Art of the State

Is your brand hard work?

Answer these five quick questions about your brand communications to gauge the effect you’re creating. And be honest!

1 Does the language you use…
A) Feature terms specific to your industry, TLAs (three-letter acronyms) and detail?
B) Align with your competitors in style, tone and messaging?
C) Adopt the language of the customer, and focus on benefits to them?

2 Is the imagery you use…
A) Abstract, in-your-face or just hard-to-ignore?
B) Focused on showing the range and detail of products or technologies?
C) Using consistent ‘hero’ images to simplify complex ideas by portraying them visually?

3 How do you evidence what you can do for customers?
A) We can supply details of satisfied customers on request
B) We conclude every product/service sheet with a paragraph about results
C) We pull out proof points, customer quotes and offer downloadable case studies

4 How do you introduce something new from your company?
A) Breaking the mould with a cutting-edge, futuristic feel and creating unique terms
B) By listing and demonstrating the impressive features of our latest innovation
C) By relating it to something customers already recognise and understand

5 How do you demonstrate relevance?
A) There’s no need. People only come to us if they’re interested in our products/services
B) We present all the facts so customers can decide what’s relevant to them
C) We show value by using direct statements and by making clear connections



Mostly A? Cognitive strain
Prospective customers are having to do all the work to understand your offer and what’s in it for them. They’re likely to switch off at the first opportunity and avoid your brand altogether next time around. 
Mostly B? Cognitive effort
This is the most common effect brand communications have on people, making them think on some level to orient themselves and fill in some of the gaps. But it means that if they’re busy, or there’s a brand that’s easier to engage with, they’ll go to them. 
Mostly C? Cognitive ease
As you’ve probably guessed, this is the ideal state to induce. Prospective customers are likely to be more relaxed and receptive to your offer.

So there you have it. From an evolutionary standpoint our brains are hardwired to avoid doing any unnecessary work, since it uses up the body’s valuable energy resources. By contrast, things that are easy to process not only induce a state of ease, but they already seem familiar to us (even if they aren’t) and elicit a more positive response. Or, to express it in an easy to remember way – fluency leads to familiarity.

Why not speak to Future Positive about ways we can help you lighten the cognitive load for potential customers?