A few years ago, Nordstrom shoppers arrived at their store to a dramatic surprise. From entrance to exit, every one of its typically-subtle departments radiated vibrant orange: orange pillars, orange signage, orange doors. The further a shopper ventured, the more they understood. The season’s hottest color was – you got it – orange.
As you can imagine, orange isn’t an easy color to promote tastefully. It can be brash, overpowering, an eyesore. Nordstrom sold the heck out of it. Orange sweaters and shirts and scarves and even shoes flew off the shelves, and all for one reason. Shoppers fell in love with what they saw. Nordstrom won the visual game.
Brands are tempted these days to go straight for the head. Marketers advise, “Get your customers thinking about your product in a new way!” And that’s not necessarily bad advice. The part we too often overlook, however, is that the most direct path to the mind is through the eyes.
Whether marketers like it or not, we customers make a near-instant determination about a brand, based almost entirely on what we see. Consider these examples:
First encounters create a customer’s most powerful belief about a brand. Every subsequent action we take as marketers, therefore, becomes an effort to either reinforce or counter it.
Few businesses, of course, have the resources of a retailing giant like Nordstrom. But even a small business has the power to dramatize its first impression. Have you examined yours recently?
Whether physical or virtual, every company of every size has a point of entry for its customers.
Branding on a budget is feasible, and it can start with even a few small changes.