LeAnn Wilson McGuire Writing her Right Brain column

Right Brain

by LeAnn Wilson McGuire

Leaves are dropping. Pumpkins are being carved. Kids are dressing up in their scariest costumes. But Halloween isn’t half as scary as advertising is right now.

 

The web and social media have increased our tolerance for sub-par photography and design. And what’s acceptable on personal social media platforms seems to be bleeding into marketing, whether it’s brand appropriate or not.

 

The camera on my iPhone 8 Plus takes really good photos. But that doesn’t make me a professional photographer. These days, clients take so many of their own photographs, they’ve stopped making great photography a priority in their advertising.

 

While free stock photography, clip art and GIFs are readily available, that doesn’t mean you should use them for your brand.

 

Sites like Fiverr and 99Designs allow you to get a logo designed for as little as $5. You’ll likely get what you pay for. And you shouldn’t be surprised to see your logo again – recycled for another company.

 

A subscription to Promo allows you to get one fifteen-second video per month for $49. Just choose your stock footage and add your logo!

 

The folks at canva.com promise their templates are so easy to use that anyone can become a designer. However, it doesn’t matter how cool the design looks if it’s totally wrong for your brand.

 

The only thing most of these video and graphic short-cuts truly provide is generic content. It’s anti-branding. And, while it may be an easy and inexpensive way to market your daughter’s lemonade stand, it’s not right for a reputable company interested in making real money.

 

Your brand is how people perceive your company. It’s how you differentiate yourself from your competitors. It’s the lifeblood of your business. So stop treating it like your personal Facebook page.