Business are suffering. Many do not see any way out. Some pivot and embrace this new world that we live in. Some, simply roll over and give up. There is HOPE!
Many companies face issues like we are ALL facing and the first thing that is cut from the ever shrinking budget is design and marketing. However, I'd like to put forth that THAT is the last thing that should be cut! Being out of the public eye, not finding the groove and niche that makes you stand out as a leader during this time is a death sentence.
At Neon Lizard, we focus on your marketing and messaging FIRST. Unlike other design firms or strictly marketing firms, we understand that you can put out a beautiful design but without the right message, it is a dud. The design MUST undergird the message. There has to be a creative bend that stops a potential client in their tracks.
But... oh wise lizard, how is that done?
We would love to show you. A brain storming session can elicit avenues and methods you may not have considered. It's worth the time if it saves your company.
Example: An automotive company we serve had a downturn in clients. The client said, "Oh, that is just this time of year. It happens, part of the industry, won't come back until November." However, this client trusted NLC when we said, "NO - we can work around this. Don't roll over."
We developed a quick campaign playing off the idea that since you've been with the kids all summer, and now they are likely in school some of the time, you finally have time to get your car winter ready. Oh, and by the way, here is a discount. Better hurry before there is a big line and you have to wait! Seems simple, but he may not have done anything as "it is just the industry". Don't do what you have always done, think out of the box.
Needless to say, within a week of the campaign, he's been booked solid ever since.
If you would like to learn more or do a brain-storming strategy session to generate ideas that are not industry standard... give us a call!
Avatars, Personas, Ideal Clients...
These are the fictitious people who embody the characteristics of your demographic. But stop, think for just a second. Do not get caught up in all the fancy lingo and terminology of the advertising world. Don't let marketers tell YOU who your ideal client should be. Don't get caught up in the demographics and money and 2.5 kids..... THINK.
Who do you have currently that is your favorite client? The one that is easy to work with, that trusts your judgement and knows that you have their back? Who is the client that fits perfectly into what you have to offer? Who is the client that will truly see the benefit of your skill sets and product offer? What is it about them that lights you up?
Demographics are great for narrowing the field, but the CLIENT YOU CAN BEST SERVE is your perfect match. Period.
Decide who that is first and foremost. Ask your current "perfect fit" clients to refer you. Talk to them about what they love about you and how you work. Fine tune your marketing message and brand design to appeal to THAT CURRENT client and not necessarily anyone else. By doing that, you will attract more like them. They are not the only one out there, so target exactly who you are seeking.
Marketing should NOT be a shotgun approach. Yes, you may get clients...but are they "perfect match" clients? Will you spend more time wrestling with opinions and attitude, losing money in the end? Why bother? Get focused!
Interested in learning more? Contact NLC for a deep dive strategy meeting.
Talk to you soon!
At NLC we finally put a title to the method that we have been using for quite some time. A mix of marketing genius from the minds of the plethora of leaders in the market.
The Heart Principle© combines the base of Story Branding, the depth of Jasmine Starr, the common sense of Vanessa Edwards and the concepts of Simon Sinek, Allan Dib and many more.
Each has so many strengths and is inspirational but few give us a proven step by step on how to implement. The Heart Principle does just that. Give us a call, we'd love to share it with you.
Every company has the potential to be a good one. With the development of technology in the workplace, it has become easier to manage and grow a company's presence;
but good does not = great.
Greatness is something that exceeds expectations. Something, well, great. Ultimately, what the success of a company boils down to People. Your customers are the foundation of your product and sales. Respect them, listen to them, and cherish them.
These three points are the foundation of every great company. Learn to embody these traits and never fall for just "good" again!
Although Neon Lizard is primarily focused on visual communication, being able to read body language is critical to success in almost any career. Only 7% of communication is actually verbal, meaning the other 93% comes from visual cues. Based off these traits and non-verbal communication signals, humans are able to predict intentions and personalities in under seven seconds. First impressions are everything.
Body language is a physical transcription of all our subconscious thoughts and emotions.
Body language is essentially how we feel, but visible. Though a lot of nonverbal communication is subconscious, it can be controlled by the communicator to influence social situations.
The number of people who can effectively interpret and project body language is shrinking as our world relies more and more on digital communication. A great way to change that is by putting yourself in social situations that allow you to follow these tips.
To better understand body language, we need to understand animals. It may seem silly, but in many ways, human body language mirrors animal behaviors.
When animals want something from us, they will point with their nose in the direction of their focus and will periodically look back at us for approval or to make that they still have our attention. Say your dog wants to go outside. Likely he will nudge the door with his nose. Admittedly, it would be weird if a person did this, but humans communicate directional attention with their feet rather than their noses. In social situations, your feet point to the person you are most comfortable with. Perhaps you are uncomfortable, in which case you may notice that your feet are instinctively pointing towards the door as you subconsciously desire to leave.
If you can’t leave and you are still uncomfortable, you may make a subconscious effort to distance yourself by building a barrier. Crossing one’s legs, crossing arms, or zipping up jackets are all ways of showing social discomfort. On the other hand, standing with your legs slightly apart or using more open body language will communicate that you are comfortable and confident.
Humans typically identify body language subconsciously, but unless we know the person in question, it won’t always be accurate. This is because there are over 700,000 signals and visible expressions; 250,000 of which are facial expressions, 5,000 distinct hand gestures, and approximately 1,000 different postures. The best way to improve your body language reading skills is to read more body language. Analyze people (In a non-creepy way) and get to know them better in order to discern habits and traits from the relevant signals.
Here are some key common signals that you can watch out for while reading people:
Here are some tips to give off positive and confident body language.
A large portion of the Hindu religion is based on the concepts of Chakras and that different colored energy fields (aka auras) emanate from our bodies and reflect our emotions.
Many psychologists chalk it up to evolution, but our mood is indeed tied to colors. For instance, red is exciting because blood is red and blood usually implies an exciting situation or violence. Likewise, the Hindus believe red is tied to sexuality, aggression, and passion, which are also commonly associated with red in Western culture.
Meanwhile, the color green is associated with grass, growth, nature and creativity. This isn't always the case, but most cultures link certain colors to the similar emotions and ideas, reinforcing the idea that this is evolutionary, or at least hardwired into our subconscious experience.
If you are working with people or have clients, then you have an opportunity to use color and color psychology to your advantage. Seeing these colors in the brand alongside a message that supports the idea will resonate with consumers longer and have a deeper impact.
We made it a tad easier for you too:
Choose 2-3 qualities you want your business to embody then have NLC design your logo with these colors in mind.
The Big Picture
Ethics and shock value aside, there is a lot that can be learned about how humans are influenced from these psychological studies. By using consistency and repetition, positioning yourself well, and employing color psychology, you can slightly change your marketing approaches to have a more effective impact on your target market.
How does a world that is riddled with visual stimuli, noise and activity allow space for a company like yours to be noticed? You have a great thing going, right? Why aren't people taking notice, taking advantage and banging down your doors?
The next 5 things will help you zone in and make sure that you linger in the minds of buyers when time comes to purchase. The gurus have this down.
1. BE A PRO-Don't be lame.
Your logo and identity need to be up to date, bold and represent who you are and what you represent on all levels. Think of your logo and literature like the clothing you wear, image matters! Impressions are made within 1/10th of a second and you can't change that impression very easily once made. So instead of just using a logo you got off Fivver or your brother's-in-law's-cousin's son created it for you for cheap (because he's a student at the U), show that you truly care about your business image and invest in a real brand. Don't be lame.
2. BE REAL
Not salesy, not shiny... just a real person. Wrap everything you do into your mission statement and brand message. Make sure that you repeat, repeat, and repeat ...and then repeat what you are about and why you do what you do. Do what you say you are going to do and be a partner, not a vendor. Be focused on the success of others and you will be rewarded via the "golden rule." This sort of business professional is a dying breed that desperately needs resuscitation!
Tell your story and make sure everyone hears it. Why? Because we are all human. We relate to one another's struggles and triumphs and we all need someone to walk along side us and help us stay focused. We all need someone to be our cheerleader who is as excited about our business as we are. Be that for others. Be real.
3. BE UNIQUE
OK, this is the crazy lizard side... At NLC, we are a big believers in not being normal. Normal is boring. Normal is easy to forget. Normal is business death. Be unique. Make your business card one they can't throw away. Follow up every meeting with a personal note. Use colors that stand out. Present design that makes people pause. Use shock. Use multi-channel media. Use fantastic high-quality content that shows you are a true authority and provide a reason to return to your site or pick up the phone.
NLC has a card that changes colors when you touch it. We just did a card that you have to figure out a special message on it by holding it up to the light. We have done cards that turn into cubes and brochures that are multi-purpose so you don't have to pay for design repeatedly. We work unlike any other design firm. We are fast, responsive and willing to think WAY out of the box to get you noticed. We apply the "be unique" to every design. We're lizards, not lemmings. Be unique.
4. BE CONSISTENT
Many companies are led by the type A folks who tend to have too many irons in the fire, wear too many hats and try to offer too many things. That's O.K. It really is. If you are able to share the vision, complete it, and stay true to your word and commitments, that’s OK... absolutely A-OK… However, you MUST have one unifying theme, look and message in everything you do. Color, patterns, photo style, speech style and more, are all part of your brand. You want what you put out in the world to resonate and be recognized every-single-time.
Too many companies really do not understand the power of brand. They allow their logo to be modified, stretched and contorted, they change colors and styles for convenience in such a way that the consumer does not recognize that "Hey, that gadget comes from the same company as that other gadget!" Consumers need to recognize your product or service instantly. Do yours?
NLC recently did a rebrand for a company whose main logo was fine. We pumped it up a bit then took the other 15 logos they used for their products (each had own color and style) and unified them under the corporate brand. Now when they have an ad out, a newsletter, a postcard, a social media post... or their website is viewed by anyone... the viewer KNOWS who is the corporate Daddy on that. Their business is THRIVING and no longer just another manufacturer, they are the industry leader.
This cannot be reiterated enough. Consistency in brand is critical and everyone should be on board. Can your business say that? Does your ad in the chamber promo have the same feel as the ad you put on social media last week? Does your business card match your website? It is critical to keep your brand consistent. Otherwise, you are just confusing everyone and you look like a low end player. Don't do it. Consistency pays off. It is all part of the mysterious IMAGE advertising... this type of ROI is impossible to measure, but it is key to your success in the long run. Be consistent.
5. And last but not least...KNOW YOUR TARGET & TALK TO THEM
You may love a style, and you may have a passion that you want to represent in your advertising. That can be all fine and good, but it also can be disaster. Regardless what style you personally like, you have to know your demographic. Know how they respond to color and messaging and make sure everything you put forth appeals to them. Sorry, but your preferences are secondary. Trust the research and trust your designer to create an image/message that appeals to your end consumer whether it be another business or the lady next door. Go to where they hang out and advertise there regularly. Don't get too caught up in the hype and data analysis of every marketing agency out there. Use your common sense and seek out multiple opportunities to get in front of that customer via print, social media, targeted advertising and more. NLC can help you strategize and figure that out. The NLC team are experts at helping you get noticed. Give us a call.
Since you read all the way- you get a prize!
A free brainstorming session on how NLC can help your business and save your bottom line, all while increasing sales.
Be a Pro, Be Real, Be Unique, Be Consistent and Be Seen.
Call now. 952.452.0168.
Conditioning & The Little Albert Case
In 1920, one of the most important and controversial psychology case studies took place at Johns Hopkins University. It came to be known as the Little Albert case. A brief explanation:
Behavior psychologist, John Watson, attempted to instill a certain fear in one of his nurse's children, 11 month old Albert, by giving him a white fluffy rat to play with. However, every time little Albert reached for the rat, Watson would bang metal pots and pans as loudly as he could next to the baby, startling him. This was repeated several times over several days with different items. Through a process called conditioning, Albert eventually began to associate anything white and fluffy with the banging of the pots and pans, making him terrified to see ANYTHING resembling the rat. Allegedly, this fear was permanently instilled in Albert and was not able to be reversed before he was removed from the program, although no one can verify this as Albert's true identity was kept a secret.
Ethics aside, this experiment taught psychologists a lot and marketers even more: Our brains can be re-hardwired through repetition.
Look at Coca-Cola. Most people know "Have a Coke and a smile."
This tactic could, in a sense, count as subliminal advertising. "Share a Coke and a smile" is a pretty straightforward slogan, but the constant stream of ads on tv, billboards and the internet, cause us to develop an association of Coke and happiness
In other words, Coke's inundation of ads is conditioning us to believe if we have a Coke, we must be happy. One of the biggest takeaways from Coke's successful marketing strategy is that consistency will build a brand.
Asch Conformity Study
The study went as follows: The subjects were given three lines of various lengths and asked which ones were the longest. Simple, however, all but one subject would unanimously choose the wrong answer on purpose. Due to peer pressure, most subjects answered incorrectly as well and even attempted to justify their answers, despite how painfully obvious it was that they were wrong.
To say the least, these results reflect that humans are actually quite passive creatures and other people greatly influence our decisions. This isn't to say we will do anything we are told though, or does it?
Milgram Obedience Experiments
In the Milgram Obedience experiments, scientists told subjects on one side of a wall that someone on the other side was hooked up to a shock system. The person hooked up to the system was asked questions and for each wrong answer, the subject performing the shocks would increase the voltage. Despite the agonizing screams of pain from the person being shocked and the distress of the subject administrating the shocks, 65% of participants continued as commanded until the other participant was "dead." (In actuality it was just an actor).
People listen to authority at surprising lengths because humans are creatures which seek approval. If you want to be taken seriously by employees, competitors and consumers alike, you need to look and sound the part. That's what marketing is - understanding how to position your brand message and communicate it clearly to current and prospective employees and customers.
Position yourself as the authority figure in your field/niche and people will listen. To keep them listening, your actions must speak louder than words. Eventually, people will see this, respect this, and conform, follow, and embrace your message.
Influence is all around us, and you are an influencer too. Ask how NLC can help you find your differentiator and help you be the authority of your industry.
On a recent click, I took a look at some of the websites of the most prominent design agencies in Minnesota. As creatives compete with one another, they often fall into the trap of trying to “out-create” one another. Their websites have sliders and motion graphics, video backdrops and layers upon layers of imagery and moving parts. Some of them are effective and captivating, but others are overstimulating, clunky, and absurd.
When it comes to design as a tool for marketing your business, it’s important to work with an agency who is designing for you, and not for themselves. If your design team is hung up on creating assets for your business simply because they look cool or because they’re trying to be experimental and out-create neighboring agencies, you will be left wasting your marketing budget and with a finished product that may not serve the purpose that your business needs.
So, as a business owner, what can you do to ensure that your design agency has your best interests in mind? At Neon Lizard, we recommend consulting with your design team and making sure that your voice is heard. The Neon Lizard team focuses on giving clients what their businesses need, every time.
At Neon Lizard, you can rest assured that your marketing budget is being put to great use and that we will design for YOU.
We are here to be a resource and support for the success of your business. Call for a FREE consultation at anytime!