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Blurbs and rants about graphic design

What’s your position in the clients’ mind?

Marketing, copywriting and design are a triangle. They influence each other. Marketing however, is the key element as your copywriting and design should be based on previous marketing research.

Even if you do not deal with marketing and you are only designing, you should know some basics of marketing because your designs are still influenced by the message and the image your company or client is trying to communicate.

People are hit by an elevated number of communications and advertisements, however how many of these communications will be retained in people’s minds? Not many. All these data that keep hitting your costumer just get filtered: a person will surf around the net and will only look at the most interesting sites, he will watch the TV and skip the channels he doesn’t want to watch, he might pass by a dozen billboards and only stop in front of one.

Positioning is the act of placing a product in somebody’s life or mind in relation to other products. What is the first thing that comes to mind when you think of tissues? When you think of a cold drink? When you think of foreign cuisine? Those things you thought of have a position in your mind.

With positioning you are trying to achieve the highest position possible in someone’s mind. Let’s take this example: Which free e-mail service has positioned itself as the high storage capacity e-mail service? You will probably think of Gmail (if you have ever heard of it). Dogpile Search Engine is positioned with a dog. Dogs can be your trustee and they will go and fetch a stick if you throw it somewhere. These are just two of many examples.

Why is positioning important in graphic design? If you take a look at Dogpile once again, you will see that their site has a dog in its design. The copywriting will also have to follow positioning. If you have positioned your company with a dog, such as in this example, then you will want to say something like: “Let us fetch your favourite web sites for you.” Beware though: your copy has to follow the positioning all along your promotional piece. Basing only the slogan on your positioning is not enough.

Positioning is explained in great detail in The Positioning Era, written by Jack Trout and Al Ries. You can find it here.

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Marketing

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