Insights

Humor in Business Communications

Have you heard the one about humor in communications? It’s funnier — well, at least more effective — than you might think. Humor can be an effective tool whether you’re talking to B2B or B2C audiences. Here are six serious tips for transforming business-as-usual communications into effective funny business.

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Brevity in Communications: It’s Beautiful

Brevity isn’t only beautiful aesthetically; it can also affect the bottom line. If your company’s communications aren’t hitting their intended target because they are wordy, vague or too detailed, they could be costing you business.

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Headlines: Read all about writing them

Often formulaic, frequently unimaginative, and sometimes just plain terrible, headlines are among the most underappreciated of marketing communications tools. Of all the words on your website, brochure, print ad, packaging, or sales letter, the headline is unquestionably the most important. How do you make sure your headline lets readers know that your product is worth their time and money? Put your investment to the test with these five simple questions.

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Storytelling in Business: Using narrative to build your brand

Looking for ways to capture an audience? Try telling a compelling story. Human beings are hard-wired for narrative. It starts with the nursery stories and fairytales we hear as children. By the age of 4, most people understand the basic Aristotelian arc: beginning, middle, and end. We know to anticipate — and yearn for — the moral or the happily-ever-after. According to business experts such as Stephen Denning, author of The Leader’s Guide to Storytelling, we never lose that yearning — which means narrative is one of the best ways to convey information, even in the business world.

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Taglines: Your brand in shorthand

What, exactly, is a tagline and why do we have them? A tagline is a succinct statement of your brand position, a phrase or sentence used to capture attention and communicate value. “The Uncola,” “Betcha Can’t Eat Just One,” “M’m! M’m! Good!” (Come on, you know the products.) The best taglines convey a primary benefit in a memorable way — and have staying power, even years after they’ve been replaced.

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Wayfinding and Signage: Getting it right

There are a lot of things in life to which we pay scant attention, until they don’t work the way they’re supposed to. Wayfinding is a case in point. When we go to a library, museum, theatre, campus, retail store, or business, the only time we think about wayfinding is when it’s confusing or nonexistent. Effective wayfinding is a well-researched, well-engineered plan that anticipates directional needs, guides visitors, aligns with your building’s pathways, and strengthens your brand.

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Packaging Design: 10 critical considerations

Does your product packaging capture attention? Have personality? Communicate the attributes of your brand — instantly? Is it recognizably yours? Packaging is your brand rendered in 3-D. This means that, to many customers, the product is the package — and the package is the product. “The physical manifestation of a brand is shockingly important,” says Tom Peters.

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Marketing in a Tough Economy

There’s no question about it. Times are tough. The economy is taking its toll on businesses large and small, which means it’s time to redouble your marketing efforts to stay competitive in your industry. In an effort to help, we’re presenting eight marketing truisms to help you navigate these difficult economic times — or spur some ideas of your own.

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Product Launches: 6 marketing musts

A jolt. That’s what you want from your product launch. An impact that will ripple through your customer base, resound with your prospects, and shake up your competitors. Smart, strategic launches always create a jolt. It’s the way to jumpstart a product, gain market share, enhance a brand. But how do you create that jolt? Whether your launch is for an entirely new product or a line extension, these six marketing “musts” will put you on the path to success.

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Your Trade Show Booth: Give it real stopping power

Trade shows remain a great investment — whether you’re a product or service-oriented organization. An effective trade show booth or a larger trade show exhibit can help you draw people in and give them a greater understanding of your product or service. A trade show is a bit like a parade, only the “floats” are stationary and the crowd moves. Don’t let the parade pass you by.

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