Recent Posts

Our Newest Web Project Launches

Aug 21—We are happy to announce the birth of our newest baby - a brand new website for Warkwyn Associates. Who? Warkwyn is an accomplished audio design and engineering firm. We are sharing this news with...Read More

Look Like Who You Really Are

Jul 30— Do you look like who you are? This question is not an “if a tree falls in the woods” Zen kind of question. What we are really asking is: "Do your graphics and other marketing...Read More

Redefining the word Customer

Jul 01—We recently attended the InfoComm trade show in Las Vegas and came away thinking about the meaning of the word “customer” and the way one’s definition influences a brand’s marketing...Read More

Point Of Sale Displays that Sell Product

Jun 17—You are already using the Internet, social networks and traditional media to reach the customer with your brand story. But if you’re not telling your unique brand and product story at bricks and...Read More

What do your customers think of you

Jun 03—A special guest blog by Wendy Price Some of you may say, “I already know what they think.”  Others of you might say, “I’ll just ask my sales people and account managers...Read More

Ten Print Advertising Tips

May 22—In our last blog we made a compelling case that print advertising is relevant and valuable even in this digital age. Now we turn our attention to a handful of basic techniques for making your print advertising...Read More

The Value of Print Advertising

May 07—We almost always include print advertising in our clients’ marketing and media plans. Sometimes we get the reaction “Print? Really? We hear that print is dead.”  There is no...Read More

Making Text More Readable

Apr 15—Words. Every marketer needs them. Sometimes you need a lot of words to get your sales message across. (In our imaginations) our readers hunger to fully understand the marketing techniques we...Read More

Retail Reality-Product Demos-and You

Apr 02—Remember when owning a decent stereo was a major life goal and when shopping in a hi-fi store was fun? We are unapologetically nostalgic for the days when retailers actively sold A/V products; when the...Read More

Ma Mark Marketing or the Importance of Email Subject Lines

Mar 19—Regular readers of the CE Marketing Prose newsletter may have noticed oddities in our last two emails. The February 19 edition went out with the subject line “Mark” in place of “Marketing...Read More

How to Stay out of the Trashcan or the Lessons Learned from a Parking Lot

Mar 04—Marketers of CE products should count themselves lucky. We have it easy; we’re selling fun stuff – toys that help people enjoy great music and entertaining movies and TV programming. But just...Read More

Five Ways to Make Time for Customer Outreach

Feb 19—“Time keeps everything from happening all at once." - Henri Bergson  If you’ve read our website or spoken with us about marketing you know that we’re absolutely rabid...Read More

Brands that Communicate Win

Feb 05—The most successful brands regularly keep in touch and stay top of mind with their customers (end-users and channel partners) via blogs, newsletters and social media. With the advent of new Google search...Read More

Content is Definitely King since Google Changed Search Algorithms

Jan 28—The word “algorithm” is the equivalent of Ambien – it puts most people right to sleep. So it is miraculous that we actually read the news about Google’s newest search engine algorithms...Read More

How Pawn Takes Queen

Jan 20—We would like all of our readers to believe we are the source of all marketing wisdom and insight.  While that is largely true, sometimes we stumble upon someone who has written an article that perfectly...Read More

Should High-End CE Companies Bother with Social Media

Dec 11—On several occasions clients have asked us whether it was worth their time and effort to participate in social media outreach. The tone in which the question was asked told us that the answer they wanted...Read More

Rants from the Frozen Tundra

Nov 25—A friend of ours from the land of baby seals* was inspired by our blog Turning Bad Consumer Reviews into Good  to send us a couple of rants regarding Big Mistakes he sees CE manufacturers consistently...Read More

Flying Without Navigation

Nov 13—Or how we learned to stop worrying and love the research bomb* Imagine you are on a jumbo jet for a 15-1/2 hour flight from LA to Australia. Just after takeoff the pilot announces, “Ladies and...Read More

Coal into Diamonds - Turning Bad Consumer Reviews into Good

Oct 26—We often advise our clients to allow consumers to post reviews on the company website. From the looks of horror on their faces you would think we had proposed offing Granny for the insurance money....Read More

Direct to Consumer Sales and Channel Stress

Oct 14—One of the many services we offer our clients is helping develop direct-to-consumer sales programs for their websites and email communications. When we’ve mentioned that option to some potential...Read More

The Top Twelve Things Your Website Needs To Do - Part Three

Oct 02—In our previous two blog posts we wrote about eight of the top twelve things a brand's website needs to do to be effective. If you didn't read Part One and Part Two you might want to...Read More

The Top Twelve Things Your Website Needs To Do - Part Two

Sep 17—In our last blog post we wrote about four of the top twelve things a brand's website needs to do to be effective. If you didn't read Part One you might want to do that now...................Done? ...Read More

The Top Twelve Things Your Website Needs To Do - Part One

Aug 28— It should be unnecessary to say it in this day and age but just for the record – Your website is the single most important weapon in your marketing arsenal. Don't believe it? When you're...Read More

Jul 30

Look Like Who You Really Are

Do you look like who you are? This question is not an “if a tree falls in the woods” Zen kind of question. What we are really asking is: "Do your graphics and other marketing materials reflect your brand’s values and position?" If they don’t, you are handicapping your brand and losing sales.

If there is only one lesson to be learned from Apple’s success it is this: “looks matter.” Apple’s graphics visually communicate the brand’s values. They are clean, contemporary, simple, and bright; and they are consistent across all platforms, all the way down to the manuals.

Take a look at the websites and advertising of successful luxury brands such as Bulgari, Hermes, Burberry, and every single luxury automobile brand. You immediately see big, gorgeous, highly detailed product images. The images are photographs or computer renderings so skillfully executed they look photographic. These brands know that people judge brands by the way they look. “High-end” is communicated by more than price, it is communicated visually most of all.

In the Audio/Video industry we too often see high-end retailers with websites that hail from the 90s and magazine ads that look like Joe’s Bargain A/V Outlet. We see brands with products that sell for tens of thousands of dollars using decades-old graphics schemes developed at the infancy of the brand, or poorly executed product renderings in place of photos. We’re often handed ugly self-designed product brochures at trade shows and see expensive products packaged in plain brown cardboard cartons. Big mistakes all.

Everything a channel partner or consumer sees or touches says something about your company. You have to execute each of them as if it were the only thing someone ever sees from your company. It may very well be. Ask yourself – “what impression would potential customers have of my company if this is the only thing they ever see?” Would you look like a contemporary luxury brand, or an out of touch company, or a struggling start-up? Do your graphics remind one of Nordstrom or Sears?

Brands with a “value” position might not want to look too slick or exclusive, nor do they want to look bargain basement. You never want to look amateurish, no matter what your market position. That applies all the way down to little things like manuals and cartons. A typical prevailing attitude is “no one will see that stuff until after they buy it. What difference could it make?” Are you familiar with the concepts of buyer’s remorse or purchase reinforcement? What impression are you making on your channel partners and salespeople? IT ALL MATTERS.

Renderings are a good source of product images especially as you can have them made well before the product goes into production. But they can bite you if you’re not careful. Low resolution images with no highlights and shadows look like what they are – cheap and poorly-executed renderings. Tell your industrial designer or graphics people that you need “photo-realistic” renderings. They take more time, skill and money but they’re worth it. If you don’t have anyone who can do that level of work, contact us and we can recommend people we know who are good.

The odds are that you’re too close to even evaluate what impression your marketing materials leave with viewers. It helps to have someone on the outside who does not know your business at all (like a neighbor or slight acquaintance) look at your website and all of your printed and digital materials and just answer a few questions such as: “Does this look like an expensive, mid-priced or low-priced company?” “Would you have confidence in this company?” “What values do you think this company holds dear?” “Does this company offer high or low tech products?” “Do these marketing materials all look like they were designed by the same people?” You get the idea.

At very least gather all of your marketing materials together with your staff and ask yourselves the same questions. Are you doing a good job of visually communicating who you are? If not, it’s time you do something about it.

About CE-Marketing Pros
We’re a full service marketing/advertising agency specializing in helping Audio/Video brands and retailers compete more effectively. Former marketing executives with two of the most successful A/V brands, Al Ballard and Paul DiComo help brands  STAND OUT in a crowded and confusing marketplace. 

Social Share