Author Laura Ries says, “The best way into the mind is not with words. It’s with visuals. They can play a more important role in marketing than words because visuals hold emotional power that words alone do not. Emotion is the glue that sticks memories and brands into the mind.”
Here’s more from the book description to give you an idea of the power of the visual hammer.
Consider what the pink ribbon has done for Nancy Brinker. In 1982, Ms. Brinker started a foundation to fight breast cancer in memory of her sister, Susan G. Komen. Since then, the foundation has raised nearly $2 billion. Today, Susan G. Komen for the Cure is the world’s-largest non-profit source of money to combat breast cancer.
The American Cancer Society was founded in 1913, yet most people have no idea what visual symbol the society uses.
Here’s the difference: The Cancer Society has a trademark that is almost impossible to verbalize while Susan G. Komen has a visual hammer that is easy to verbalize.
Then there’s Aflac, the company that brought us the duck. In 2000, the first year the duck was advertised, sales went up 29%. The second year, 28%. The third year, 18%.
Before the duck, Aflac had a name recognition of 12%. Today, it’s 94%. (The duck is the hammer and the “quack” is the verbal nail. It’s the integration of the two that makes the brand so memorable.)
The advertising industry is hung up on trademarks and logotypes, but in reality they account for only a small percentage of visual hammers. Anything associated with a brand can become a hammer. Color, packaging, demonstrations, founders, celebrities. Even the product itself.
This is a quick read that I found logical, enlightening, and worthwhile.