Many of our customers ask for a simple communication model to find their true core message quickly and painlessly. If this is something that resonates with you, let me explain a bit more.

Your communication can never become a Swiss army knife

I was in a meeting this morning with a good partner. He is creative and digital manager – and a clever young man. And he smilingly told me that he often has to explain to his customers that good communication can not work as a Swiss army knife!

That’s a really nice image and a great metafor. Because great visual communication can only have one subject – and only one core message!

One fits many

Many customers demand a single visual solution that can fix all their problems and meet all their dreams and desires – build into one. But if it seems too good to be true, it probably is! Because when you push too much information into one story, you loose out on the GOOD story.

Better put your money into 5 short and specific animation films – than to squish 5 messages into one video.

Read more: The iterative creative process

Get to the point

How do you find your core message? Well, your core message is closely related to what you would like to achieve. Through our experience with both large and small projects for many types of companies in many different types of industries, we have developed a communication model that can help you. It is based on the CCAR model but we adapted and changed it to fit visual communication.

5 simple steps – communication model

This communication model consists of 5 simple steps. Imagine, you need a river to reach your message. There are five stones that you will need to step on. Do not fall into the water.

  1. OBJECTIVE / OUTCOME: What would you like to achieve (with your communication)? Ex. I want Niels to get me the coffee pot on the meeting table, because I want a cup of coffee.
  2. TARGET GROUP: Who is what you want to say something about? Example: Niels (colleague).
  3. BEHAVIOR: What behavior would you like to achieve with the target audience? Ex. I want Niels to lean forward, take the coffee pot on the table and reach it to me.
  4. MESSAGE: What is it you want to say? And how do you say the best to your audience? Ex. “Niels, I’d like you to get me the coffee pot, because I want coffee!”
  5. KPIs: When can you measure if you have achieved what you wanted? Ex. I can see that the communication has worked when he reaches the coffee pot.

Let’s just look at the message. It must be as specific as possible. Why do not I say: “Niels, will you bring me the coffee pot?”. Because it is less specific. He could choose to say no. In fact, I must clearly state WHAT I would like him to – and also like WHY (at least if you want to change a behavior with your communication.)

Lost in details

Some companies become derailed in their communication. They become lost in unimportant details (that are only important to the members of the project group). Most people are biased and have strong opinions about visual content and communication.

Chocolate cake without taste

This corresponds to the group agreeing to make a chocolate cake, but at the same time decides to add new elements to the recipe – such as Mango, banana and pineapple – and finally the cake does not taste chocolate at all.

This means that the message in communication is weakened by focusing on other details. You stand with a chocolate cake that does not taste like chocolate – or without the cup of coffee you would like to have had!

Test your communication

It’s always a good idea to “test” your visual communication on people. Ideally, people who are in your target audience. There are various tools that enable you to A / B test or split. That way you can constantly improve your message and content.

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