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Best Articles in Brand and Innovation for April

Tracking Wonder - Brand and Innovation April

Every month Tracking Wonder brings you some of the best articles from across the web that have stopped us in our tracks or given us pause to think and consider perspectives in creativity, brand, and innovation.

With help from Tracking Wonder’s research assistant Gianna Kaloyeros, I’ve gathered and curated some of what we deem the most relevant studies, stories, and news that will help you and your team excel at having the most impact and influence – all via storytelling, brand, and innovation.

This month we’ll look at the importance of style guides for your brand, the importance of high quality photographs, and some ideas for flexing and building your creative muscles.

You Have A Brand Identity, But Do You have A Style Guide?

From Business 2 Community.
Having a great brand identity is important, no doubt, but creating an official style guide will maintain that identity and put a game plan in place for the future of your company. Mike Whitney’s overview in Business 2 Community outlines how style guides house typography, color scheme, logo, imagery, style, and trademarks to define your brand and demand consistency across the board. It’s a foundation for your brand, and nothing involving your brand identity presence is too small, because even employee email signatures fall in the scope of a style guide.
Mike Whitney

Visual Perception Varies Among All, But Especially Creative Types

From Digital Journal
Among the five core elements that determine personality, openness to experience is the trait most synonymous with creativity and intellectual curiosity. New research from the Melbourne School of Psychological Science, writes Tim Sandle in Digital Journal, reveals that creativity is directly related to visual perceptions of color, order, and patterns. In a binocular rivalry test – a test in which perception alternates between different images presented to each eye – researchers found that subjects who scored higher on a test for openness to experience also experienced the most mixed perception.
Tim Sandle @timsandle

A Case for High-Quality Photography in Your Brand

From The Next Web
The elements at play when it comes to visually presenting a brand – creativity, credibility, professionalism – should be clear in a company’s photography. Though it may be tedious to plan out these elements, it’s important to remember that the human brain makes decisions based on visual cues, hundreds of them each day, writes Tomas Laurinavicius for The Next Web. Brands can take advantage of the natural thought process by using powerful images, color and texture in brand photography, and that will always impact interactions with your brand online and elsewhere.
Tomas Laurinavicius@tomaslau

Branding Is Simpler Than You Think

From Campaign Live
John Murphy, the man who coined the term “brand,” offers a dose of reality in Campaign Magazine for branders over-complicating an idea that is simple at its core. After the conception of branding in 1985, the marketing tool has evolved significantly. But now, writes Murphy, some see it as a process that infuses our souls with more meaning, deserving of reverence. It doesn’t have to be that complex, though, and taking it back to the basic idea that a brand is just a product or service with a distinct persona and audience may help companies struggling with the modern convolutions of the term.
John Murphy

When Slowing Down Enhances Creativity

From Psychology Today
Researchers at The University of Tokyo found in a 2016 study that taking a breather during a project allows time for more creative thinking, writes Wilma Koutstaal Ph.D. for Psychology Today. In the experiment, one group was asked to draw a still-life object, and the other group was asked to copy an abstract drawing of an object. The 20-minute time frame allowed the abstract drawing students to slowly study all aspects of their assignment, allowing more time for exploring texture and emotion. The still-life students focused only on capturing the basics, yielding an inhibited creativity. How can we use this in our daily work? Slow down to more deeply absorb material, evaluate your surroundings to find the best place for exploration and maybe even stretch your brain with an abstract drawing exercise.
Wilma Koutstaal Ph.D. @think_afresh

Startups and Branding, Keeping It Cost-Effective

From Your Story
The most authentic branding inspiration can come from a resource for which companies don’t have to look hard to find: their employees, writes Munira Rangwala for Your Story. A list of three cost-effective ways for startups to boost employer branding begins with highlighting company culture. The process of interviewing is as much about culture fit as it is about talent, and employers who take pride in the culture they’ve built are taking the extra step to offer more than a salary and benefits.
Munira Rangwala

When Not to Ask For Feedback on Small Business Branding

From Forbes
Chances are, writes Pia Silva for Forbes, is that when you’re asked for your opinion, you’re either in a critical or supportive mindset. The same is true for people who aren’t your company’s ideal buyer when they’re asked for feedback about your company. Their opinion can even be a detractor from your mission. And focus groups? Avoid those too, at least for small business branding. You’re more likely to get better feedback from die-hard fans of your brand than an audience who isn’t in a position to buy your product or service.
Pia Silva  @pialovesyourbiz

Not All Those Who Daydream Are Lost

From Scientific American
In a study of 274 college students whose consciousness was tracked over a 7-day period, researchers found there is no causation between executive function and daydreaming. This means that day-to-day mind-wanderers are no less likely to have control of their ability to execute tasks, writes Scott Barry Kaufman for Scientific American. This is important on many levels, but the one most applicable to creative thinkers is the notion that the stigma associated with those who zone out while completing tasks carries much less weight.
Scott Barry Kaufman  @sbkaufman

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