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Don’t Tell – Show!

In case you haven’t heard the most popular social network has finalized yet another change to their profile interface.  It’s called “Timeline”.  While that change was happening this small little invite only site called Pinterest took off like gangbusters.  People are pinning, repinning and sharing like crazy (1.36 million visitors a day!).  If you don’t know about Pinterest learn more here.

So what does this mean for you?  Well it shows that our culture is more and more visually cued.  With the enormous amount of information and content out there short bursts are great but an image is even better. People are curating content and gravitating to imagery over text as a means to help simplify the over crowded, content filled internet.

Does this mean I should start a pinboard for my brand and immediately adopt timeline?  NO!

What this means is that your brand needs now, more than ever, some serious dedication to its personality, image and definition.  This evolution to visual representation is a tough one for brands to make.  What you can say in a paragraph status update is much harder to express in a compelling and interesting image.

You need these C’s: consistently, constantly, compellingly.

If you want to maximize the visualization of the web you need to associate imagery and style with your brand across all touchpoints, you have to enforce that consistency so people see an image and know it’s your brand/product/image.  YOUR IMAGES MUST BE A PART OF YOUR STORY, YOUR BRAND’S STORY.  Consider every image pinned and posted as an entry into your brand’s autobiographical book.  What do you want the reader to learn/know and feel??

The beauty of this evolution is it’s going to force brands to become storytellers, but the difficulty is that not all brands have strong stories, so they need to be written in order to thrive in this new landscape.  Marketing is no longer just talking at people, it’s empowering their story with elements of your own.  My pinboard and timeline are a refection of me, do you want your brand to be a part of it? Show me why, don’t tell me why 🙂

Here are some fun designs with the new Timeline Layout:

And here is an example of how imagery can be so iconic that even when simplified the image/brand is recognizable:


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