The Kardashian-Jenners make up to a million dollars for each Instagram post (as of 2018), and here are the typical critical responses:
Anyone else think it’s a little messed up that Kendal Jenner makes about 1 million dollars per Instagram post but someone can work their butt off 5 days a week and make less than $50,000 for a whole year.— Amanda Newman (@Mandaa_Joy) July 27, 2018
There’s so much hate about how a gaggle of very attractive & well-connected girls can leverage media (leaked sex tapes among them) to make so much money while others toil away. Yet, all the hate doesn’t mean anything in the face of reality. They are successful, and if you’re a business person, you should pay attention to how they did it.
All that matters is results in business, and for good results, you need to look great.
Visual Appeal Is The Key In Business
“Don’t judge a book by its cover.”
“What’s on the inside matters.”
These are the words of wisdom we are raised with so we don’t become judgemental assholes. I have a few ugly friends, and they are lovely. In the world of marketing, however, the reality is the opposite. Looking good through noticeable branding, well-designed ads, and enough repetition lead to revenues and profit. Here are three more cases proving that vanity does yield results!
What’s the difference between Advil and Ibuprofen?
Answer: $32 Billion Dollars A Year
There’s ample evidence to show that generic painkillers such as ibuprofen and naproxen work just as well as their name brand versions (Advil and Aleve) at a fraction of the cost. Even doctors prefer the generic versions over the name brands. Yet, largely due to the great campaigns which tattoo the brand names into the consumers’ minds, Americans spend a whopping $32 billion dollars more per year on name-brand drugs over generic, according to a Slate.com article:
“One moral of the story (Slate advertisers should pay attention) is that advertising works.
Nobody I know thinks advertising works on them or on anyone else. But it’s clear that even when marketers don’t have any meaningful information to convey about why you should buy their product, investments in branding nonetheless move purchasing decisions.”
This level of brand awareness is also referred to as “front-of-mind” awareness. It works by looking good, and gaining popularity, then repeating it.
What Made Nike’s Air Jordan’s Key Selling Feature in the 1990s?
Answer: They had better marketing than Reebok.
In 1989, Nike’s profits finally defeated that of Reebok after slugging behind for a while. Much of their comeback was attributed to their consistent and impactful marketing strategy. You can take a look at some of the best (and simplest) Nike ads with Michael Jordan here.
“Nike’s advertising campaign, by contrast, has been widely praised for its artfulness and clarity.
Nearly all the ads depict serious athletes engaged in sport. In a television ad, the basketball star Michael Jordan flies to the hoop in his Air Jordan shoes.“
Their advertisements didn’t list product specs. Instead, they made short yet memorable impressions via celebrity associations. You can browse more vintage Nike Ads from the 80s and 90s here and marvel at the elegant simplicity, or read through an in-depth article on LInkedin Pulse on why the Jordan campaign was as impactful.
It’s just a stock ticker symbol. How much can it matter?
Answer: Over 30%, actually!
Stocks appears to be a mathematical game; earnings, debt, dividends… But sheath your calculators! A Princeton study showed that on short-term growth after IPOs, a $1,000 investment across stocks with tickers that were easy to spell & read returned $333 more than you would have if you invested on the not-so-fluent counterparts.
If this study doesn’t show how impressions and image matters so much in business performance, I don’t know what better example I can give you. The impact of human emotions driven by visual impact is massive, and is a critical factor in your business success.
In longer-term studies (studying major stocks from 1982 to 2011), easy-to-read tickers correlated to 1.3% higher evaluation on equal assets. This may not seem like much, but this means the company evaluation will be $13M higher per $1B in assets, showing that the vanity factor has a long-term effect as well.
My Job Is To Utilize This To A Client’s Advantage
I will work hard to ensure my kids never turn out to be as dumb and impressionable as the shallow masses. My job as a dad will be to educate my children to think critically & review analytically, and not be swayed easily by flashy visuals.
My job as CEO & Creative Director of two branding & design firms (Brixwork & HOVR) is simple & straight forward – help our clients grow their businesses. We design their branding, websites, presentations, brochures to look better than their competitors. We appeal to the vanity. We answer to the public demand for good looking material. We design beautifully, and we deliver results. And it’s a lot of fun!
More examples of how looks trump all when making an impression:
- Infographics work better than reports (Forbes Magazine)
- You have 50 milliseconds to impress a website visitor. (ConversionXL)
- Story-telling design on real estate websites performed 3~5x better (Brixwork)
- 57% of users won’t recommend a business with a poor mobile site (SWEOR)
Which website would you trust more upon first glance?