Chances are your marketing people have stolen some of Apple’s visual language.
In fact, Apple’s full-width, high res, shallow depth of field, light sans serif font on a light background look has been copied so widely, your marketing people might have copied someone else’s copy of Apple’s visual language.
Here’s why that might not work for you.
You’re not Apple. By which I mean, you can’t show your customers a postcard of a place they haven’t already been.
When Apple gives 50% of their homepage to a gorgeous closeup of an Apple Watch or a shot of a Macbook doing a handstand with the words “Learn more” underneath it, they’re doing something you can’t do. They’re showing you a postcard of an experience you’ve already had.
Say you’ve been to Niagara Falls (the Canadian side, you know, the majestic, beautiful side) and you’ve brought back an old timey postcard. The only thing on that postcard is an image of the horseshoe falls, with the words “Niagara Falls” superimposed. Looking at that postcard years later, it all comes back to you. The smell of the mist, the freshness in the air, the feel of the curlycue iron fence under your hand, the heart-fluttering whoosh of the glassy river rushing over the edge.
You’ve had the experience. The postcard evokes the experience with one image and two words.
Apple does the same thing. By the time you get to their site, you’ve heard about their latest product release on every news show. On every blog. On every twitter feed. And that’s if you’re not interested. If you are interested, you’ve consumed even more information about it.
When you go to Apple’s website, they can get you to recall all of the experience you’ve already had with their product with one image and two little words. They’ve already taken you there. Now they’re showing you the postcard.
You can’t do that on your site.
You can copy their look, you can put a beautiful picture representing your product, or your team, or your mission behind a flat white sans serif headline, but it will not have the impact you want.
To some, it may say “these guys are a modern company with a modern look”. To some it may say “these guys are unimaginative copy-cats”. But unless you’ve already somehow managed to give them the experience that your “postcard” refers to, you’ll fall short.
There’s a way around this. Two actually. The first is to capture the world’s attention like Apple does. But that’s a bit like making a million dollars by starting with a billion dollars.
The second way is to focus on your targets. What Apple does with the whole world, do for the 300 CEOs of the companies you’re targeting. Give them the experience. Then show them the postcard. Then prompt them to learn more.
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