Tag Archives: search engine

Feelings of Miracle: How You Can Change Your Audience’s Mood with Design

I’m not the type to get moody. If I want to eat, I eat. If I want to sing, I sing. I never make it difficult for me and for everyone around me. That’s why I am never fond of those who make things difficult because of their moodiness. However, when it comes to business, we can’t help but adjust to customers’ mood. I have been working at a creative agency that provides web design and web development services for business, I was taught to never underestimate the power of our audience’s mood. A mood can even determine people’s buying behaviour and action. When I was conducting a research on audience’s mood, I found that a design is the most effective factor that can change someone’s mood from being uninterested to being excited. If you are a business owner, it is important to know how to impress your audience to increase the chance of them being your real paying customers. So, how does design affect your audience’s mood? Keep reading to find out!

Establishing a mood

Let me be honest with you, I’m not the type for a long walk. I simply have no mood for it and it’s too troublesome for me. I would never bother walking through some complicated route to get to a store just to buy few things even though I am walking with my friends. I prefer to use car instead. However, when I went for a vacation a while ago to a private island, I was so excited that I walked around the whole island for hours without getting tired and not even complaining. Why? Why was I so willing to take a long walk, something I am not fond of, during my vacation, but didn’t want to take even a short walk on regular days? Yes, there is something about the vacation that made me interested in it! The same can be said to your audience. They need something to encourage that lazy part inside them that makes them willing to do anything (even do something they don’t like) to get it. Yes, the design in your content should be attractive and able to encourage them to take action. Interactive content can establish your audience’s mood and make them excited to engage with your content to the point of purchasing your products or services.

Colour design has different effects on mood

It is no surprising fact that colour has a psychological impact on audiences. Certain colours can affect different kinds of people and evoke different kinds of emotions and reactions from them. Blue, for example, is a colour of tranquillity, love, trust and even loyalty. This should be good for B2B companies that provide supports and reliability for other businesses. Green is the symbol of healing, growth, money, freshness and fertility; therefore, it should be suitable for companies that engage in the field of accounting, finance, green energy, or environment-friendly companies. That being said, the colour meanings I have mentioned only act as references to inspire you for your business’ main colour. Therefore, make sure you adjust the colour to your brand values – the colour that holds values for your brand. Let me tell you some real example, a few months ago, I was having a very bad headache when I was working. However, when I went to this unique café near my office, my headache suddenly disappeared because I was so amazed by the unique place that I took many pictures of it and forgot my headache. The unique place has a perfect combination of dark purple and a gradient of light purple with a little bit of pinkish colour as well as some fading blue. So, from this story, can you see that the perfect combination of colours can hold such a powerful impact on my condition at that moment? Not only did that boost my mood, it also made my headache slowly fade away.

That’s how design can make or break someone’s mood. If you have a business, you have to read your target audience first and conduct a research on them too. When you’re done observing, you can use the information you have gathered to design for your audience and make them interested in your products or services. When you understand your target audience better, you will also produce better and well-designed products or services, social media content as well as website design.

 

Dealing with Alternative Facts: The Importance of Truth in your Brand Storytelling and Marketing

marketing tips

Looking back on 2016, the decision by Oxford’s Dictionary to name ‘post-truth’ as their word of the year feels remarkably prescient. I honestly thought that the fudging of the truth done by Brexit campaigners and Trump’s liberal use of facts were going to be an aberration, that ‘post-truth’ is just going to a word-of-the-moment thing that would quickly fall out of favor but it turns out I was wrong. We’re now about 6 months into 2019 and it’s been firmly established that we’re now living in a post-truth era.

The year 2016 opened up our eyes on how disruptively powerful fake news can be, especially when combined with the far-reaching power of social media. On a large scale, they can be used to effectively hijack a referendum and a presidential election while on a much smaller scale, these distortions of truths and facts can be used to create a brand narrative to bolster its standings. It’s the latter that is going to be the focus of our discussion and one that should be of particular interest to marketers and SEO services alike.

Brand storytelling in the age of alternative facts

Mere weeks after 2016 ended, Kellyanne Conway, Trump’s campaign manager and now counselor to the president, underscored the absurdity of the age we live in when she used the phrase ‘alternative facts’ in a discussion about the attendance numbers for Trump’s inauguration, which was notably smaller than the one for Obama’s. Last year, just as Robert Mueller’s investigation into Trump’s administration was ramping up, the president’s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, made waves by saying that ‘truth isn’t truth’ and that facts are essentially in the eyes of the beholder.

This depressing line of thinking isn’t just strictly limited to the political world; we’ve seen several marketing examples in the past few years that eerily resemble these talking points. First, we have the comically absurd case of Billy McFarland’s Fyre Festival, where a promise of a luxurious festival experience in the Bahamas turned out to be a real-life reenactment of The Hunger Games. There’s also the case of Elizabeth Holmes and her company Theranos where she went from holding the number one spot in a list of richest self-made women in Forbes in 2015 to being charged for defrauding investors in 2018.

In both of these cases, they both were pushing a certain kind of narrative that holds little to no basis on the truth and as expected, the backlash for both was as harsh as they were swift. Elizabeth Holmes in particular, with a black turtleneck and an eccentric personality that is not unlike Steve Jobs, was extensively covered in the mainstream media for a few years before her house of cards came tumbling down. Both McFarland and Holmes are now famous for all the wrong reasons and that’s the kind of future prepared for you once you start playing around with the facts.

Latching on to a truthful narrative

Finding a great pair of jeans is easy; you can easily find quality raw selvedge denim made by small, premium brands all over Australia but so far, the only denim brand I actually love is Sweden’s Nudie Jeans. Not because of the quality of their product but because their commitment to sustainability. Loving a brand’s product is different from loving a brand and this is what makes brand storytelling potentially powerful as they can inspire the kind of loyalty that quality products simply won’t be able to.

The key to this loyalty however is trust and the funny thing with trust is that once they’re broken, they’re not something that could easily be regained and the internet has a ridiculously long memory. From here on out, every single time you look up McFarland’s or Holmes’ name on Google, you’re going to be presented with a chronicle of their misdeeds. I don’t know if this is a case of Wikipedia vandalism but Billy McFarland’s occupation is now listed as fraudster, not entrepreneur as he originally claimed.

Finding your own truth

A brand’s narrative is their identity and if a brand doesn’t have an identity, what would make you stand out from an ocean of similar businesses. It would be like trying to connect to a machine that churns out one product after another. Sure, the product might be of a high quality but they would be sorely lacking in personality. Dig deep into your business (or yourself) and try to find out what makes you, you and try to use the same line of thinking into your company.

A life unexamined is not a life worth living and trust me when I say that a dash of existential crisis every now and then is actually good for your soul. Asking those big questions can be life-affirming and they might be just exactly what you need to discover your brand’s truth. If you’ve been asking those questions for a while now and you still find yourself without an answer, then you might have bigger problems than just your marketing. Your brand identity should serve as the core foundation of your business, including your marketing, and without a message to send, your marketing would just be pure fluff.

Calling Card: 4 Reasons Why Every Business Website Needs a Logo

web design tips

First things first, let’s get it out of the way that I decided to write this thanks to the news about Persona 5 Royal, an upcoming enhanced edition of the 2017 hit video game Persona 5. In both games, you control the ringleader of a high-school vigilante group, nicknamed the Phantom Thieves, that tries to change the hearts of corrupted adults by invading their subconscious realm known in-game as the ‘Metaverse’ and stealing their ‘Treasure’. I know, it’s quite a lot to process, but what I would like to draw your attention to is how the Phantom Thieves operate.

Before each heist, the Phantom Thieves sent out a calling card emblazoned with their logo of a party mask wearing a top hat and the words ‘Take your heart’ written on the card. Persona 5 is a uniquely stylish game and this calling card and the Phantom Thieves logo is a huge part of that style. The visual styling of the game and the dominant color scheme of black and red used in the game is reflected in the logo, which practically represents the identity of the overall game. This reason is what makes the logo so important and why, in terms of web design, it’s important for a business to have a logo.

The purpose of a logo

A logo isn’t exactly a piece of art nor is logo a bland mark of identity the way barcode is; it’s a combination of both. A logo has to be visually distinctive and representative while still being visually appealing. The uncultured probably has no idea why the Starbucks logo is that of a mermaid but anyone who’s ever read Melville’s seminal book, Moby Dick, knows that Starbuck is the name of the first made aboard the Pequod, the whaler captained by Ahab in his pursuit of the titular whale. The mermaid is just a natural extension of the nautical theme carried by the name.

The name and the logo don’t really have anything to do with coffee but it was unique and distinctive enough that even a mere glimpse of the logo would lead your brain to connect it with Starbucks. It’s not the coffee or the pumpkin spice latte that makes Starbucks, Starbucks. It’s that mermaid staring at you from the side of the cup, which is exactly what the logo was designed for. Your logo is the leading protagonist when it comes to your brand identity and this one fact results in 4 different reasons why your logo is essential to your website

Your logo dictates the overall styling of your website

Just how the dominant color scheme displayed in Persona 5’s calling card reflects the entire video game; the aesthetic of your company’s logo forms the aesthetic foundation of your web design. The Starbucks website for example features the color green in a dominant role and the website for the sandwich chain Subway also features a highly visible green and yellow color scheme. Color is just one easy example of how a logo could affect the overall design of your website but other factors could also be affected.

For example, it is possible that the typeface your website is going to use relies on your logo. In the website for Persona 5, the typeface used for the headings is identical to the one used in the calling card, which is similar to the cut-and-paste letters typically seen in ransom notes. The logo represents the core identity of your company so it only makes sense for your web design, which forms the digital representation of your company, to take after the identity of your logo.

The logo act as the compass in your website

In pretty much every website I could name, clicking on the logo would take me to the homepage of said website. A logo isn’t there just for simple eye candy, it can also perform specific functions; as a mark of consistency in your web design and to provide users with a specific navigation tool. Just as how a compass would always point to the magnetic, not geographic, North Pole of this planet, the logo should always lead to the homepage of your website. It’s also important to make sure that the logo stays on the same position in every single page of your website to ensure consistency.

For the purpose of branding

The Ferrari is commonly referred to as ‘the prancing horse’ thanks to their logo, taken from the emblem of Italian WW1 ace pilot Francesco Baracca. The Italians are particularly smart when it comes to branding as Lamborghini typically names their car based on Spanish fighting bulls, which also happens to be their logo. When used intelligently and in conjunction with other parts of your business, your logo could be used as a unique branding opportunity since your logo is unique to your company.

It’s what the audience expects and sometimes demands

As of now, whenever I’m looking for a new pair of jeans, I always try to look for brands with a signature back pockets. Other than the fact that these back pocket stitching could help imbue a pair of jeans with a semblance of life, I also like it when a brand has their own mark of identity they use on their products. This is why it’s important for a business to have their own logo proudly displayed on their website as it’s a visual identifier that is now pretty much expected by the audience and in my case, demanded.