If you’ve been around any of us long enough – especially the lovely Amy Behning – you’ve probably heard us say, ”Audiences think in a blink.”
We don’t say this just because it rolls of the tongue nicely (give it a try…feels good doesn’t it?). We repeat this over and over (and over) because it’s critical to be able to succinctly convey what your brand is all about. Why? Because audiences think in a blink.
People don’t have time – and don’t want to – read countless paragraphs about why they should choose you over a competitor. If you want people to remember your brand and what makes it unique, keep it short and sweet.
Want a few hot tips on how to say what you need to say in a blink? Keep reading!
Take stock of your marketing collateral to see how your organization is communicating both externally and internally.
It’s easy. First, gather all of the existing collateral material that is currently in use. Include your standard identity pieces (business cards, letterhead, logo, signage, etc.), promotional materials, digital communications and social media content. Consider any special events or trade shows if they are important communications tactics with external audiences. Make sure you include internal communications materials as well.
Next, analyze the materials. Look at the materials holistically. Is it clear – within just a few seconds – what your brand’s key message is? Or are you asking your audience to spend more than just “a blink” to wade through copy?
If you can’t glean your key selling point in a few seconds during an audit, trust us – neither can your customer.
Who exactly are the people you’re trying to reach? Take a moment to revisit exactly who your audience is and then determine if the message you’re sending out there actually resonates with them.
Conduct surveys, interviews or focus groups to see how they perceive your brand. Can they articulate your brand the way you would like them to? Do they understand your key message?
As you’re creating brand communications, make an effort to be clear and straightforward. Remember – your audience thinks in the blink of a moment. You don’t have the luxury to include every single snippet of information – what is the ONE key message? Focus on that!
Simple brand ideas result in powerful and memorable branding that connects. For consumers, simple brands not only get into their heads faster, but they stay there longer. They save time, money and minimize debate over decisions.
When it comes to branding, consistency is half the battle. If you want your audience to walk away with the same message every time they see your brand, you will need to be consistent about everything you put out.
An easy way to ensure consistency is to create a style guide. This will guarantee that all of your t’s are crossed at the same height and all of your i’s are dotted with the same sized dot. A style guide can also describe the tone and personality of your brand.
So that’s that. As you are working on your marketing program this year always remember that audiences think in a blink. Write yourself a little post it note and stick it on your desk. Print it out and frame it above your desk. It’ll be worth it!
Emily Bettridge, our 2016 Winter PR Arsonist Intern, helped in the creation of this article. Thanks, Emily!