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Can Virtual Reality Help Your Business and Sales?

Virtual Reality Group

Technology has changed how customers find and interact with businesses. The internet has made it incredibly easy for people to search for and find products they are looking for. This gives customers the opportunity to look for things on their terms. They get to be in control.

If you want your business to be found, you have had to change how you advertise and market. As a business owner, you know full well the work that went into developing a website, creating content, and then making sure that content was search engine optimized. You no doubt have social media pages and interact with customers using those platforms.

You know how to use technology to your advantage, and you may feel pretty confident in your marketing plan and tactics. However, just when you are starting to get comfortable, the game is going to change—and once again, technology is going to play a role. This time, you’ll need to figure out how to use virtual reality to connect with customers.

What Is Virtual Reality?

In essence, virtual reality is the creation of a digital world that can immerse a user. When a person is in this computer-generated world, they can explore and interact with the elements there. This act is usually accomplished with specific hardware and software, such as virtual reality goggles and computer programs.

Virtual reality is often associated with gaming, but other industries have successfully used this technology to interact with people, including museums, education, and NASA, among others. The great thing about this technology is that it gets people involved and interacting, and that is how virtual reality will help your business.

How Is Virtual Reality Utilized?

What virtual reality can be used for is only limited by the imagination and the constraints of technology. With the most common application being gaming, this technology is used to create worlds and places that allow the user to explore and interact with the environment, often in an entertaining fashion to achieve an objective—essentially winning the game.

However, in other industries, virtual reality can be used as a training tool. For engineers or mechanics, this technology is a great way to immerse employees in work that will need to be conducted every day at the job site without needing to spend the money to send them to the job site or to create a replica of the workspace.

Law enforcement and military training also rely heavily on virtual reality for their people. This is beneficial because it allows individuals the opportunity to be put into dangerous situations without actually being in trouble. It’s an excellent way for them to figure out how they would react and act in dangerous situations so if they encounter it in real life, they have the necessary skills to be successful.

When it comes to museums, virtual reality allows visitors to check out their collections and displays from the comfort of their own home. People who don’t have the opportunity to fly to Paris (or don’t want to deal with the crowds) still have the ability to see the art that is housed there. This could be a great way for students to experience history and culture without having to leave the classroom.

Virtual Reality and Your Business

When trying to attract new customers, you have to offer them something more than a great brand or products—although this will ensure you’re successful and stay in business. You have to connect with them. You have to relate to them on a personal level, as well as teach them something about your business.

Social media is a great platform for the connection part because it was designed for conversation. If you’re just posting links and ads and hoping that the customers will come, you’re doing it wrong. You have to offer them something they want. You have to engage them in some way.

Virtual reality gives you the opportunity to be engaged with your customers. It gives them a way to interact with your company and be involved. Of course, developing a program that is beneficial to your company and customers might not be as easy as it sounds.

The Limitations of Virtual Reality for Your Business

There is the cost to think about. Virtual reality is gaining in popularity, but it’s still pretty pricey to develop an app and then get customers interested in the app. Your business would have to carefully weigh the cost of development against the prospective return of investment and decide if it’s worth the investment.

In addition, for people to experience virtual reality, they have to have a headset and be connected to a computer. This hardware will add to the cost of developing a virtual reality program, and not everyone has headsets sitting around their house. Supplying it for customers would also add costs to the plan, perhaps making it out of reach for a lot of smaller businesses.

The program that you develop also has to be interesting and attract people. This will probably take some research to discover exactly what things people are interested in and how you can make it work to highlight your brand and products. If you create a long, interactive commercial, it’s doubtful people will find it engaging or exciting. You want your message to be engaging and clear.

As the technology becomes more advanced and headsets evolve (currently, wireless sets are being improved so that wires don’t interfere with the user’s experience), it’s possible that virtual reality will be more widespread and used by more people around the world. This could be beneficial to businesses and the worlds they create for customers to interact with.

Other Technologies That Could Be Used

Pokemon App on Phone

In addition to virtual reality, augmented reality is also a technology that is used to interact with customers. Unlike virtual reality, this technology does not require the person to be connected to a computer or use a headset. In most cases, all they need is their phone.

Augmented reality superimposes digital information onto the real world. Again, the most common use of this technology is for gaming, but it could be adopted and modified for your business.

Like virtual reality, developing an augmented reality campaign would require coming up with something that customers would want to interact with that still gets your message across. The goal is to connect and create lasting relationships with people who are or could be customers and finding the right way to do that has its challenges.

Virtual Reality Is Worth a Shot

Virtual reality may have some limitations at the moment, but no marketing plan is perfect. There is the potential that any ad campaign, blog post or social media post could fail and not attract or interact with customers the way it was intended to. That doesn’t mean you should give up on any of these ideas.

Kid with VR headset

If a lot of businesses aren’t currently using this technology to interact with customers, then the frontier is wide open. You could lead the way and develop ideas and worlds that no one else has seen before and push your business and brand to the front of the pack with your innovation. Is it risky? Maybe a little, but the results and sales could be beyond imagination.

At Glint Advertising, we have the expertise and professionals who can help you with these needs. Contact us today at 817-616-0320 or sales@glintadv.com to see how we can develop a virtual reality campaign to increase your business and sales.

Creative Messaging Is Key To Success

Creative Success Messaging Graphic

When it comes to marketing in the online space, it can be easy to get lost in a pile. Think of the digital environment as a community of brick and mortar stores, not unlike what you see outside in the real world every day. In fact, the online shopping industry alone is growing 3x faster than traditional storefronts. Unsurprising, now that about 51% of the population prefer to shop online over visiting a store in-person.

This means we can apply a lot of the same tactics to both areas. A key difference to keep in mind though is that there is a lot more business in the digital community of stores then there are on a street and it is a lot harder to see all the business available in an online environment. This serves as a strong reminder that your competition is a lot larger than may you perceive when you just think of your local competition.

What tends to be the biggest factor of change when moving from physical to digital is not how we engage, but where. This is why you can find so many digital marketing agencies focused on things like behavioral targeting, banner ads, and automation. What most fail to take into account is that these companies are only providing you with where you’ll be shouting your message from, but if your message isn’t engaging, it won’t matter how many places you are displaying it.

The success of your marketing efforts, be it traditional or digital, will come down mostly to the strength of your message, creatives, and content.

Credit Card Computer Screen

Your Key Message and Why It’s So Important
Your key message is one of the most important aspects to consider. The first question you should be asking yourself is what your key message is. Organizations of all types have key messages intended to help them get across why you should use their product or service. While you likely could form a pretty long list around this, it’s best to whittle it down to one key message you want to use to define your business.

Essentially, your key message is what you want to be known for, and this message needs to be consistent across all your marketing materials and brand.

This will provide a certain level of control over how people talk about you, as we give them one simple thing to focus on. Having control of the conversation about your products or services can be invaluable if you push forward a clear and effective message about what you provide.

Tone and Style
As part of a consistent brand and key message, we need to make sure we have established a consistent tone and style. Your tone and style should fit in closely with your key message.

Writing is arguably the most shared form of content. Even if you are running image-heavy campaigns, you will likely find yourself in need of some written work for captions and social media posts. Whether you are writing for your company blog or just updating Twitter, you need to be sure you have the same style and tone all throughout.

Contrary to popular belief, tone and style are not the same things. A style is best applied to short, catchy sentences, great for social media posts. A tone conveys authority, it’s the vibe you give off and the feeling you get when you read something written by someone who knows their stuff. These two things intertwine and will eventually end up creating what we call your voice.

So, does it all matter? Absolutely. We are trying to convey a consistent message and to do that we need a consistent style, tone, and voice as well. They key to a great brand voice is first and foremost consistency, but being creative and different is key to standing out amongst the competition.

Search on Mobile

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words
If you take a moment to consider what actually makes you click an article, pick a video game, or buy a certain food item, you’ll likely come up with two answers, convincing written copy, like an article headline or catchy phrase that sticks with you, or the visual content associated with it.

Visual content accounts for so much of what your customers will perceive that it is arguably more important than your written content. Having the two work seamlessly together is the makings of a great piece of content.

To do this, we need to keep our images in line with the rest of our message. This means it should match our style, tone, voice and key message. This is going to require us to get pretty creative with our message and find ways to convey it visually.

The key to producing great image content is to focus on these key aspects while keeping your overall brand in mind at all times.

Capturing the Viewers Attention: Before we can start to convey our message to our target, we need to have their attention. Strong, eye-catching visuals that scream your message are perfect for drawing people into your other content. Afterall, 93% of communication between people is visual and 90% of the information sent to the brain is visual.

Claiming a Spot in Their Memory: What do you want people to walk away with? If I’ve viewed your ad, what types of things should invoke me to think about it again? The answer to both these questions is found in your key message and brand voice, as we want them to walk away with that being the takeaway point. Creative imagery can be far more effective than body copy for achieving this, as people tend to remember visuals more clearly.

Why Creativity is So Important
Being creative with your brand voice and key message is key to success. In a world where it gets harder and harder to compete and get noticed, you need something to make you stand out. A common mistake is to check out competitors and copy what they are doing, and while this can prove to be valuable, it can also hurt your overall exposure. Being unique is key to standing out amongst the crowd. If you plan your key message creatively, the rest should follow suit much more easily, setting you up to emerge at the end with a truly unique and creative brand that will stand out amongst your competitors, both online and offline. If you can achieve that, you’ll be well on your way to overall success.

None of This Changes Between Digital and Physical
The takeaway here is that no matter where your advertising is operating from, your campaign and business will benefit from creative messaging. We are trying to create a consistent voice and message for our brand, which means it needs to extend to both the online and offline spaces. It doesn’t really matter how targeted your ad is if your brand message is speaking to an entirely different group then you are targeting.

It’s important to distinguish that while digital and physical spaces require different strategies on a whole, your message should remain in use and unchanged. This makes implementing creative messaging into your materials a universal approach for both markets. In short, your message doesn’t change depending on whether you’re online or not, what does change is how you get that message delivered.

If adding a layer of support to your branding, advertising, or marketing would be beneficial, we would love to talk with you. Email us at agency@glintadv.com or better yet, give us a call at 817-616-0320.

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Kaner Medical Group

Holiday Invitation

KMG wanted to stand out in the mail and attain an early commitment for their holiday party. They were looking for an engagement piece that would entice recipients to interact with their invitation, get excited about their event, and RSVP their intention for attendance. Glint determined a dimensional piece with multiple layers and sound would be the best approach for aligning with a roaring 20’s theme. Conceptualized from and old radio tuner the invitation asked recipients to “Tune In.”

As invitees opened the mailer, multiple layers of rigid translucent material were shown stacked, revealing a top message while enticing the recipient to continue digging deeper. For instant gratification, at the bottom of the invite were headphones wrapped in the shape of a Christmas tree to align with the “Tune In” messaging. The invite also provided a URL landing page that allowed the invitees to respond with their attendance, their number of guests and favorite holiday song. Also, the landing page provided a countdown timer to the event and played a roaring twenties song to bring more life to the experience.

What Do You Notice?

Are subliminal messages in advertisements real or are people trying to see something that isn’t there? Are advertisers that good to make you think you see something you don’t? What about supraliminal messages? Subliminal messages are most commonly known in advertising and appeal to your unconscious mind, but there is a second type of message known as supraliminal messages. Supraliminal messages are designed with a purpose and appeal to the conscious mind to give a bigger impact on what the brand provides. Within this blog, you will be able to see the difference between the two types of messages.

Just like advertisements, you might see an image hidden within a logo. Since the logo is a key piece to making a brand successful, if you see a hidden image there is a purpose behind it and typically relates to a service or product the brand provides. Hidden messages within logos are referred to as supraliminal messages because they can be picked up by the conscious mind and are clear, direct and outright, making them more powerful.

FedEx incorporates an arrow between the “e” and “x” to show the speedy delivery they offer to their customers.FedEx_logoTostitos uses the two “t’s” to represent people and the dot from the “i” to make a bowl of salsa, showing two people coming together to share tortilla chips.

Unknown

The Hershey’s Kisses logo also has a hidden image. Between the “k” and “i” the shape of a sideways chocolate kiss can be seen.

Unknown

Hidden images within logos are specific branding elements that brands use. The supraliminal messages within logos add power to the brand’s key attributes and positioning, and the conscious mind can find the images. Finding a hidden image in a logo is much easier than an advertisement. The trouble that comes along with subliminal messages in advertising is that no one knows if they’re truly supposed to be there or not, and they are only to be picked up by your unconscious mind.

Skittles was caught in the subliminal message controversy with their packaging of the Berry Explosion flavor. A skittle was placed in front of the word explosion causing it to read “Sexplosion.”

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Other advertisements don’t seem to have a sexual message until they are manipulated. Heineken beer released an advertisement that had a suggestive image when it was flipped upside down.
Heineken

The most common subliminal messages found in advertisements refer to sexual images. Apparently, hiding unicorns and rainbows within an ad isn’t as much fun for the artist. The artist rarely reveals if they put sexual images into the ads on purpose or if it was pure coincidence and people are looking too hard.

Every once in a while, an artist does hide an image in the ad on purpose. In the mid-1980s, Coca-Cola released a campaign in South Australia that said “Feel the Curves” which featured the new bottle design and ice cubes on the bottom of the image. In one of the ice cubes, the graphic designer drew a sexual picture as a joke. This joke took a turn on him a year later when it was brought to Coca-Cola’s attention of what the ice cube was showing. The artist of the ad was sued and lost his job. After discovering the drawing on the back of a truck, Coca-Cola recalled thousands of posters and destroyed them. In this instance, it was not the brand that was responsible and instead, they were the ones deceived by subliminal messages.

14-sexy-innuendo-filled-food-ads-that-somehow-got-publishedAn old Benson & Hedges ad is one of the more controversial ads that is known for a claimed subliminal message on the woman’s back. Just above the man’s hand, a sexual image is seen. People say this image was in the reflection of the lights to match the words “soft” and “hard” used in the copy but no answer as to if it was on purpose or not has been revealed.

the-original-ad-is-on-the-left-subliminal-parts-are-highlighted-on-the-right

James Vicary introduced subliminal messages in 1957 when he said he had flashed “eat popcorn” and “drink coke” during movies at the theaters, and claimed that concession stand sales went up. By flashing the phrases on the screen for 1/2000 of a second, popcorn sales were claimed to go up by 58% and Coca-Cola sales to go up by 18%. Five years later, James revealed that the study was made up, and he had no actual evidence to support his claims.

Without evidence and with a confession, people still believe that subliminal messages in advertising exist. The idea of subliminal messages has caused research to be conducted over the years without an agreeable decision being made as to if they are effective or not.

The University of Utrecht conducted a study over subliminal messages in 2006. After their experiment of flashing “Lipton” on the screen during movie clips, they suggested that subliminal advertising was only effective with brands that the majority of people were familiar with, and in this experiment, if they were thirsty or not.

On the other end of the spectrum, BBC Research and Development conducted a similar experiment. The research team gave each person a bag of chips and put the word “Lipton” on the screen briefly during short film clips they were watching. At the end of the clips, each person in the group was asked to pick between two drinks: Lipton Iced Tea or water. Researchers found that the group was split down the middle, and there was no effect of wanting Lipton Iced Tea more.

Both subliminal and supraliminal messages exist. With subliminal messages, sometimes they are approved and other times they are not. Supraliminal messages are clear with their intentions and are noticed by the conscious mind, unlike subliminal images. Even if subliminal messages exist, the effectiveness of them is still up for debate. What side of the argument do you fall on?

If you have questions about branding and how your business can build and sustain a true competitive advantage, reach out to Glint at www.glintadv.com or give us a call at 817-616-0320. From large scale real estate developments, to hospitals, retail stores and credit unions, Glint has been helping clients define, refine and hone their brand strategy and imagery for over 16 years.

 

Glint Advertising Welcomes Two New Glinsters

Farmers Branch, TX: Today, Glint Advertising announced the addition of two new employees to its roster of talented advertisers and marketers. Jordan Jones comes from Williams-Sonoma, and possesses a degree in graphic design, and Meredith Redfern joins Glint as a summer intern as she finishes her senior year at the University of North Texas with a major in advertising and minor in psychology. Said Craig Lloyd, President of Glint Advertising of the new additions, “We are very pleased to add these two very talented ladies to our Glint team. Between Jordan’s energy and eye for innovative designs, and Meredith’s educational background and passion for client satisfaction, we will continue our mission of providing unique branding insight, bold designs and diversified perspectives.”

Jordan Jones comes to Glint from Williams-Sonoma in Oklahoma where she was a Designer. Jordan has a bachelor in Graphic Design from Southern Nazarene University and is inspired by photography and modern/industrial design. Jordan is a big sports enthusiast, and will be an Olympic Skier or X-Gamer in her next life.

Meredith Redfern will be completing a summer internship, and is a senior at University of North Texas. Meredith has expressed her creativity since she was quite young, and has been providing client satisfaction at her parent’s retail business since she was a teenager. She is our own rock star, having attended over 50 concerts and counting.

About Glint Advertising: Glint Advertising was founded in 2000 and provides branding, advertising and marketing services to a diverse client base throughout North Texas and beyond from its two DFW locations. Glint is a full-service advertising agency specializing in branding and integrated marketing campaigns, with a focus on strategy and collaboration. Glint has received numerous awards for its creative work. For more information visit: glintadv.com.