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  • How the Tracky logo and colors came to be and why philosophy trumps clichés

    • By jennifer
    • |
    • Friday, August 23, 2013

    Color. It's all around us, but its psychological impact isn't clear to most people. A post about color's impact on our decisions by Sarah Evans at FAVES + CO. reminded me of how much color influenced our brand identity decisions two years ago when creating the Tracky logo. We thought a lot about color then and rightly so: research by The Printing House Ltd. reports that consumers are influenced more by color than any other visual cue.

    Tracky's logo is a rainbow of color, almost literally and quite intentionally. In August 2011 when we worked with Swiss designer David Pache of Helvetic Brands on our logo, we contemplated the energy of color, logo trends and the psychological impact we hoped our mark would achieve. As most brands experience, it took several comps and multiple iterations before we reached the final product. While you will notice a very apparent smile in the mark now, the concept started out very different.

    Designer David Pache was inspired by the concept of "tracks" and our metaphor of encouragement to: "Get your life on Tracky." He wanted to convey the three areas of life that our product can help with: personal, professional and social. Those three areas are the "tracks" that our lives run on. Thus, in the beginning concept phase, the mark was based on those three lines in various forms.

    Tracky - lines rough concept

    Rough concept - 3 "tracks" of life

    However, the positive philosophy that Tracky's mission to "simplify your life" nagged at my conscience. Tracky isn't just technology, it's an evolution of how we manage our work and life. It holds the promise that "work" can be both productive AND fun while acknowledging that work and life aren't two separate matters. They can work in tandem, each given their respective seclusion and importance, but with the well-being of the whole person in mind.

    So we took the leap. Pache agreed to place two little dots above the lines. Those dots changed everything. The newly emerged smile conveyed the optimistic theme that we built the software on. Sure, it's a little cliché to have a smiley face as your logo. We debated that hotly for a week but in the end, we couldn't deny that there's something about the unmistakable energy of a smile, expressed in a spectrum of primary colors that communicates a philosophy, not just a logo.

    Tracky mark - official

    Official Tracky logo

    Now that you know the Tracky logo story, let's head back to the statistics about color. If we look at this study's outcome, we learn that:

    • Yellow denotes fun, inexpensive (hey, Tracky is free).
    • Blue conveys trust, security, dependability, technology.
    • Red eludes to speed and bravery. 

    (I'm ignoring fear. Other research shows red associated with energy, power, determination and love).

    To sum up the color definition game as it relates to Tracky:

    • Tracky is trusted technology that is dependable, secure and fast but just as important, it helps you take the leap to a more productive and fun life.

    That definition resonated in theory two years ago, as it does now. With that in mind I say, sign me up! :)

    target with colour

  • #SciChat Recap: What the Data Says About Social Visual Content Today

    • By jennifer
    • |
    • Saturday, May 18, 2013

    I love a good image in a social post, don't you? In fact, photography is one of my favorite art forms and in today's internet culture, I love a good meme. So if a picture is worth a thousand words, then should marketers write less and spend more time on expressing our message visually? That's what data scientists like Dan Zarrella of HubSpot are telling us.

    picture is worth 1000 words
    Photo by: Let Ideas Compete, on Flickr

    Today, during the weekly HubSpot #SciChat, social media scientist Dan Zarrella hosted a webinar with Tracky Chief Evangelist Sarah Evans. The webinar revealed HubSpot's exclusive data on visual content and proposed ideas on how marketers could better utilize it to engage their audiences. After the webinar, social media expert Brittany Leaning led a Twitter chat.

    A few of my key takeaways from Dan's data insights were:

    • Images significantly improve enagagement on social posts (via Sarah Evans).
    • Photos perform better than video, garnering 25% vs. 10% of likes.
    • Pinterest is largely an aspirational platform and therefore houses more buying activity.
    • Pinterest: larger images perform better. In fact, images that are 1,000 pixels or more get more repins. The max width should be 600 pixels. (Aim for vertical scrolling, not horizontal). 
    • Pinterest: repins rates are highest for descriptions between 100 - 200 characters. (Think: tweet length).
    • Instagram: including hashtags in descriptions get more likes. Reciprocity tags (e.g. #followforfollow) instigate the most likes. (But don't be spammy about this. Aim for quality follows, not quantity).
    • Instagram: the most repinnable words include food, e.g. recipe, chicken, minutes, bake, cake, etc. Takeaway - non-food businesses should sprinkle some creative in posts here and there. My tongue-in-cheek contribution using 11 of the top repinnable word: Bake up a #scichat chicken dinner in 30 minutes with a one step no mix cake recipe with chocolate ingredients included! ;-)

    For a recap of the #SciChat on Twitter, visit my Storify here. Questions by Brittany Leaning produced some interesting experiential comments by attendees.

    What about you? Do you love sharing images more than words?

  • Can you explain your business to a middle schooler?

    • By sarah
    • |
    • Friday, May 3, 2013

    You’ve probably heard your fair share of elevator pitches. Heck, I’ve given my fair share of them.

    Have you ever experienced this?

    The person pitching finishes and you’re left feeling more confused than when they began. Whether it was too many buzzwords or they didn’t tailor the pitch, you still don’t understand what they’re selling.

    Now, imagine it’s your business...your pitch they just heard. It’s a situation you don’t want to be in, yet all too often, many of us find ourselves in. That’s why I have a new challenge for business owners: think about how to explain your business to a middle school audience. If they can understand it, chances are your potential customers (or investors) will, too.



    Don’t have access to a group of middle schoolers? That’s okay. Here are a few tips to think about how to explain your business to this age group (and beyond):

    1. Cut out the jargon, they don’t have patience for it.
    2. 10 minutes or less. The attention span of an average middle school student is 10 to 12 minutes. After that, you’ve lost them.
    3. Incorporate different learning styles. Because so many kids have access to smartphones, tablets and computers, visual is as important as auditory. 
    4. Keep it simple. Keeping it simple is one of the hardest things to accomplish. This is a great opportunity to include a focus group to see if they understand how you explain your company.
    5. Stop thinking about marketing. They’ll sense any inauthenticity and probably zone out at this point.
    6. Make it experiential, connect. But, be warned, “with immature emotional brains, students misread adult expressions and see meanness or anger when none was intended.”

     
    So, tell us in the comments, how would you explain your business to a middle schooler? We’ll share our favorite responses.

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