Why you should not overlook brand and creativity

10 minute read

Why you should not overlook brand and creativity (in tough market conditions)

The original premise for this blog was going to be why you should not overlook brand and creativity in tough market conditions.

But when you stop to think about it, that’s four words too many. The four in question are: in tough market conditions.

Whether your brand is competing for attention in a tiger economy or during a deep depression, you want – and need – your brand to be the hardest worker in your business. It can’t be that without creativity. Brand and creativity are the proverbial chicken and egg.

Brand is not just a logo

If brand is the beating heart of a business then creativity keeps it pumping. Together, they are pivotal to the success of any marketing campaign. Good design helps grab attention, correctly portrays your brand, gives it consistency and simplifies your messaging in a visual way.

So, what makes branding so important? It can:

  • Give a business an identity beyond its product or service. It gives consumers something to relate to and connect with.
  • Make a business more memorable. It’s the ‘face’ of the company and helps consumers distinguish your business across every medium.
  • Support marketing and advertising efforts, adding extra punch to promotion(s) thanks to added recognition and impact.

Yes, your brand is everything, a multi-faceted combination of the tangible and intangible. It communicates, it tells your story, it connects with your audience/consumers, it creates a sense of community, it creates trust, it evokes emotion, it is how you are perceived, it sets you apart from your competitors, and most importantly, it influences and feeds your bottom line by enticing people to choose your product(s) above those of a competitor.

How do you solve this seemingly unfathomable equation?

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How to stay ahead of the competition

The secret weapon in the battle to stay ahead of the competition is creativity. Research from Kantar, the world’s leading data, insights and consulting company, suggests many marketers tend to underestimate the importance of brand size and creative quality.

The top two drivers of advertising profitability, says Kantar, are the two aforementioned ingredients, which can multiply profitability by factors of 18 and 12 respectively, compared, say, to media mix, which only has a multiplying factor of 2.5.

The research goes on to say: “Of course, brand size is inextricably linked to brand health, or ‘power’. Kantar research has consistently shown that stronger, more meaningfully different brands are more likely to grow. In particular, we know that brands with strong difference are especially likely to see higher advertising returns.”

As a full-service agency, it’s our job to show you what in-depth conceptualisation, brilliant copywriting, world-class design and excellent execution look like.

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Great design tells a story

Good design speaks volumes about a company’s professionalism, quality and positioning in the market.

The cliché that a picture is worth a thousand words is true. The human brain processes images 60,000 times faster than words.

We are visual creatures, which is why it is so important imagery accurately reflects the quality of your business and shows your customers what you want them to see.

Research at the US-based 3M Corporation also concluded the human brain deciphers image elements simultaneously, while language is decoded in a linear, sequential manner taking more time to process.

In fact, psychologist Albert Mehrabian, Professor Emeritus of Psychology at the University of California, has demonstrated that 93% of communication is nonverbal. Not only does the brain recognise an image more quickly, but it also remembers visuals much better than it does words.

And in this age of social media and endless scrolling, it is more important than ever to ensure your design is helping you to connect with your target audience and help to convert those people into sales, or leads, or whatever your objective is, which will help you achieve your goals and provide ROI.

We often state that our design team with their collective four decades of industry experience and brief interpretation acumen between them, is the creative cog of Cornerstone. Good creative design will help you create a strong impression, build a brand identity, convey key information, narrate your story, and build consumer trust.

Don’t forget who the design is aimed at

Even though images communicate even complex messages quickly, concisely, and memorably, a marketing campaign has an end-user, so thought needs to go in to design that works for them.

Of course, imagery should be relevant to your brand, but it should be creatively designed to catch the eye of the target audience wherever they discover you.

Even the best campaign only gets traction if it stands out. It has to rise above the noise of all the other competing signals from advertisers and content producers. It then has to catch the attention of the right prospect and hold it.

And design needs to be inclusive, taking account of factors like age, internet access, responsiveness, colour contrast, readability, and need for global reach. Another important design feature is having the right mix of text and image to improve comprehension.

Whatever it is, great design helps you speak to your prospects in a memorable way, and it stands the best chance of getting your campaign noticed.

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The story in numbers

If you’re still in any doubt about the importance of brand and creativity, here is some further food for thought, courtesy of financesonline.com.

Web design statistics

  • 94% of consumers will leave a website with poor graphic design. (Red Website Design, 2018)
  • The normal attention span for web users is 6.8 seconds. However, the use of visual assets can improve attention span by approximately 50 milliseconds. (Red Website Design, 2018)
  • 46% of website visitors relate the website design to the credibility of the brand/company.
  • 94% of consumers leave a website with poor graphic design. (Graphicszoo, 2020)

Benefits of visual graphics in digital marketing

  • 32% of digital marketers claim visual images are the most important type of content. Blogging comes second at 27%, followed by videos (24%), live video (9%), and podcasting (1%). (Social Media Examiner, 2019)
  • When people hear a message, they are most likely able to remember 10% of the information relayed three days later on. However, when the same message is coupled with a visual graphic, people can remember 65% of the information three days later. (Brain Rules)
  • 65% of digital marketing executives claim visual assets like images, infographics, illustrations, and videos are imperative to brand story communication. (CMO Council, 2015)

Visual graphics and social marketing

  • 80% of digital marketers say they use visual assets in social media marketing. (Social Media Examiner, 2019)
  • Social media posts that feature visual assets like images deliver a 650% higher engagement rate than plain text posts. (Red Website Design, 2018)
  • Tweets with visual assets generate 150% more retweets, whereas Facebook posts with images deliver 230% more engagement. (Red Website Design, 2018)
  • Blog articles with more visual assets generate 2x more social media shares compared to articles without images. (Red Website Design, 2018)

Colours in graphic design

  • 57% of consumers associate blue with business success. 43% associate it with reliability, 34% with trust, and 28% with security. (Visually)
  • The effectiveness of the colour blue is the reason 33% of the top 100 brands include it in their logo. (Crowdspring, 2017)
  • 85% of people are attracted to brands that make use of visual graphics. (Graphicszoo, 2020)
  • 76% of consumers associate red with speed. 28% associate orange with fun, while 26% associate white with cheap. (Joe Hallock)
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The compelling reason to consider brand and creativity

Of course, market conditions are tough at the moment, and while this is certainly not the time to cut corners or make do with substandard branding, that’s not the only reason to consider brand and creativity. Survival is! Creating a strong brand is a long term investment which will reap long term results.

If you are interested in harnessing the experience, expertise, professionalism and creativity of Cornerstone DM to benefit your business or organisation, get in touch

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