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Key Findings

Using Color to Create Better Business Documents

In an era of information overload, how does a company distinguish itself and help customers distill meaningful information from all of the noise. The answer may lie in color. Research has proven that using color in business documents can have measurable results. In fact, a color survey by Xerox revealed that 69% of people said they understand new ideas better when presented in color and 76% said they can find information faster if it’s presented in color.

There has been quite a bit of research on colors and their meanings or more specifically how we interpret what those colors portray to us. For example, dark colors are professional and trustworthy, bright colors are youthful and energizing, light colors are peaceful and delicate and muted colors are sophisticated and calming.

Xerox shared the following 20 tips for utilizing color in business documents.

  1. Color emphasizes critical information and conveys a sense of professionalism. Your company’s first impression is the most important one. The decisions to read or reject pamphlets and direct mail pieces is made by readers in just 2.5 seconds.
  2. Color increases readers’ attention spans and recall by 82%. Safety notices, warnings and vital technical information are more likely to be remembered if they stand out in color. That can help decrease costly and time-consuming errors throughout your company.
  3. Color gains readership by 80%. Adding color to product guides can help critical information get read, helping ensure that customers understand how to operate the products they buy from you. That alone can reduce the number of unnecessary service calls and save your company time and money.
  4. Color makes an impression that is 39% more memorable. Direct mail pieces and collateral leave a lasting impression if they are in color, making follow-up calls more successful.
  5. Telephone listings printed in color can increase response by 44% which can lead to increased exposure and increased business.
  6. People are 55% more likely to pick up a full-color piece of mail first and by capturing their attention, you are more likely to get a speedy response.
  7. Color reduces search time by as much as 80%. Contracts, insurance policies and other lengthy documents can be made more understandable by highlighting the important information in color.
  8. Color reduces errors by 80%. Highlighting important information and instructions can help customers fill out forms correctly the first time.
  9. Information can be located 70% faster if it’s in color. The 1.5 hours an executive spends reading black-and-white documents can be cut to 0.5 hours by using color.
  10. Document sorting improves 15% when highlight color is used. Improving the ease with which documents can be identified, sorted and filed can reduce the number of people assigned to a task, which can result in real cost savings.
  11. Highlight color improves search time by 39% compared to using different fonts. Administrative personnel can spend less time looking for information and more time performing critical tasks if the information is easier to find.
  12. Color can increase payment response by up to 30%. By highlighting the amount owing and the due date with color, a sense of urgency is added to invoices.
  13. People are 2/5% more likely to pay the full amount when it’s shown in color.
  14. Color increases comprehension by as much as 73%. Your prospects and potential customers can understand your message faster and more clearly.
  15. Color increases learning and retention by 78%. Educating your technical and service staff is a time-consuming process that can be drastically shortened by preparing the materials in color.
  16. Color can boost survey participation by 80% (we love that at Saurage)! Low response to customer satisfaction surveys can be dramatically improved and repeat mailings made unnecessary by using color to grab attention.
  17. Reader comprehension has been found to be 14% better with highlight color than with bold text.
  18. Color increases motivation by up to 80%. Getting response from employees can often be more difficult than getting response from customers. Using color on memos, correspondence and posted notices from payroll, human resources and personnel can help motivate your employees to respond in a timely fashion.
  19. Color helps sell up to 80% more. Collateral materials, sales brochures and other consumer communications can help generate more sales with the application of color.
  20. Color can improve brand recognition by up to 80%.

Visualizing with Video and Infographics

Brand Strategy June 2016Let’s face it, humans are visual. We understand images instantly, which is why visual communication is so powerful. But we can’t make the mistake of thinking that if we throw a few images into our content we’ve sealed the deal. There must be intent to what we do and an understanding of the message we are trying to send. We picked up these statistics from our friends at hubspot.

Generally speaking, colored visuals increase people’s willingness to read a piece of content by 80%, and, while three days later people are only likely to remember 10% of information they hear, a relevant image paired with that same information results in 65% retention. In fact, 34% of marketers selected visual assets as their most important content, behind blogging (45%) and before videos (19%), with 65% of senior marketing executives agreeing that visual assets (photos, videos, illustrations and infographics) are core to how their brand story is communicated. Let’s face it, content with relevant images gets more views than content without, 94% more in fact.

How is it possible then that only 27% or marketers have a process in place to aggregate, organize and manage the visual assets being used across their marketing teams? The good news is that 39% of them believe that more of their budget should be allocated to acquisition of creation of compelling visual assets and 73% of content creators plan to prioritize creating more engaging content in 2016.

Video and Infographics are a big part of the mix, with 51.9% of marketing professionals worldwide naming video as the type of content with the best ROI and infographics were the B2B content marketing tactic with the biggest increase from 2014 to 2015, up from 51% to 62%.

Here a couple of fun statistics on video:

  • Shoppers who view video are 1.81 times more likely to purchase than non-viewers.
  • Using the word “video” in an email subject line boosts open rates by 19%, click-through rates by 65% and reduces unsubscribes by 26%.
  • Between April 2015 and November 2015, the amount of average daily video views on Facebook doubled from 4 billion video views per day to 8 billion.

We also got these facts about infographics from hubspot.

  • Infographics are “Liked” and shared on social media 3 times more than any other type of content.
  • 60% of marketers predict the use of infographics will increase in 2016 compared to 2015.

These facts prove that seeing is believing.

Airlines Making Blue Skies Green

Saurage Research Energy Key FindingsAs emerging economies grow and globalization makes the world smaller, more people are taking to the skies. According to the International Air Transport Association, global passenger traffic demand increased 5.9% in 2014, above the 10-year average growth rate of 5.6%. In the U.S. alone, the Federal Aviation Administration expects national carriers, which served 756 million passengers in 2014, to carry one billion passengers in 2029 and 1.14 billion by 2035.

In addition to the increase in air travel demand, volatile fuel prices and concerns about the impact aviation has on climate change are driving the need to explore fuel alternatives. Climate change is a significant global concern and the aviation industry has established ambitious goals to reduce its carbon emissions. Through new aircraft purchases, fleet modifications, operational improvements, and other innovations, the aviation industry is working toward being environmentally sustainable as well as responsible. Besides sustainability concerns, fuel is a major cost driver for airlines. According to the CIT Aerospace Outlook report, 44% of global airline fleet and finance executives cite volatile fuel prices as a top challenge for the industry over the next two years. 50% of them expect prices to rise in the next 18 months, and 80% expect fuel prices to rise in the next three years. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, there was a 14.05% decrease of U.S. jet fuel from December 2015 to January 2016, however the price has steadily increased throughout the year, up 12.99% as of May 2016.

Recycling and composting have been around awhile, but did you ever think that one day our efforts to help the planet could provide an alternative to jet fuel? Things like household trash and agricultural waste are proving to be viable alternatives to the crude oil from which traditional jet fuel is sourced. The aviation industry is taking notice and investing in companies that produce biofuels. United Airlines recently invested $30 million in Fulcrum Bioenergy, a company working to convert household trash into renewable jet fuel that is expected to reduce carbon emissions by more than 80%. Last year, Boeing announced a breakthrough in green diesel, a renewable that emits at least 50% less carbon dioxide than fossil fuels. Southwest Airlines and FedEx are partnering with Red Rock Biofuels, which produces drop-in-aviation fuel made from woody biomass, and British Airways is partnering with Solena Group to convert municipal solid waste into jet fuel.

In total, the U.S. transportation sector – which includes cars, trucks, planes, trains, ships, and freight – produced nearly 30% of all U.S. global warming missions. Only the electricity sector accounts for more. The aviation industry has made greater strides in fuel efficiency than the auto industry, accounting for only 2% of global CO2 emissions.

This energy diversification is a historic milestone for aviation. Incorporating biofuels into regular operations is a big undertaking, as any new biofuels must be absolutely reliable for carrying passengers into the skies. With the aviation industry getting behind biofuel technology and continuing to make strides in operational efficiency, it is only a matter of time before passengers will be jet-setting across the globe in new, more sustainable ways.

 What’s Eating You at Night?

Let’s face it. Sleep is vital to everyone, from early birds to night owls. Our need for sleep varies considerably based on age and other factors, such as pregnancy or previous sleep deprivation. The Mayo Clinic shows some general guidelines for different age groups:

Age Group Recommended Amount of Sleep
Newborns 14 – 17 hours a day
12 months About 10 hours at night, plus 4 hours of naps
2 years About 11 – 12 hours at night, plus a 1- to 2- hour afternoon nap
3 – 5  years 10 – 13 hours
6 – 13 years 9 – 11 hours
14 – 17 years 8 – 10 hours
Adults 7 – 9 hours

The average adult needs seven to nine hours of sleep each night, but sometimes falling asleep is not as easy as we would like it to be. More than ever, it’s becoming apparent that sleep is essential for good health. Food plays a huge and an essential role in whether we get a restful night of slumber or if we toss and turn through the night.

New research suggests that food can affect how you sleep. The study found that people, who consumed food that was lower in saturated fat and higher in protein, fell asleep in only 17 minutes on average and remained in a deep-sleep. People who consumed foods higher in saturated fats fell asleep in 29 minutes on average and experienced less deep-sleep.

A good night’s rest is made up of digesting the right foods so that you are able to climb in bed and be in dreamland before your head hits the pillow. Below are foods that can help or harm your next slumber.

Sleep Promoters

  • Fruits – Fruits, such as pineapples, bananas, oranges and cherries, are few of the natural foods to contain melatonin, the chemical that helps control our body’s physiological functions including sleep timing, blood pressure regulation and seasonal reproduction.
  • Milk – Milk definitely “does the body good” and has many benefits such as a body moisturizer, an eye gel and a fertility booster, but it also can help you sleep. Milk contains the amino acid tryptophan, which relaxes you and makes it easier to fall sleep.
  • Fortified Cereal – What goes better with milk but cereal? Next time you feel the urge to eat carbs at night, try munching down on a bowl of fortified cereal such as Kashi or shredded wheat, which both contain complex carbs. Other complex carbs are quinoa, barley, and buckwheat.
  • Jasmine Rice – Jasmine rice nears the top of the glycemic index, meaning the body digests it slowly, releasing glucose gradually into the bloodstream.
  • Turkey – Like milk, turkey contains tryptophan, a chemical that relaxes you and is the main reason people usually doze off in front of the flatscreen after watching football during Thanksgiving.
  • Valerian Tea – The root of the valerian plant has been shown to speed up and improve sleep quality. Valerian tea doesn’t have caffeine and will help make you drowsy.

Sleep Stealers

  • Cheeseburgers – The fat content, in cheeseburgers and other fast foods, stimulates the production of acid in the stomach causing heartburn. Another reason to avoid high-fat foods is that people who eat high-fat foods regularly, not only gain weight, but they also suffer a disruption of their sleep cycles.
  • Wine – Any alcohol is terrible for sleep. It metabolizes quickly in your system and causes you to wake up multiple times during the night.
  • Coffee – Coffee contains lots of caffeine, a central nervous stimulant. Drinking coffee close to bedtime will definitely keep you up at night. Though some people develop a tolerance to caffeine, if you don’t know your tolerance, a good suggestion is to avoid the java, especially late in the day.
  • Dark Chocolate – Chocolate contains not only calories, but caffeine, especially dark chocolate. For instance, a 1.55-ounce chocolate bar contains about 12 milligrams of caffeine or the same amount as three cups of decaffeinated coffee. Chocolate contains theobromine, another stimulant that can increase heart rate and sleeplessness.
  • Chicken – Chicken or any protein is counterproductive when consumed at night. Instead of focusing on sleeping, your body is focusing on digesting the protein leaving you restless.
  • Spicy Foods – Since the digestive system slows down when you sleep, we want to avoid spicy foods. Lying down after eating spicy cuisine can make you uncomfortable and lead to heartburn. Make sure to finish any spicy cuisine meal at least four hours before bedtime.

Eating well is an essential part of living well and it all starts with getting a good night’s rest. Sweet dreams!

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