Signs And Symbols Can Sell When Other Efforts Fall Flat
by John Delavera
Marketing is a very tricky game that most people tend to prefer to play safe.
While tried and tested efforts can gain results, they generally will not turn companies into household names on a national or international level. When something more is desired, companies can learn a thing or two from the ancient and not-so-ancient past.
Consider some of the most successful companies in the marketplace today. No matter the type or types of products these companies offer, they all tend to have something beyond their powerhouse status in common.
So, what is that thing?
It happens to be the use of signs and symbols in their marketing campaigns. Think of any company that is at the top of its field and chances are strong that it will be readily identifiable by its symbols alone.
Companies that enjoy success on a major level do not necessarily have to have their names stated in commercials and other marketing efforts, their signs and symbols speak for themselves. Anyone who doubts this need only consider the companies that are recognizable to toddlers. Toy companies, cereal brands and even sandwich and French fry joints will all make youngsters who cannot even read jump up and down for joy when their symbols are seen. The products might not even be a child’s favorites, but a response will be elicited nonetheless.
Why is this?
Long before there was written language, there were symbols. Humans have moved in a world where certain symbols stand for specific things. In many cases, symbols are also tied to strong emotions or subconscious responses. When companies capitalize on the use of the right symbols in their own marketing people tend to take notice without even noticing they are doing so.
Consider the many symbols out there that elicit positive responses in people. A checkmark, for example, is a sign for a job well done or completed. It makes people happy and gives them a sense of accomplishment. Olive branches and doves are signs of peace. An image of a lion stands for strength and loyalty. The examples go on and on.
When companies take familiar symbols that have positive meanings in the eyes of clients, alter them and make them their own, they can reach out to consumers on an emotional level. Some companies have also managed to create their own unique symbols and give positive meaning to them through tactical marketing campaigns. Regardless, the symbols, just like a checkmark on a homework assignment, have come to represent certain emotions and elicit specific reactions from consumers.
While not all highly successful companies have learned to tap into the power of symbols and their ability to say more without actual words, many have. When logos, product packaging designs and advertising efforts use the right symbols and manage to attach the right meanings to those symbols, household name status can follow.
Standard marketing efforts can go a long way in helping companies enjoy modest success. When going beyond is the goal, marketing needs to take on a different strategy. Reaching out to customers through symbols and speaking to them on the subconscious level can provide the impetus needed to turn a good company into a great one.