an ad is in the marketplace section, we do not see the same problem in magazines.

    So, is one medium better than the other? In truth, it really does depend on the objective of your campaign and how you want to implement it. Both mediums are effective means of advertising and media buying agencies like Trivium Media Group can help you navigate the print advertising world to ensure you create and implement the best ad campaigns possible.


five keys to build brands

Five key To Building Your Brand The Right Way

Every day we work with small, medium, and large businesses on building a brand in Calgary. Sometimes they are startups that require a complete brand built from the ground up; sometimes it is with bigger companies that previously had a solid brand but didn’t have the guidelines in place to keep it from getting diluted.

Branding is as important for smaller businesses as it is for the behemoths. It is the way that a business differentiates itself from the competition. Brand gives your audience an immediate idea of what they can expect from your company.

five keys to build brands

Consider It

Before you create your it you want to have some strategic planning for your business. What is your mission statement? What is your vision? The reason you want a well-planned mission statement is so that your brand always works towards you mission statement. Your business should also be working towards your mission, but that’s not for us to explain.

Define It

Get a piece of paper, a white board, a bar napkin, whatever you can write on and start defining your company. Not sure where to start? Try writing your company name down with a ginormous equal sign beside it, next write everything your company is, go crazy, be abstract, include colours and cars – anything you can think of. Grab a new napkin and do the same thing, except this time, write everything your business is not. You’re not really going to do much with what your company isn’t, but it’s kinda nice to have it defined.

Create It

When you are creating a brand, think of your brand as a person. What would they wear? What would they say? Thinking of your brand as a living breathing human with actions and reactions is a great way to build and operate with an authentic voice. When creating your businesses personality and style, authenticity is key. If a colour feels weird and out of place, don’t use it. Authenticity comes from the gut. Do a regular gut check, if it feels off, it probably is. Now it is time for logo creation, getting business cards and letterhead made, set up your social media accounts and establish a voice.

Be Bold

Check and see what your competition is doing and then do your own thing. Just because Apple is doing something cool, doesn’t mean that your brand needs it. Learn your target audience. For instance, if your target market is women, your brand should be appealing to your kind of woman. Being smaller gives you the advantage here, it means that you are not bogged down by layers of bureaucracy so you can change and adapt to the conversation on the fly.

Bonus

We thought we would throw in some bonus tips for building your brand. Don’t just slap your logo on everything and think you’ve got it branded – you don’t. A brand is a logo, colours, words, tone, social media, and marketing. Basically, a good brand is in use every time your client sees or interacts with your company.
So don’t repeat the same message to them over and over and over again. Just like people, a brand should change and evolve. Don’t be boring.


selecting advertising

Selecting The Most Effective Advertising Media

Through which media of advertising reaching the right audience and generating the best response

So before I discuss how to choose the right media for you, I have to tell you my two iron clad rules for any advertising effort.

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1)Advertising can never be an expense, it must always be an investment.

There must be at least a 75% expectation that the advertising will reach and produce more in sales than it will cost to place. If you don’t have that 75% expectation then you should not place the advertising.

2) When emotion and logic come into conflict, emotion will always win.

If you don’t believe that — you can take me down to your local grocery store and show me the mouse or sparrow flavored cat food. That would be logical.

Instead what I’ll see is turkey giblets with gravy sauce. We have a lot of wild turkeys here in Montana but I’ve never seen my cats lick their lips in anticipation when one walks by. Small birds yes. Mice yes.

The marketing effort isn’t to the cats it’s to the humans

What Forms Of Advertising Are Available?

There are many differences between advertising options in small towns as opposed to large cities. Your small town may not have a newspaper, TV station or even radio.

So your options to choose the media of advertising that will reach your target market may be limited in many respects because it has to come from outside sources

Outdoor advertising/billboards:

These reach more people for a dollar than any other media, but are limited to a picture and no more than eight words.

Radio:

Reaches the second most people for a dollar, but cannot be targeted geographically and can only be loosely demographically targeted. But if people will drive significant distances to buy your product, or if you’re selling a “we come to you” service, this is likely your best bet.

Cable television:

Offers the impact of moving images as well as spoken words. Can easily be geographically targeted. But your ad will likely look homemade.

Broadcast television:

Big prestige. Big bucks. But able to target psychographic profiles. Buy specific shows; never buy a rotator.

Newspapers:

Reach customers who are in the market to buy today. Unfortunately, people not currently in the market for your product or service are less likely to notice your ad than if it had appeared in another media.

Magazines:

Expensive, but high-impact with tight targeting. Little waste. Weakness is infrequency of repetition.

Magazines:

Expensive, but high-impact with tight targeting. Little waste. Weakness is infrequency of repetition.

Direct mail:

Highly targeted, all the way down to the level of the individual. But shockingly expensive to do right.

Yellow Pages:

Essentially a service directory for the customer who has not yet made up his or her mind. Very foolish for retail businesses.

As you can see, even though the various medias may not be available to you locally your customers are still receiving these messages from all sorts of competing products and services.
All you have to do is make yours stand out from all the rest.

What To Know Before You Buy?

In order to determine the right media to purchase there are a few questions you need to ask yourself:

What is your true message? –

What exactly do you want customers to know and how is your advertising going to make them react? Is your advertising designed to promote your business name or is it designed to bring customers to your place of business?

Remember point two in the first section above. Is your message emotional or logical? Are you selling a car with four doors? (A logical feature) Or are you selling the convenience of getting the kids and dogs in and out of the car easier? (An emotional benefit.)

Who and where is your target market? –

If you are selling farm equipment are your customers in town or on the farm? Right. On the farm.
So why waste advertising dollars that reach towns people who are not your target market even though that media may also reach your target market? See the next point for more on this.

Which Forms Of Media Are Best In Small Towns?

These will of course vary depending on the size of the town and media that are available to you. It will also vary depending on the size of your target market within your sales area.
In many cases the size of your town will have a lot to do with the forms of media you choose.


triviumgroup

6 Obstacles Sabotaging Your Creative Potential

Your actions can impact your creativity, for good or for bad.

It doesn’t matter what your job is; you might be a graphic designer with ample freedom or an accountant with a niche role. Almost every job requires at least some degree of creativity, whether that’s creating something new and artistic in more right-brained career paths, or finding creative solutions to tough problems in more left-brained career paths. Your creative potential–your possibility of coming up with new, better creative ideas–isn’t something you’re born with, at least not exclusively. It’s a product of your natural disposition toward creativity, your environment, your habits, and your inner mentality.

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Accordingly, most modern professionals are sabotaging their own creative potential by engaging in bad habits, accepting bad environments, or flat-out believing that they have no creative potential in the first place. Here are ways that you’re probably doing it.

1. You aren’t trying to be creative

Everyone is creative, but many of us choose to believe we aren’t. Once you accept that you aren’t a creative person, you immediately stop trying to be creative, in the same way that an individual who believes he/she’s bad at math won’t attempt a visually intimidating math problem. If you really weren’t creative, this would be an efficient strategy, saving yourself the effort, but deep down, every individual has innate creative potential. It’s only evident if you actually try to be creative. If you’re the type who resigns to predictable, traditional solutions, start challenging yourself to be more creative–and take baby steps with smaller problems if you have to. You’ll be amazed at the results.

2. You’re too normal or routine

The most creative-inspiring situations and events are ones that are, for lack of a better term, “weird.” For example, you might see a new piece of art that makes you think more abstractly, or you might encounter a strange event on your way into work that gives you a strange idea. These unrelated pieces of “weird” stimuli can spark new paths for creative thinking in the brain, so surround yourself with more of these strange items (art, music, and even scents can help in the office) and deviate from the norm by stepping outside your comfort zone. The more predictable your routines are, the more predictable your thinking is going to be.

3. You expect perfection

Most people have the misconception that creative geniuses are people who only come up with fantastic ideas; accordingly, when they come up with a bad idea, or experience failure, they believe it’s a sign that they aren’t successful at being creative. However, according to neurosurgeon Rex Jung, creativity isn’t about the quality of your ideas, but the quantity of them. The people with the most creative ideas are the ones who have produced thousands of ideas; their best ideas are one-in-a-thousand. If you only produce a handful of ideas, your best idea might be one-in-six. Creativity, much as we like to think otherwise, is a numbers game, so stop expecting perfection and just create things!

4. You’re too close to the problem

The most creative solutions tend to arise from distant perspectives. For example, the scientist working deep in math equations will find it hard to think of the problem in terms of a visual metaphor. An account manager trying to solve a logistics problem will tend to have tunnel-vision on the elements of the problem he/she has already explored. To resolve this creative limitation, step outside yourself. You can ask friends and colleagues for their thoughts and perspectives, or simply try to explain the problem in terms that a layman would understand. It’s easy for us all to become trapped in our own biases and thought patterns, so try seeing the problem through someone else’s!

5. You don’t create limitations

Now, you might think that creating limitations and constraints for yourself would actually decrease your creativity–but research demonstrates the opposite. Imposing limits can actually help you come up with more creative work. For example, an artist may try to see what ideas can be explored using only two or three different colors, or a musician may explore a simple two-note theme across an entire symphony. This minimalistic, constrained approach can also help you solve complex problems in a business environment; for example, how could you create more compelling web copy by only changing a certain number of words? How can you improve the communication of your team with only the addition of one rule? This makes the problem more challenging, but at the same time, more approachable.

6. You give up

It’s one of the simplest ideas on this list, but it’s also one of the hardest to fix. Most of us, after seeing poor or unrewarding results on a problem for a certain amount of time, admit defeat and stop working on the problem. Creativity doesn’t come immediately or predictably, so the only way to harness it is to keep going: keep working and keep brainstorming. Only after repeated effort will new solutions and new angles start to make themselves clear.

It doesn’t take much to inspire more creativity within yourself, and the benefits are enormous. If you can start overcoming these challenges, you’ll start seeing problems in new lights, coming up with more abstract solutions, and you might even reconnect with your inner artist. Everyone can stand to be a little more creative in their personal and professional lives–so what’s stopping you?


brand vs logo

Brand vs. Identity vs. Logo

There’s a lot of misconception when it comes to the differences between a logo, an identity, and a brand. People in marketing and design may have a decent grasp on the definitions and applications, but how about you?

If you are a bit unclear, you have absolutely no idea, or you just want to see I’m for real or full of crap, then read on. I’m keeping this post very simple, with three categories along with descriptive bullet points to define each.

Before moving on, it must be said: there is some overlap for all three of these categories. For example, it’s not wrong to call a logo a brand because of the origin of the word ‘brand’ (the hot iron rod with the company’s icon or word mark, used on shipping boxes and livestock).
Okay, now onto the meat.

Brand vs. Identity vs. Logo

A Logo

is the central, identifiable visual element that helps customers discover, share and remember a company’s brand. Usually it’s in the form of an icon (mark or symbol), logotype, or combination of the two. The main purpose of a logo is summed up nicely as the five principles of effective logo design in this Smashing Magazine article.

A logo is

• the representation of the organization in its simplest form

• the emblem or mascot of the organization

• the foremost element that triggers the feelings of consumers

• critical for an organization to be recognizable

• a trademark

An Identity

describes the visual devices used to represent the company. Identity systems are a visual components package that is paired with style guidelines and used as a framework to ensure the corporate image is cohesive and consistent. Some of the visual devices that leverage the brand elements and style guidelines are as follows: stationery, marketing collateral, packaging, signage, messaging, and digital projects, among others.

An identity is

• the different physical elements of the company that work together and customers come in contact with

• the complete package of company materials: your logo, business cards, email signatures, websites, ads, your employee uniforms, store layout design, package design, corporate jingle, etc.

A Brand

A brand is

• a concept, not a concrete object

• the foundation of your entire marketing framework

• the emotional and psychological relationship between a company and consumers

• what people think and feel when they experience your company (their gut feeling)

• Next time you’re sitting down with your marketing team or your business coach you can show that you know what you’re talking about. Not only can you show off your knowledge on the subject, but you can implement this it into the planning stage of your next business venture or product. (Hint: envisioning the brand you want to create comes way before designing your logo and corporate identity.)

• Did I miss something? Leave a comment and let me know.


Brand Loyalty Starts By Talking with Your Customers

Brand Loyalty Starts By Talking with Your Customers

Loyal customers consistently do business with their preferred brands, often without evaluating convenience or pricing factors. These loyal customers are also more likely to tell their friends and family about the brand (called word of mouth), creating a low-cost stream of new customers.

The Key to Building Brand Loyalty

The truth is that most businesses struggle to build brand loyalty. In fact, many executives at large corporations don’t even believe that building brand loyalty is possible, opting instead to exclusively focus on driving the next transaction. In our experience working with major national brands as well as independent retailers, building brand loyalty is most certainly possible.

Step 1: Focus on your best customers

Build your business around your best customers—what we call Brand Lovers—instead of trying to aimlessly drive sales. Over time, your return on marketing and innovation efforts will rise. Apple is masterful at creating products especially for customers who love style, creativity, and simplicity.

Step 2: Listen to what your customers are saying

Listen to what your best customers are telling you. Don’t be a transaction-making machine. Be a real person and build a business to serve real people. Care about them and they might just care about you. This is the key to cultivating brand loyalty. Southwest Airlines isn’t just another airline to its loyal customers who perceive Southwest as the “heart of the sky.”

Step 3: Understand what makes your customers tick

Learn how they think, feel, and behave towards your brand if you want to build brand loyalty. This isn’t easy, but if you can decode these drivers, you’ll be better positioned to create long-term customers. Talk to your customers. Read their comments about you and your products on the web. Read blog posts related to your brand. Most of all, truly listen to what your customers are saying.

Step 4: Determine why your customers choose you

Why are your current customers buying from you instead of your competitors? Knowing the answer to this question can define the future of your business and the level of brand loyalty you cultivate. Understanding what drives your customer’s choices isn’t easy because you need to decode the conscious and unconscious motivators influencing your customers’ buying decisions. And that’s no easy task, but it’s well worth the effort.

Step 5: Be relentless in serving your best customers better than anyone else

Give your loyal customers plenty of reasons to stay with you and no reasons to leave. Push your business to continually find ways to make your customers’ lives easier and better. Brands like Amazon.com and Netflix are constantly finding ways to enhance the customer experience by refining algorithms to recommend products and movies their customers will enjoy.

Step 6: Find ways to wow and surprise your best customers

Do something extraordinary and unexpected for your loyal customers. Instead of playing with “word-of-mouth marketing” programs, focus on better serving your customers and word of mouth will happen naturally. Simply put: give your customers something worth talking about. Online retailer Zappos is masterful at producing the wow factor by providing free, surprise upgrades to overnight delivery, random gifts, and hand-written notes to their customers.

Step 7: Focus on what your brand does best

If you try to be all things to all people you’ll end up being nothing to everyone. Be bold. Be unique. Differentiate your brand around your strengths. Ritz Carlton is a hotel of ladies and gentlemen serving ladies and gentlemen. Volkswagen Beetle has built a distinctive brand

Step 8: Deliver on your brand’s promise

First, determine what your brand stands for. Then, become relentless in your dedication to deliver on your brand promise each and every day. Harley-Davidson customers love the freedom of the open road and the brand promises that freedom. Oprah stands for empowerment, hope, and the promise of a better tomorrow.

Following these eight steps aren’t easy, but doing so will put you on the road to building brand loyalty. Good luck!