Allegra – Using Visual Communication

Keeping employees, customers and organization members motivated is no easy task. Effective communication plays a major role in making sure that employees understand your mission, customers know you care and volunteers feel appreciated.

Communication experts will tell you repetition is key. However, this does not mean simply sending out more emails.

Visual messages – that might include posters, signs, flyers or banners – have the potential to become a meaningful part of your audience’s experience. This communication, at the point of contact, can incorporate many elements such as pictures, symbols, words and graphics. When used effectively, all of these can make up a highly personal and impactful message.

Some estimates suggest that visual communication is 20 or more times more effective than the written word alone. Studies show that graphics help to keep people alert and focused by stimulating their senses. They also help people better relate to what you are saying.

Increasing Workplace Productivity

Management consultants have long recognized that visual reminders can strengthen worker loyalty, increase efficiency and reduce errors. Visual reminders also help educate employees about work processes and safety.

Stimulating Customer Loyalty

In the retail and service sectors, visual elements go a long way in enhancing the customer’s point-of-purchase experience. It is common for stores, restaurants, hotels, gas stations and other service providers to use visuals to build awareness for upcoming promotions, sales and point-of-purchase premiums. However, there are many other ways in which using visual messages can boost customer satisfaction and sales.

One way is using visuals to help customers navigate and interact with your establishment.  Customers that cannot easily get their needs met may become frustrated and leave or limit their time. Attention-getting visual messages can be used to guide people and help customers identify checkouts, restrooms, customer service, package pick-up, returns and other areas.

Visual messages also enhance the customer experience by conveying the personality of the establishment. Sayings, quotes, photos and illustrations can become conversation pieces and build positive mental attitudes for both shoppers and employees.

Building Member Support

Nonprofit organizations all face stiff competition for members, volunteers and support. For such organizations, visual messages offer a way to clarify their purpose and reinforce the beliefs and commitment of their constituents.

Charities, religious groups, associations, cultural organizations and educational and healthcare institutions may assume that their value to the community is understood. Oftentimes, however, members, volunteers and contributors need to be reminded of why they joined or supported an organization in the first place. Posters, banners, promotional products and other visuals are an effective way to help perpetuate the organization’s mission and stimulate the beliefs and emotional ties that originally brought everyone together.

Creating Visuals that Inspire

Prior to developing any type of visual message, it is important to refer back to the goals of the business or organization. What type of identity do you want to build among employees, customers or members? How do you want them to feel when they come to work, shop or visit? Ideally, your business or organization should have a communication strategy for reaching these stakeholders.  Your visual message should flow from this.

In today’s competitive climate, powerful visual messages can help you connect with your workforce and stand out from the competition. The impact on productivity, sales and support can be dramatic. It pays to be understood.

Greg Kowalsky is the owner of Allegra Marketing Print Design in Wyandotte, and he consults with businesses and organizations about their strategic marketing initiatives. Kowalsky has been helping businesses develop their print communications and other promotional tools for more than 20 years. For information, visit the company’s website at allegrawyandotte.com or email at gregory@allegrawyandotte.com

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