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Branding and advertising

Straight From the Wizard Himself

The Keys To Successful Branding

Roy Williams is a best selling author and marketing consultant best known for his Wizard of Ads trilogy. Roy, together with his wife Pennie, founded the Wizard Academy institute in Austin, Texas.

My wife and I were fortunate enough to attend the Wizard Academy. Did we soak up the wisdom of the Wizard? 

You bet we did!

Roy Willaims, his wife Princess Pennie, my wife Theresa, and me.

The class consisted of musicians, poets, radio, and TV personalities. We just happened to grab a seat next to a movie producer at our right, and an accomplished author to our left. We were indeed surrounded by creative talent from all areas of the universe. It would take days to share ALL of the information we absorbed during that single week of listening and learning. However, you might enjoy his article on successful brand writing. Implementing these five tips just might make all the difference. 

How To Write Ads That Build Brands By Roy H. Williams

1. Find out what your customers are saying about you. 

Bad ads are filled with phrases you like to say about yourself. Good ads are filled with what your customers say about you when you’re not around. To be successful, your branding ads must sharply echo “the word on the street” about your company. Jeff Bezos, the CEO of Amazon, got it right when he said, “It has always seemed to me that your brand is formed primarily, not by what your company says about itself, but what the company does.” You’ll discover the truth behind your brand when you can explain why customers come back to you. 

2. Substantiate your claims. 

Today’s customers are equipped with a sensitive hype-meter whose needle jumps at the slightest sign of “big talk.” So be sure to offer proof to back up what you say, even if that proof lies only in the customers’ past experience or in their long-held assumptions. Branding isn’t just about the facts: People buy brands with their hearts as well as their heads. Brand loyalty is built on the fact that our purchases remind us–and tell the world around us–who we are. 

3. Double the verbs; whack the adjectives. 

Search for evocative words. Sniff out overused phrases. Stimulate customers’ minds with thoughts more interesting than the ones they were previously thinking. 

Count the verbs in this famous branding ad I wrote a few years ago: “You are standing in the snow, five and one half miles above sea level, gazing at a horizon hundreds of miles away. It occurs to you that life here is very simple: You live, or you die. No compromises, no whining, no second chances. This is a place constantly ravaged by wind and storm, where every ragged breath is an accomplishment. You stand on the uppermost pinnacle of the earth. This is the mountain they call Everest. Yesterday it was considered unbeatable. But that was yesterday. Rolex believed Sir Edmund Hillary would conquer Mount Everest, so for him they created the Rolex Explorer. In every life there is a Mount Everest to be conquered. When you have conquered yours, you’ll find your Rolex waiting patiently for you to come and pick it up at Justice Jewelers. I’m Woody Justice, and I’ve got a Rolex for you.” 

4. Link your “first mental image” and “last mental image.” 

The psychological principles of primacy and recency mean that in any list, the first few words and the last few words will be the easiest to remember. Great ads focus on a single point and contain that point in both the opening and closing statements of the ad. When possible, link your last mental image to your first mental image, and you’ll elevate customers’ ability to recall your ad. The Rolex ad was focused on you and your accomplishments. The watch was merely a symbol of those accomplishments. “You are standing in the snow…I’ve got a Rolex for you.” 

5. Be consistent. 

The consistent use of the same colors and fonts is often called “branding,” but true branding extends far beyond a visual style signature. The brand essence you’ve translated visually must now be translated into an auditory style signature in your radio and TV ads, as well as throughout your store. Does the auditory style signature of what your customer hears while “on hold” agree with the balance of your brand essence? 

The Strategy Team at Mid-West Family Madison follows the successful practices of many brilliant Marketing minds including Roy Williams. Allow us to help utilize proven techniques to help build a better brand for your business.

Author Bio:

Paul Blair
Paul Blair – Creative Services Director

Paul Blair serves as our Creative Services Director writing and producing many award-winning branding and public service campaigns for clients such as Zimbrick, Settlers Bank, Gunderson Life Celebration Centers, Carpets Plus, Chalmers Jewelers, Saint Vincent de Paul, The Healthy Place, Genesis Painting, Benjamin Plumbing and many, many more. His successful career at MidWest Family Madison spans over thirty years.

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