It could be twice as effective if it does

Woman “smelling” logos
Woman “smelling” logos
Visual by Boyd using Canva and GIMP just reported that SoundOut, a UK branding firm, has tabulated a survey of 30,000 participants in the U.S. and UK to discover the strongest sonic logo of 2021. The winner is Disney in the U.S., and a company called Just Eat in the UK.

Wait, what? Are we talking about Sonic’s logo, or Disney’s logo, or what?

Maybe I’d better back up.

Do You Even Need a Graphic Logo?

A dynamic visual logo can help build an enterprise’s brand, but it isn’t the only way to stand out in the marketplace. It may not even be the strongest.

As a long-time creative director of a marketing…

Visual by Boyd & Canva

Many of us are so busy looking for the latest and the most cutting-edge tools to help us market or persuade that we often fail to look behind us — like 97 years behind us.

Born in 1866, Claude C. Hopkins was one of the most influential copywriters who ever lived. Through his career writing advertising for Quaker Oats, Bissell Carpet Sweepers, and Pepsodent Toothpaste, he is credited with pioneering some of the most-used advertising tactics ever: sampling, risk-free trials, money-back guarantees, market testing, and more.

How good was he? Hopkins was hired by the Chicago advertising firm Lord &…

A Simplified Guide

Answers to the #1 question in marketing

Illustration by Boyd

THE Question

I just typed the search phrase “setting a marketing budget” into Yahoo and it came back with over 271 MILLION hits. Obviously, it’s a topic that a huge number of people have questions about. If you’re reading this, you’re probably one of those people.

There are as many ways to figure out a marketing budget, but a handful have proven helpful for thousands of other enterprises of all sizes in all manner of categories.

Running a business, non-profit, organization or group is complicated enough. I’ve tried to simplify and clarify these methods so they can be of use to regular…

An old patent for a silly hat-raising invention.
An old patent for a silly hat-raising invention.
Visual: Google Patents

Alex F. Osborn was the “O” in the famous advertising agency, BBD&O (15,000 employees today at 289 offices in 81 countries.)In the 1940s, unsatisfied with the lackluster ideas his creative staff were presenting for clients like GE and Dupont, he began experimenting with group idea-sparking sessions he called “organized ideation.” Others later dubbed it “brainstorming.”

Eight decades later, brainstorming is still a relied-upon method for generating new ideas in business, the arts, science, and more, and has been joined by a number of other group ideation methods like Mind Mapping and The Disney Method.

Here’s a Medium article that explains…

Name badge with several rejected names.
Name badge with several rejected names.
Visual by Boyd

Make a Good Name for Yourself Without Getting Sued

There are few challenges an enterprise faces that are more serious than choosing its name or the name for its latest product.

If you’ve ever named a child, or a pet, or even a boat, you know how difficult it can be to come up with the perfect choice. With humans, anyway, there is nothing more basic to who and what we are. It’s our Prime Descriptor — the identifier most of us will use throughout life.

If you’re smart, you’ll think especially hard when choosing a name. A lot rides on it.

Picking the best name for a new…

These verbal sidekicks need to be kicked out of your writing

Old movie cowboy and his comic sidekick
Old movie cowboy and his comic sidekick
Visual by Boyd

If you’ve read many novels or comic books or seen many movies or television shows, you know about characters called sidekicks. They’re the hero’s associate and their often bumbling antics serve to make the star shine even brighter. I started to use the words “helper” or “assistant” in that last sentence but in truth, the helper is more often a hindrance — falling down during the chase, misinterpreting vital clues, and otherwise distracting the hero from accomplishing the necessary heroic deeds.

In persuasive communication, adjectives are just like sidekicks.

They have no particular grammatical benefit in themselves, their only reason…

Certain words are as powerful as incantations

Hypnotist putting lady intro trance in old drawing.
Hypnotist putting lady intro trance in old drawing.
Visual by Boyd

We’re not talking about the pseudo-mystical exhortations used by stage illusionists and in movies — abracadabra, alazakam, expelarmus or presto-change-o. We’re talking about simple, everyday English-language words that almost have the power to enchant people.

You know every one of these words and, chances are, you use all of them in your daily communications. When used wisely, these everyday words can influence opinions, can compel others to buy your product, believe your argument, or otherwise go along with your wishes.

I call them magic words because even after centuries of constant daily use, their power is still something to conjure…

Boyd Blackwood

Creative Director, writer, 30+ year marketing veteran. I share what I’ve learned about creativity, persuasion, and marketing.

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