Remember Show and Tell?
I remember Show & Tell when I was a kid.
We wriggled in our seats listening to the stories our friends shared about the treasures they brought to school that day.
And then came the best part. They would pass it around so we could see it up close, touch it, feel it and because we were in kindergarten, most of us probably smelled it too.
There’s nothing better than having descriptive elements to help tell your story. Something that’s connected to your company that resonates with your fans.
Your customers see your post in Facebook or images on Pinterest and just know by looking at it, the message is from your company. That’s what I call the cover of company’s visual story.
And you don’t have to be a graphic designer or spend loads of money with a design agency to walk you through this process. At it’s core, your visual story is just a consistent look that includes the same colors, fonts, logo and overall graphic style.
Your Visual Choices
Finding your company’s visual story is like giving your business human characteristics.
Let me walk you through some examples:
Is your company high tech, on the cutting edge and able to solve your customer’s problems with a quick click of the mouse? Or are you a family friendly restaurant where generations have been celebrating milestones way before we even knew what a cell phone was?
Both of these businesses have different human traits that helps them tell their story.
Let’s use our family restaurant example. You wouldn’t want your graphic style to be black & white with sharp edges and shiny colors. Do you think that’s going to get the people with toddlers to make dinner reservations?
I’m pretty sure that won’t work with the families that I know but pictures of your restaurant with bright primary colors that remind of us of kids playing and big cushy furniture to give us that feeling of comfort. I’m pretty sure those images will get them in the door.
Where do you start with this human characteristics stuff?
Start thinking about how you can develop a Personality Board for your company. Set up a board on Pinterest, clip images and color swatches to put in a 3-ring binder or go Old School and glue pictures on a poster board. Imagine what colors, patterns and images give human qualities to your company.
Next, create a distinctive color palette that can easily be identified as your company. Close your eyes and picture these logos for the following brands and think about the specific colors that immediately come to mind:
- The red, white and blue of a Pepsi can
- Bright pink of T Mobile
- The red circles of the Target logo
- Orange signs and low price sheets from Home Depot
- The brown trucks of UPS
- And the full color of the rainbow in the peacock of NBC
Discover Your Company’s Visual Personality
At first, it will seem kind of strange to look at your company with human characteristics.
But as a company, you’re more than just a website or a Facebook fan page. You are a real person who sells to other real people. Your customers are having real live HUMAN experiences with your products and services.
Think about it from your customer’s perspective. Do they want to buy from a robot blasting out tweets or make a purchase from a real human being? I’d put my money on the second one.
And that humanized company will be the one who will develop loyal customers who not only come back but bring other customers with them.
To uncover your visual personality, take a few moments to answer these questions.
1. If your company was a person, what three words would you use to describe him or her?
2. Remember what it was like to be in front of the class for Show & Tell. Name five colors and images that you would use to tell your story.
3. List 5 of your company’s benefits.
If you don’t know the difference between a feature and your company’s benefits, read this post The Secret to Get More People to Buy Your Stuff to help explain how to find your answers.
4. Think about 5 descriptive words about your company.
What words do you use when you’re telling your story about why they should buy from you and not the guy down the street? How do your customers talk about their experiences with your company?
What human characteristics come to mind when you answered these questions?
Once you start to see all your descriptive visuals in one place, you’ll be able to visualize your company’s personality. Keep your answers and images together so you’ll be able to pull them out the next time you’re planning a marketing campaign.
When your marketing message has a consistent look and feel, your campaigns will begin to connect with more people. They’ll see your company as more than just the latest special you’re running this month.
When that happens, your customers won’t just tell others about your products or services. They’ll start to share your story.
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