The Unboxing Experience

Even if we don’t admit it, some of the same things that we were excited about as kids still give us the same feelings as adults. Online retailers finally figured this out and as marketers, we can tap into the same ideas and principals.

BirchboxIt’s the excitement and anticipation of opening a gift – even if we already know what’s inside. A curated and thoughtful un-boxing experience makes the consumer feel special and it increases the perceived value of their purchase. More and more companies are upping their game by shipping orders in colored or patterned boxes, carefully wrapping the items in fancy tissue paper or placing them in cloth bags, enclosing a personalized note or putting your receipt in a nice envelope. When you receive a package like this, you are excited to open it for more reasons than just the item inside.

We can apply this theme to many other aspects of marketing a business – even if the company does not offer something tangible. It’s the attention to detail and the element of surprise that can make the customer (or potential customer) feel special and elevate your brand.

Add a surprise to your next promotion to make your audience excited to dive in. This could add cost to your campaign, but if it draws attention and conversation, it is well worth it.

Business Card Example from Moo
Business Card Example from Moo

The possibilities are endless, but here are some examples to get the wheels turning: 

  • Design a direct mail piece with a unique shape or even put it in a padded envelope with a clever item that aligns with a campaign. Anthropologie’s birthday mailings are great inspiration.
  • Everyone loves a giveaway, and promotional items are a great way to boost brand awareness. Consider taking it to the next level by packaging it or surprising your audience with something unconventional. Jet Marketing recently branched
    Anthropologie
    Example of Anthropologie’s Birthday Mailing

    out with miniature chairs as part of a school health center campaign to keep students out of the nurse’s office and in their chairs.

  • Add foil or print your business card on a heavy or unique paper. Use an interesting pattern or quote on the reverse side of the card to invoke emotion.
  • Present a proposal or bid in a pocket folder or bind it in a unique way to make it memorable.

Keep it unexpected, interest the audience, and don’t forget your end goal. In an increasingly impersonal world, this mindset will add personal elements to your product or service. A plain brown box just doesn’t cut it anymore.

 

Katie O’Hara, Project Manager

Katie loves the challenge of finding ways to help clients stand out in a crowded world. She believes that finding inspiration in unlikely places is the key to great ideas.


The Latest in Web Trends

webtrends

While recently researching the latest in web design for an upcoming project, we came across some surprising (and some not-so-surprising) trends and best practices for the new year and thought we’d share.

  1. Phase Out Sliders and Sidebars.

The slider (also known as a photo carousel) has been incredibly popular, but when looking for conversions and engaging your audience it’s best to steer clear. They are often a distraction that users skim right past. They don’t have the patience to wait for each message to appear, and even if they are interested, the message often automatically forwards to the next one before allowing the user to fully engage with the previous.

People think that if they cram as many messages as possible above the “fold”, they will maximize their impact. In reality, their message is diluted or ignored. Worse yet, people may click away from their site.

With mobile devices being the most widely used way users interact on the internet, a scrolling website is your best option. Users are accustomed to and actually expect to scroll through sites. Make the most impact by having a powerful image and succinct copy and a call to action as the first thing a user will see on your site. That will draw them in and encourage scrolling down to see more content.

Sidebars are similar to sliders –  often ignored.  You have extremely limited time to capture your audience’s attention, so don’t complicate it with more static  like a sidebar.

That’s not to say there isn’t a place for sliders and sidebars. Sliders are a great way to showcase your portfolio – but they certainly aren’t for every site, and they definitely don’t belong at the top of your homepage.

 

  1. Larger Fonts and Better Imagery.

This may seem like a no-brainer – but bigger fonts lead to bigger impact, especially when people are using mobile devices more and more. Readability is crucial. Keep the content succinct and to the point. A call to action is another helpful way to draw readers in and lead to conversions.

Having authentic, original imagery that occupies a large amount of real estate on your site is a great way to capture and hold attention. You don’t need  lots of images, just a few impactful ones. The human brain can process an image 60,000 times faster than text.* Having powerful imagery helps the viewer to understand much more quickly what you are trying to convey.

 

  1. Using Semi-Flat design vs. Flat design

Flat design is a style that has no glossy or three-dimensional visual effects. It became popular with the release of Microsoft’s Metro design language and Windows 8 in 2011, along with Apple’s homepage in 2013.** It focuses on minimalism in terms of design.

It used to be apparent to click when something was either blue, underlined, or had 3-D effects. With flat design, it became more difficult to detect linked elements. Therefore Semi-Flat design has evolved to correct these issues. It adds subtle depth and dimension with shadows and shading, which has helped to mitigate the issues of flat design.

While still maintaining the sharp and sophisticated look of a Flat design, Semi-Flat design can improve usability on your site, which in turn can lead to the all important conversion.

 

  1. Video is on the Rise.

While video has long been around, it is becoming more and more powerful as a tool for storytelling and marketing. It is compelling, instantly engaging and quickly draws in its audience. Including video on a landing page can increase conversion by 80%. *** And by 2020, video will be 82 percent of all consumer Internet traffic.****

Video needs to load and play quickly, because impact is lost if a viewer is waiting for it to load. All you need to create compelling video content is a smartphone so get started today!

 

  1. Simplify Your Navigation.

Complicated navigation systems create way too many options for people and can actually drive them away. Having clear, concise labels that allow readers to know what is in each category provides better usability. For example, don’t use adjectives, instead pick short, predictable words. The easier it is for a reader to navigate your site, the more likely they are to stay and click around.

 

These are just a few of the many trends happening in web design, but we think they’re some of the most important.  They’ll help get you going in the right direction with staying on top of the latest strategies in excellent web design and presence.

 

Sources:

* http://www.business2community.com/digital-marketing/visual-marketing-pictures-worth-60000-words-01126256

** https://www.nngroup.com/articles/flat-design/

*** https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/video-marketing-statistics#sm.000005pswuag36cweqpnrdp1zt26s

**** http://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/solutions/collateral/service-provider/visual-networking-index-vni/complete-white-paper-c11-481360.html

ER headshot Erin Rogers, Creative Director at Jet Marketing

Erin enjoys a good, local coffee shop and family road trips.


Finding Your Inspiration

Driving on an empty road at bright sunny day

On a recent road trip as we were coming up over the crest of a hill, it struck me how flat the land was ahead of us. It seemed like you could see forever, and the shapes on the horizon formed a distinct pattern against the blue, cloudless sky. There was no one ahead of us, no one behind us. Everything seemed so still and vivid, even hurtling down the road at 70mph. I captured the moment in my mind’s eye noting the pattern of color, light and texture it revealed to me.

You never know where design inspiration is going to strike, and sometimes it doesn’t even make sense in the moment. But later you reflect on that vision, and something sparks an idea. Maybe it’s not a direct correlation, but it’s the experience, the memory, and all of a sudden you can’t get your ideas out fast enough.

Designers often spend countless hours curled up behind their computer screens, cranking out ad after ad, poster after poster. When you have an established brand, with experience, it just becomes second nature to roll out different pieces of collateral for that client. But it’s different when all of a sudden you have to come up with a brand new look or idea. Where do you go for inspiration? Sometimes it’s other designs, or magazines, or even looking around online. But some of the best ideas come when you least expect it—the trick is being open to that moment, or inviting a recent memory to return when needed.

Here’s what helps: Getting away from the computer. Doing something totally different. Breaking out of your routine. That’s how you recharge and refresh. Whether it’s going to the bookstore, an art museum, taking a quick road trip, or just simply going for a walk outside, do something that shifts your perspective. In design it’s like everything else in life, you have to slow down and breathe it all in. . . or you may just miss it.

So when you’re hurtling down the road at 70mph, make sure to take in the moment, and hopefully flashing blue and red lights in the rearview mirror won’t interrupt your inspiration.

ER headshot  Erin Rogers, Creative Director at Jet Marketing

During her free time, Erin enjoys hiking and biking the local nature trails.