Monday, January 17, 2011

Using the Golden Ratio to boost sales

As part of my research into the psychology of design I've borrowed a book from the library (actually lots of books, but the one I'm looking at currently is) 'Guerilla Marketing Revolution', Levinson, J.C., Hanley, P. R. J., 2006.

One part of their book examines the Golden Ratio (1:1.618) which has been used throughout art and design history to render artworks more pleasing on the eye. Levinson and Hanley take this step even further by stating that design which is based on the golden ratio is so pleasing on the eye that "materials which used the golden ratio performed five or six times better than those that did not" (p.80).

Furthermore they find that it improves readability and data retention but they state that the horizontal ratio has the only benefit in sales and marketing literature while vertical lines can be used in website design.

I also always use a Golden Ratio grid on business card layouts.

Friday, January 14, 2011

How graphic design affects the buying decision

I've been thinking a lot about this recently and yesterday's meeting and vibrant discussion with a colleague only fuelled this debate further for me. It's easy to see how the buying decision can be swayed by graphic design on a superficial level: only yesterday in the supermarket one of my children stopped in front of the washing detergent aisle and mentioned that one particular brand looked great, "This one's the best!". I asked why to which I was told that it was prettier with nicer illustrations on it. So it works on a basic level: shape of packaging, design of on package graphics. Maybe this can be further pushed to is the packaging innovative and will it enhance my experience of using the product. Mostly, though, I find similar products perform a similar function. Supermarket own brand might not smell as nice as other brands, or may not clean 'as deeply' but essentially it cleans clothes. I'm not saying that product characteristics don't count for anything in the buying process, rather that the initial on shelf experience of the average shopper is dictated by graphic design. (I'm discounting for the moment brand experience built by other channels before this buy-decision).

This is where I'm putting effort into thinking at the moment. Our eyes see the packaging and our brains decode the information and produce a buy/don't buy decision. Why? What occupies this space between design and decision? Gladwell (Blink, Gladwell, M. 2005 ) talks about a consulting firm which helped make a brand of spirits number one seller based on tweaking the packaging shape alone. He also states that not only the shape and colour of the packaging made customers prefer one product over the other but very subtle variances in the design of the label. And the thing is, the product didn't change! It was just the same as before when it was in second place in the sales chart but now the customer perceives it to be better.

So I'm setting off on a deep journey into the world of Design Theory and its affect on the buying decision. Where will it lead me? Through typography, sociology, psychology no doubt, even maybe early human history. Feel free to join the journey with me...

Next stop: Think!: Why Crucial Decisions Can’t Be Made in the Blink of an Eye (Simon and Schuster, 2006)

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Thursday, January 06, 2011

Starbucks-the evolution of brand

Starbucks is evolving its brand and has come up with a new logo. This reflects the businesses ongoing efforts to branch out into other sectors and its desire to be not chained to the idea of coffee alone.

Is this a perfectly reasonable evolution or is it crazy to think of Starbucks selling anything other than coffee products? Well this is why they are tweaking the logo to prepare customers and open the brand up. Check out the BBC article here.

A previous incarnation of the Starbucks logo brought flack from different quarters in the past...: