In Branding, Marketing Strategy

Think small.

Not usually the mantra of our super-sized world. Isn’t bigger supposed to be better? Well, not always. One of my favorite challenges at the office is trying to think of some seemingly minor change that has the potential to make a big impact to your business…the low-hanging fruit, as they say.

A small step for big change

A story recently hit the wires about 14-year-old Suvir Mirchandani, a sixth-grader in Pittsburgh who, for a science fair project, was trying to think of cost-saving opportunities for his school district. He began thinking about all of the handouts he received in class and wondered how his school might be able to save on paper and ink costs. By thinking small, he looked beyond the perhaps-obvious dual-sided printing, and he began examining the actual words on the paper. He noted that some type fonts had a bolder appearance, while others had more delicate lines. Suvir began calculating how much ink was used by various fonts and determined that if his school district switched from using the heavier Times New Roman font to the thinner Garamond, they would use 24% less ink, thus saving more than $20,000 annually.

Then Suvir decided to take his cost-saving calculation further. He learned that the U.S. government annually spends $1.8 billion (yes, with a “b”) on printing, with approximately $467 million of that cost being consumed by ink expenses (which, by the way, costs up to a whopping $75 per ounce! And I thought organic milk was expensive!). So applying his equation to these figures, Suvir determined that the federal government could save $136 million each year JUST by changing the font on all of its printing to Garamond. A small change with a HUGE impact! Are you going to change your company’s standard font as soon as you finish reading this? Heck, maybe switch the font size from 11 point to 10 point while you’re at it!

 Suvir determined that the federal government could save $136 million each year JUST by changing the font on all of its printing to Garamond.

Another little example

Behavioral psychology studies show that the color red is supposed to stimulate your appetite (the fast food industry believes this anyway…think about their logos), but did you know that the color orange may make you want to buy? SumAll, a company in Manhattan that does data analysis, has made some fascinating discoveries about human behavior on the web. For one, they determined that consumers are more likely to make a purchase if the buttons on a website are orange. Speculation is that our comfort level with the orange “add to shopping cart”/checkout buttons on popular sites like Amazon and eBay subconsciously draws us to the orange button over other colors, but what a simple change to make to increase sales and improve your site’s user experience! SumAll also discovered that online shoppers were 5% more likely to become online buyers when a site’s call-to-action buttons/links were moved from the left side of the page to the right, probably because English is read left to right. But again, what an easy change to make in order to boost your online sales a few points!

Consumers are more likely to make a purchase if the buttons on a website are orange.

Our own small step

Here at Allegory, we are proud to have helped our clients with numerous big wins; but we also love to look for smaller ways to help our clients succeed. Gore Range Natural Science School, a non-profit outdoor science learning center in Avon, CO, was looking to increase their visibility and reach. Working together, Allegory rebranded the organization and reintroduced them as Walking Mountains with the tagline “A science learning center.” Initially, the change was tough for people to catch on to, and some community members were outspoken about it. Working with the organization’s board, we made a small tweak — losing two words in the tagline, and helping gain community support for their new brand name: Walking Mountains, “science center.” Check out their cool website to learn more about the important work they are doing.

First Tagline

Final Tagline

 walkingMountainsLogoFINAL  wm_logoRev_FINAL

So what’s your business’s next little idea?

What minor change could have a big impact on your company’s sales, visibility, reputation or bottom line? What’s your next little marketing idea? Maybe it’s adding a simple QR code to your business card to take people directly to a webpage with a special offer or a value-added whitepaper. Maybe it’s tweaking your website content to maximize your keyword saturation, thus improving your ranking in search engine results. Or maybe it’s changing your default printer settings to fast draft in order to save on ink costs. Whatever it is, don’t underestimate the power of thinking small!

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