What Brand is Your Color? Color Psychology & Brand Personality

Brand is an articulation of any business for the consumers to understand and relate. In the back stage, companies are complex business strategies, functional processes, evaluated inputs and measured outputs, which if presented on stage as is, might be too much for consumers to grasp. Branding is a casket of prepping exercises like direction, content, props, presentation and emotion that makes the back stage chaos meaningful and enjoyable for the audience (read consumers). This analogy also fits well in explaining the importance of the visual appeal of a brand that one is putting out there for the consumers. Since color is among the fundamental visual stimuli for humans, its involvement in formulating a successful brand image remains imperative.
Color psychology is the study of different hues as a determinant of human behavior (source: Wikipedia). Based on studies and research, it is quite evident that different colors evoke different emotions in human beings. In 2015, internet was stirred by the picture of a dress which had the online world divided over whether it was blue/black or white/gold, remember? While the argument was put to rest when it was revealed that the dress was in fact blue/black in color, it opened a new realm of discussions on how colors, like brands, can be perceived differently by individuals. But it was long before this online phenomenon that companies focused on color psychology while creating their brand image for the consumers.
One of the most exciting brand exercises for marketers is to define a brand’s personality. As per a study by Stanford professor Jenifer Aaker, there are five different core personality dimensions that we can associate with a brand, these are: Sincerity, Excitement, Competence, Sophisticated and Ruggedness. Each of these personality traits are a character sketch comprising of traits and emotions. For example, a brand with a sincere brand personality must evoke a feeling of honesty, expertise and clarity in their consumers using all or most of its brand entities. This being one piece of the puzzle, every color in turn is related to a representation of some of these traits and emotions in the human mind. Thus, connecting the two pieces of brand personality and color psychology one can bridge their way to the consumers’ psyche and mold a
brand identity.
Ever wondered what MC Donald’s, KFC, Burger King, Pizza Hut, Wendy’s and Domino’s Pizza have in common apart from being the top fast food brands across the world? It’s the color RED in their logos.

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Studies show that color red is associated with feelings like excitement and energy in humans. Red color can increase your heart rate causing fast combustion and thereby stimulating hunger. Now, one may argue the actual impact of the color red in these logos in making one hungry but it surely doesn’t seem like a coincidence either. The color green for example is most soothing to the human eyes as our eyes are most sensitive to that color spectrum. Naturally it triggers the sense of freshness, cure, health and natural in our minds. So, if you are the best landscaping company in the town, OR the retailer of freshest produce, an obvious choice of logo color for you is green. Whatever the approach, color is a defining element of your brand and that is because there is a brand in every color!

This post was featured as an article by Jaipuria Institute of Management in the 8th Edition of the annual advertorial Jaipuria Times:

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MARKETING STRATEGY 101: UNDERSTANDING THE BUYING PROCESS. — Elle voyage

Marketing is the cornerstone of every single business. For any business to prosper, business owners and marketers need to find a way to outwit their competitors. Having said that, half of the process involves understanding the psychology behind the buying process.

via MARKETING STRATEGY 101: UNDERSTANDING THE BUYING PROCESS. — Elle voyage

Types of Influencer Marketing Campaigns — Greenroom Buzz

Why Influencer Marketing? The boom of influencer marketing has been a constant for the past couple of years. It has been forecast that the industry will reach a $5 billion mark by 2020. The concept itself has been peeking through holes over decades in form of celebrity endorsements. The invent and the ascent of social […]

via Types of Influencer Marketing Campaigns — Greenroom Buzz

FOMO is for real! #5 Ways To Use FOMO in Marketing

You want to know my FOMO moment?

When i first heard it!

That’s right…sometime last year this funny sounding acronym was dropped in between a conversation  by a friend along with a facial expression that read “i’m judging you if you don’t know it already”. Under the desk my fingers quickly tippy-typed what i think i had heard…fommo, f.o.m.o, fomo? and there it was…

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Oh! you mean the brief anxiety that i just experienced for missing out a trending word that made me feel like a dinosaur…a species long extinct from the face of earth?! True.

P.S : with all this running in my mind, i barely heard another word my friend said after that. so i’ll tag this one as a #confession 😉

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FOMO is for real! For most of us this fear is triggered by social media posts, tags and notifications that don’t include us. The thought of missing out on the plenitude that is happening out there, the fun, entertainment, experience, selfies and gossips that is now second hand information on someone else’s timeline…is atrocious. But good news, FOMO can actually act as a bait for marketing your brand or product especially if your target group is the millennials. There’s no doubting the fact that psychology plays a big role in making successful campaigns and FOMO is one such psychological strategies that companies adapt in their social media campaigns to make their products/offerings irresistible.

Here are 5 ways to use FOMO in Marketing:

#1 Promote Experience NOT Product 

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This time of the year Halloween is everywhere right from coffee flavor to home decor. Riding the experience of this scary night to promote discounts on costume is marketing done right. This ad by Shein is promoting the scariness of the costumes along with the savings that you will make shopping with them. People fear missing the experience that comes along with buying the product or service and therefore luring them through a promising experience is the key to receiving their positive response.

#2 Sense of Urgency 

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Creating a sense of urgency, as shown in the examples above, is not new is marketing. in fact it is a hackneyed tactic because it works! enticing the consumers by highlighting that a product they like might be running out soon, or is available at a special price just this day or even hour kindles their FOMO for obvious reasons. Attaching a limited period timeline makes the consumers give in to this fear and act faster in making the purchase.

#3 Play the Exclusivity Card 

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Exclusive offerings are a concoction of gestures solely meant to make your selective customers feel special. And if you’ve got it you certainly do not want to miss it! making exclusive offerings that draws a line between mundane and privileged evokes the same fear of missing out (FOMO) the bounty in store that only selected few can have access to.  It adds an aspirational edge to it and makes your target audience act instantly. companies use this tactic to create loyalty groups, memberships cards and clubs for consumers to engage into more than just buying.

#4 Plant the Thought of FOMO

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Not all brands are relevant to consumers’ FOMO in an obvious manner. Tuborg in their ad above are associating their product to an outcome of socializing (an experience) that has the missing out factor to it. Well a beer bottle can be very well enjoyed indoor in solitude while eating take out food and does not necessarily need a pub environment to get the desired outcome. But you see consumers will not fear missing staying home alone with your product and they might not know it as well. Hence, associating your brand to an experience and planting the FOMO in the consumers’ mind is another way to do it right.

#5 Notification Knocking

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 Unless you are Apple, you’ll need more than one announcement to create the FOMO you are looking for. Email marketing and push notifications are the best way to constantly remind the consumers on what is happening. Making other consumers share their experience on social media also acts as the stimulus for the remaining to join the bandwagon. A well articulated sales report, page visits, shares along with a timer not only shows the impact generated but fiddles with the psychology of the consumers who have yet not participated.

While playing with someone’s fear is a mean thing to do, my justification is that the word “fear” is an exaggeration here! so we are good 🙂 So next time do not shy away from incorporating these psychological baits in making your marketing campaign a success and bringing new customer on board. 

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Chatbot Content Strategy: #5 tips to nail your chatbot content

Brands need to speak to their customers…I mean literally. And chatbots have made this requirement a necessity for  brands to be a human-like part of their customer’s social circle. I have read it more that often – chatbots are the new marketing trend! agree (to some extent) but the complete statement would be something like this – chatbot is the new channel to continue the trend of personalized/customized marketing . I feel its very important to differentiate the channel and source to be sure of the cause and effect. 

I am uber excited as we (read our company) are joining the bandwagon and it is my part to develop kick ass content for the chatbot. And as I am in the process of doing that, this blog could not have come at a better time than this. So, here’s my take on the #5 essentials to create great chatbot content.

#1 What a chatbot is NOT?

Are you still stuck with the following definition of a chatbot?

“A computer program designed to simulate conversation with human users, especially over the Internet.”

Come out of it already! Step 1 of awesome chatbot content is to forget the mechanism behind it. Because if we are trying to humanize a machine language here, it will be almost like a human but not it. It is rather important for the chatbot content creator to take time and absorb the fact that he/she is not just providing mannered one liners to please the customer but is actually driving the conversation! when you realize that it changes the whole game. One very good example of this is Adidas Women UK – https://www.messenger.com/t/adidasWomenUK

This chatbot leads the conversation by giving you all possible options and does not really wait for you to punch in the request. As a result the conversations are not redundant, the experience is not a typical service desk one and you look forward to keep in touch.

#2 Show your Personality 

Not yours, your manager’s or the CEO’s personality….But your brand’s personality. If you are or were a marketing student, you’d remember the exercise of giving human attributes to brands like Coca Cola (happy/friendly), J&J (caring), BMW (perfectionist) and so on. Like me if you asked yourself why on earth are we doing this?!…behold, we finally have an answer (eeehhhaaaaaa). For noobs, read here about Brand Personality – https://www.investopedia.com/terms/b/brand-personality.asp 

It is very important to take into consideration your brand personality when developing the chatbot content. Break out of the hackneyed tones of being overly friendly and pleasing (does not mean you be displeasing) but try out other befitting personality types like funny, witty, well informed, playful and spunky to name a few. JWOWW or Jenni from the reality show series Jersey Shores has infused her vivacious personality in the bot – https://www.messenger.com/t/JWoww  and its a superb way to connect.

#3 Don’t drag, put your best foot forward

People in services industry will relate to this. There are multiple services, for multiple requests, at multiple locations, during multiple times…you get the picture? It can be very tedious to frame all possible conversation scenarios and then make fitting content for each of them. For such cases, be sure not to overload the bot with content and make the conversation a long series of clicks for the customer. It is a must to streamline your offerings and areas of expertise for chatbot as a channel like you do it for other digital or traditional channels.

Also, try to add value to your customer’s life by focusing on what they are really looking for. Case in point, if you are a retailer with 50 branches in a city don’t make your bot a location finder for obvious reasons!

#4 Complete the circle

Don’t just market, also sell.

Scenario 1

customer – tell me about the current offer

bot – Our current offer is 30% direct discount on all beauty brands. you can avail the offer at all our branches and online, valid till end of the month. 

Hope I have answered your question, would you like to go back to the main menu?

Scenario 2

customer – tell me about the current offer

bot – Our current offer is 30% direct discount on all beauty brands. you can avail the offer at all our branches and online, valid till end of the month. 

Follow us/ Subscribe to never miss an offer update

Make the most of this offer now and get shopping online on www…

See the subtle but huge difference in the possible outcome of the two conversations?! Make sure the content is not just an information center but a resource that will benefit both the customer and the company.

Also, here are some amazing statistics to support the business profitability aspects:

Learn how chatbots can help your business be more profitable

  • 47% of consumers would buy items from a chatbot. (HubSpot, 2017)
  • 26-36 year olds are willing to spend up to £481.15 with a business via a chatbot interaction. (ubisend, 2017)
  • 37% of consumers would rather buy items via a company’s Facebook page than their website. (HubSpot, 2017)
  • Chatbots are expected to save banks between $0.50 and $0.70 per interaction. (Foye, 2017)
  • 45.8% of consumers would rather communicate with a business through a messaging app than email. (ubisend, 2016)
  • Chatbots could save businesses up to £6 billion per year cross industries. (Juniper Research, 2017)
  • 34% of executives say the time they freed up using chatbots allows them to focus on deep thinking and creating. (PwC, 2017)

source: https://blog.ubisend.com/optimise-chatbots/chatbot-statistics 

#5 Visuals before words

A debate on Human Vs Bots, bots will get a point for having visual content which (in today’s times) speaks louder than words…much louder. Here are some eye opening stats that prove visual content is the way to go;

  • An estimated 84 percent of communications will be visual by 2018.
  • An estimated 79 percent of internet traffic will be video content by 2018.
  • Posts that include images produce 650 percent higher engagement than text-only posts.
  • People are 85 percent more likely to buy a product after viewing a product video.
  • Posts with videos attract 3X more links than text-only posts.
  • Tumblr’s active user base has grown by 120 percent.
  • Pinterest’s active user base has grown by 111 percent.
  • Instagram’s active user base has grown by 64 percent.

source: https://medium.com/marketing-and-entrepreneurship/16-visual-content-marketing-statistics-that-will-wake-you-up-59c4c0b80465

This blog and my chatbot content exercise took a lot of dedicated effort and research. I am keen to know if this is helpful and you thoughts for further discussion.

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Station Ads – An Eye Opening Experience

This summer I finally realized my dream vacation to France and the UK and traveled from Paris to London in a Eurostar that goes from under the English Channel. Yes!! I was super charged to soak in every bit of this experience that I had been planning since I can remember, and most importantly take a much deserved break from work (or so what I thought). But I guess, as a marketer you cannot stop appreciating the different and most creative ways in which companies are reaching out to their customers.

This is where I want to share my overwhelming experience both as a marketer and a consumer while taking the metro (in Paris), train and tubes (in London).

gare du nord              Gare Du Nord Station (Paris)

station-london_st_pancras-_c_eurostar_30=4-b1c88                    St. Pancras station (London)

euston           Euston station (London)

Notes from my travel diary:

  1. Taking a metro or a tube is an inescapable part of everyone’s life here…be it a resident or a tourist
  2. It is much more than a journey; it is an experience!
  3. Interestingly, each station and train journey leaves you with a different experience
  4. You are certainly not alone…there is so much to observe
  5. Between the hackneyed sequence of thing, you have time and some attention (beyond your phone and laptop) to spare

BAM!!! That for me sums up as: A pool of audience, under one roof, literally waiting to be entertained.

In Paris, I started talking to a fellow passenger named Clara who was generous enough to share her views me with. Very honest, she said “glad it’s Sunday today…or else I would have been wearing my earphones and reading a book”. I asked her if that’s how she prefers to be while commuting and does that allow her time to look at the company/product ads. She said, ” I look at them all the time, you can’t not look if you know what I mean. For someone like me who travels every day, I wish they would change these ads more often”.

This interaction which did not even last for more than 6 minutes because I had to get down, left me with statement that was deep – You cannot NOT see them! That is so true…it is everywhere, it is bold, it is funny, it is asking questions and it is provoking you to act. It is solving your problems, it is giving you a better price, it is sharing your concern and it is all true!

In London, I bugged another co-passenger named Sashi (yes, I am like that stranger who talks…a lot J) but he was also quite generous in sharing his views. “taking the tube is like a ritual for me”, he said. “when you spend so much time commuting, you get attached even without realizing. Be it the people, the newspapers, the hoardings…the whole atmosphere actually. I once booked a holiday trip after looking at an ad, you can say it was a compelling ad”.

Compelling indeed!

So here are my thoughts…

  1. Outdoor branding in stations has evolved from being ‘stuck in a place’ to being ‘travel companions’. The language, visuals and overall feel of the ads have embraced the different components of a commuter’s life.
  2. It is much more than awareness and visibility now! Station ads can easily become a dinner table conversation topic for a family which for me is important engagement.
  3. There is space for everyone here. Your brand can shine beside another because you relate as you are. Surely brands are becoming more creative in indulging with the commuters but everyone has their space that fills a void for someone if not all.
  4. It’s upbeat and it’s digital. One is looking forward to the next thing that will be on the screen and enlighten them. For creative agencies it is like a blank canvas to make something that no one has ever seen before.
  5. As a brand you will disappoint and also be disappointed if you miss the gala. Maybe there is a pair of eyes staring in the blank and you could have been there.

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Can “Cold Calling” lead to “Hot Selling”?!

Are you on the other side of the phone, with a script that has no emotions and a target that has no logic? If your answer is YES, then this blog is for you because you got it all wrong bruh :-/

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But…If you are on the other side of the phone, with a strategy crafted for the person you are calling that will initiate a meaningful business relationship? then go chill!! you have it figured out 😀

So you know what I am talking about…Cold Calling. If you are a noob then here is a wikipedia definition for you – “Cold calling is defined as the solicitation of business from potential customers who have had no prior contact with the salesperson conducting the call.” You get it? all the credit card, health insurance, property dealer calls you get almost every day! It goes by a more professional term called telemarketing btw.

As a marketer I have no doubts that telemarketing is a very useful, result oriented and sophisticated marketing tactic that can generate leads, convert sales and develop business relations. I mean just think about it…you (a consumer) are chilling on a sunny day thinking about a luxurious foreign vacation and wallah! the phone rings and a warm voice tells you how a credit card with travel benefits can make your dream come true. I mean this is the story of modern age genie you guys!!

Sadly in real life this is how the scenario unfolds…you (a consumer) are overworked in your office trying to catch up with the pending to-do list and damn! the phone rings and a high pitched voice starts narrating a story that’s just  mumbo-jumbo words with very little sense in it. And you just slam the phone down hoping to never hear that voice again. Some who have lost hope even block these numbers to be sure!

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So where is it going wrong? It all sounded good when you were presenting the strategy in the conference room…100 calls per day > 50% response rate > 10% pipeline ….the numbers were magical! then what went wrong?

“Knock Knock”

“Who’s this”

“Your strategy that needs better EXECUTION”

* i use humor as a defense mechanism 😀 😀

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So Let’s talk about Useful, Result Oriented & Sophisticated cold calling (yes it exists) and how these simple pointers can really change the game for you:

1.WHO AM I?

FYI, this is deep. Before you pick up that phone to dial an unknown number please be sure who you are. Find an answer to who (your company) and what ( your role and offered solution) gives you the power to make this call. I say this because many a times I get a call from “someone” from “somewhere” telling me things which are secondary part of a conversation. Please take some time to introduce yourself and your purpose before you jump right into the tele script.

2.  IS IT A GOOD TIME?

If you are not asking this question before you nose dive into a long conversation with a complete stranger…please don’t complain that chivalry is dead, cause you are killing it! Please appreciate other person’s time and give them the option to opt in or out of the call basis their present state of affairs. If they are busy ask more a suitable time to call back and please call back.

3.  SCRIPT OR NO SCRIPT?

I am not saying tele-scripts are useless but they are redundant. I was once given the task to make a tele-script for IT solution sales and believe me there is no end to the number of possibilities how the conversation would go. So i just took the most likely situations and made a script (or what turned out to be a list of FAQs) that was meant to give direction to a telemarketing rep. So step out of it and use it only for directions! try to sound genuine, add a personal touch and go with the flow of the other person’s response.

4.  OK I HEAR YOU, NOW WHAT?

Ever happen to you? you get so busy planning for the worse that you run out of reactions when it all works out? After a dozen unsuccessful attempts when that one God sent angel says the golden words like…”yes, I’d like to know about this” OR “yes, I want that” OR “yes, Ok” what then? You are probably dancing on your seat thinking of the deal you just won. Na ah! stop dancing and get real…tell them the steps that follow, call to action that includes signing up right now or a meeting request.

5.  ARE YOU THANKFUL?

Yes you are in the above scenario…the guy just signed up for your service. But are you thankful when someone says “sorry, but I don’t need this”? probably not much, but you gotta be! Not wanting to sound preachy at all but that’s the rule. Thank them for their time, any information that they might have shared, their patience while you were finding the right answer and most importantly their interest (if any).

I guess this helps every telemarketer who is armed with a phone that has a lot of potential. Let me know your thoughts…