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Visual Hammer by Laura Ries

The full title of this book by Laura Ries is

Visual Hammer: Nail your brand into the mind with the emotional power of a visual“.

In my review of the book on Amazon.co.uk, I rated the book at the Four Stars level. This means I think it is Good and Well Worth Reading.

Here is my book review.

Well worth reading – makes effective marketing sound like common sense

This is one of those books that makes effective marketing sound like common sense but it’s rarely practised effectively in the real world.

The author accepts her father’s idea that the key role of a brand is to establish a unique or dominant position in the mind of its customers.

That’s what she calls the nail. However the most effective way to communicate the message and to get it to stick, is to use the emotional impact of distinctive visuals that directly link to the position – the hammer.

While it’s easy to immediately jump to thinking about logo design, it can also be done with distinctive packaging,or be a factor incorporated directly into a product (e.g. the red soles of Louboutin shoes), an association with some kind of famous personality (e.g. Colonel Saunders) or shown through dramatic TV advertisements.

Whilst I enjoyed reading the book, the examples are drawn from the United States and some of them didn’t have much meaning to me. I also thought the key ideas were stretched out more than necessary.

The basic idea that a strong visual will emphasise an effective positioning makes a lot of sense. I suspect it’s hard to do in a way that isn’t easily copied.

It is available to buy from Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com.


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