Don’t cross the line

January 17, 2010

Some people might know but I (Cyriel) is now traveling in New Zealand and Australia. I will irregularly write some things on this blog to give some examples of the ‘succes’-elements that I see on the road. Here is already a first one from my stopover in Singapore. I think this picture is very concrete and simple 😉 Even if you didn’t understand  any of the languages, the picture makes clear what will happen if you cross the line.

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Anchor and twist

November 27, 2009

Another very good video from Dan Heath about making an anchor + twist.

This method really works well to make a message more concrete. Dan gives the example of linking your product/service/company/ … to a well-known competitor that’s in the same business domain. That is the anchor. It’s also important to add a twist that shows in what way you are different (cheaper, faster, different service, …).

Eg: twitter is a form of mini-blogging (blogging is the anchor and mini is the twist)

Writing a strong mission statement

November 25, 2009

Nice video from Dan Heath about a good mission statement. Stick to the essence and make it concrete instead of using vague, meaningless words.

Make sandwiches very visual and create curiosity

September 16, 2009

niet-zonder-vorkThis is a picture I got from Richard.  Richard is at least a half day a week on the streets making pictures.  You can find every day a picture by him on his site.

You can’t eat our sandwiches without a fork.

What mental images do you get by reading this?  A huge plate with vegetables and other things?  It’s very hard not to imagine something when you read this sign.   At the same time it makes you as a reader curious.  It creates an open hole in your knowledge.   The good thing is that you can close that hole on the spot.  Our brain is wired to fill these holes.   Walk in and find out….

It combines concreteness, credibility and a bit of surprise.

Example from Life’s a Pitch

September 14, 2009

A couple of weeks ago I moved the the book Life’s a Pitch (Stephen Bayley & Roger Mavity) from my candidate booklist to my active booklist.Life's a Pitch

The book has great insights and great stories.

The next is story is from this book. It’s about Sir Gerry Robinson. He has been Chairman of the Arts Council and delivered a great pitch to Tony Blair.

His pitch is great because it simple, very concrete, emotional and credible.

The next is from the book p112

Gerry was choosen to run the Arts Council because the Blair Government thought the Council was badly and extravagantly managed, so they wanted a hard-headed businessman to get hold of it and cut the waste. But when Gerry studie dit, he quickly decided the arts needed more money not less. I asked him how he pitched this difficult case to the very people who had put him in place to recommend the opposite.

Gerry answered :

I had to point out that the problems weren’t just the inefficiencies, although there was some of that, but the arts were just ludicrously underfunded. Any civilized nation should fund the arts properly. I felt that it was a credible proposition for me to be saying that rather than someone from the arts world.
I just knew that the way to get the money was to point out that was needed, £200 million, was in real terms absolutely bugger all. I reminded them it was just about the cost of one F-11 jet.

Gerry used concreteness, surprise, emotion and credibility to be understood, remembered and to change behaviour.

The credibility didn’ t came from the message itself. It was Gerry who gave the credibility. If it had been somebody from the Arts Council and not a tough businessman the message would not have had credibility.
Gerry surprised Tony Blair. Blair expected to hear ideas for cuts inbudgets.
“Any civilized nation” is a great phrase for building identity. It creates emotion because who wants to be prime minister of a nation that is not that civil anymore.
Gerry used the concreteness for his audience. In order for Tony Blair to be able grasp the amount Gerry used an image from his world.

How to make speed signs more meaningful!

September 3, 2009

speedsignI got this picture from  Nicolae Halmaghi, who is so kind to give permission to use it.   We can learn a couple of things from this image.

How do you tell people what is in for them?  And how do you make that more tangible?The city Elm Grove made a nice effort to come up with a different approach.  They make it personal:   the chances of crash for the red car  are gone up with 30%.  I like it because it is going further than the other signs I have seen.    I think it can be inproved because 30% more chance is very hard to see.   How could you turn 30% more chance  into a visual image that is more esay to grasp?