Category: Analytics

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Enyimba & Rangers clubs: Are they international football clubs?

Football is one of the biggest enterprises commanding the highest earners and followers in the world. In our very eyes, Mikel Obi, Kelechi Iheanacho, Musa Ahmed and Ndidi Wilfred who started out in the local league have become international stars. But, what is international about Enyimba and Enugu Rangers football clubs?

As a brand strategist, I am thrilled by the followership football clubs have gathered around the world. This is the height of what I know how to do best, second to loving my wife – orchestrate brand fanaticism. One of the most important acts in brand development is brand nomenclature. The reputation of the brand and its promises stands on the brand name.

When I noticed the names of these football clubs, I was curious. I am also in dire need of compelling answers to a vital brand evaluation question: Why do Enyimba and Rangers have “international” in their names?

If I am in the import and export business, does that mean my business is an international brand? Yes, you are. But, would you say Enyimba and Rangers are more international than Manchester United, Real Madrid FC, Barcelona FC and other global football brands that don’t have international attached to their names? With due respect to Enyimba and Rangers Football clubs, they are football powerhouses in their own rights.

From history, the brand essence of a football club is community based. That is, majority of football clubs derive their names and personas from the communities of their origin. Hence, they have earned incredible place in the hearts of the people because the club represents the people’s history, struggles and aspirations.

I am at rest, knowing that Enyimba and Rangers, like Manchester United, Chelsea FC and Real Madrid etc express the history, struggle and aspirations of the people. Enyimba and Rangers International football clubs have their origins in Igboland.

The Igbos from the South East Nigeria, are one of Nigeria’s major and most enterprising ethnic groups. These are people who have penchant for international businesses…import and export of commodities. Recalling an Igbo man’s statement, “our trade and business dominance happen organically with no pre-planned efforts”.

There is much to do regarding brand development for the Nigerian league and clubs. I hope the League Management Company [LMC] can leverage on the in-depth understanding of brand development strategist to lift the local league to the highest height where it truly belongs.

However, I wish Enyimba, [the People’s Elephant], and Enugu Rangers, [the Flying Antelopes], more victories even as they “carry” their trade to the “international” frontiers of football.

written by: ‘Demola Adeshola

Feedback? Email onedemola@gmail.com

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PR in Nigeria is one of the reasons journalism is in bad shape

Why would I, for instance, buy more than one newspaper when I have it at the back of my mind that everything I read in one would be in the other? Almost word for word. It does not make sense. May be it would make sense for PR whose plenty media clips earn for it its fat retainer.

At the last Annual General Meeting of the Public Relations Consultants Association of Nigeria (PRCAN), it was reported that a paper delivered by re-elected President, John Ehiguese pointedly accused journalists of taking jobs that were meant for PR Consultants.

I was not invited to the event and so did not attend but having heard from colleagues what transpired, I reason it would be proper to put things in proper perspective. I have written about related issues in the past and till date, I am not sure the circumstances have sufficiently changed to necessitate a change in position.

Many people, including the players in the Nigerian PR industry are in total agreement that journalism began to slide almost at the same time PR began to grow in Nigeria. There was also this sinister conspiracy by publishers who would not pay staff salaries, leaving journalists to rely solely on patronage for upkeep and survival.

Many publishers have been known to have told their staff that having provided them with platforms; it was left for the reporter to exploit it “to make money.”

Such was the state of things. For the people in PR and influence peddling, it was good season. The newsroom began to lose quality and cerebral career journalisms began quick exits to the communication departments of banks. Others less fortunate took flight to PR agencies, either as a career option or a shortcut to more financially rewarding careers in banks, telecom and even oil and gas.

It became good season for PR. As the newsroom lost quality, PR gained and it became very easy for press releases to be planted in newspapers and magazines without the reporter interrogating the issues so raised or look at it from a fresh angle for added value.

As this trend grew, PR began a slow but steady overtake of the newsroom and would often influence who gets posted to which beat. I have witnessed occasions where “PR” visited the offices of newspaper organisations to complain against an uncooperative reporter to their editors. Some of my colleagues have been sanctioned on occasions as a result.

Fresh in my memory was in 2004 while I was working as Editor of Brands & Products magazine. A colleague then, the late Tumise Adekunle had written an article with the title, No Intention to Pay Rent (NIPR) over the failure of the Institute’s Lagos Chapter to pay its rent following which it received a quit notice from the landlord.

I am aware that even after late Tumise had left us at Brands & Products and began reporting for This Day, some elements in Lagos NIPR then did their best to make his work in This Day difficult by reporting him very frequently to the Editors.

Such was the growing power of PR over journalism and progressively, journalists lost the art and skill. They no longer write. PR was now writing on their behalf and would even query the reporter who dared alter the headline already cast by PR on behalf of clients.

They feel a strong entitlement to do this. After all, the reporter would have collected some token as “transport” from PR for the publication. He would have compromised a great deal more by those bags of rice, groundnut oil, Table-top fridge and even home theatre sets he frequently had been collecting during Christmas and Sallah. There are a few other “interventions” that PR also frequently makes when the wife of a reporter puts to bed or in cases he or she loses loved ones.

Notice that PR rarely responds when a journalist passes on. There is no compelling business case to justify this. The reporter had died. His relationship had therefore terminated and there is therefore no need patronizing the people he or she had left behind.

It is a transactional relationship and usually ends the moment you leave your job or when there are the frequent cases of newspapers closing down.

Many journalists saw the influence of PR on journalism as an opportunity and did well to take advantage. They commercialized the practice, to the benefit of PR. They will go out of their way to ensure PR gets his story and “photo ops” in. Wishy-washy stories with no bearing on public interest began to grace front pages.

PR became so pervasively influential that inside newsrooms, there was (still is) a name called “PR stories.” And when you turn in such stuff in volumes and with accompanying “support”, you get into the good books of editors.

As a result of this, some newspapers evolved reporters who became more influential that their line editors in determining what goes into the pages. And journalism was suffering.

PR gloated. Journalists began to make money. From PR. As a matter of fact, PR began to deepen their influence in the newsroom by encouraging and finally converting some influential journalists into newsroom branches of PR. These journalists began to interface with other journalists on behalf of PR and from there, because they have their hands on the levers of what makes the news the next day, also began to generate clients of their own. Yes. And at the expense of PR.

But in doing this, journalism began to die. People stopped writing. Good writers left the newsroom. And at press conferences, you’d hear stuff like, “Don’t worry, we will send it.” That is PR telling a reporter not to bother to write because even before he gets to the office, a one-size-fits-all, plastic press release would have been sent to his mail box.

If you open a newspaper in Nigeria any day, you find that over 90 percent of the contents are the same. Yes, I admit this can happen because the reporters go to the same beat and would turn in stories from the same event. But when the headline, the body copy are exactly the same, you know it was then PR doing its job.

It is probably why newspapers are no longer selling copies and many, including media owners have not bothered to find out why.

Why would I, for instance, buy more than one newspaper when I have it at the back of my mind that everything I read in one would be in the other? Almost word for word. It does not make sense. May be it would make sense for PR whose plenty media clips earn for it its fat retainer.

But where and how has this helped journalism?

I understand John Ehiguese when he complains. I am in PR. But I am also in journalism. I am in both worlds and quite profoundly feel the pains of the regression of journalism and the challenges PR now face, against a monster that was its creation in the first place.

Truth is beat membership and the camaraderie of the newsroom environment have combined to make today’s journalist (incompetent as he is in writing) better relationship manages than the average PR. He knows the  reporters much more personally, sees them every day and have built the kind of relationship that given him first call when he sends in a material.

He most often has to price his services lower so the client can have good justification to take the job away from PR and give to him.

I am sure some will ask me what PR should do.

I am not just going to hold brief for PR. If you have your job cut out to think on behalf of your client, why not find a way to think for yourself as well as you think for client?

But my advice to PR?

Stop agonizing

Start organizing

Stop agonizing about what journalists have done to PR. Stop agonizing that strangers you invited to your house have eaten your pot of soup.

Start organizing yourself and your team into superior skillsets that would make the flight to journalists less attractive to clients. Start organizing your team into best-in-class craftsmanship that will ensure the stories you pitch are genuinely earned for the values they represent and not for the envelope that transported them to the news pages.

It will be a great beginning that may even help our journalists to begin to think again. At the moment, it’s PR thinking for us in virtually all our newsrooms.

By Ikem Okuhu.

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ADEKUNLE GOLD, BRYMO AND KISS DANIEL HAVE FOUND THE RIGHT SOUND

Now they need a personality. Here’s what they must do

While the industry is busy cavorting with fluff, these ones are busy making great music and building a loyal network

Having made great music, the next set of music stars truly interested in making it big will need to invest in brand development and exciting reputation management.

Screw what anyone is saying about Nigerian music and its future here or abroad. Screw all the jollof sound, repetitive lyrics and cliche beats currently enjoying domination.

Those with the password to the future of Nigerian pop are not playing the big shows or signing the biggest deals yet. They’re not multiple ambassadors or chart toppers, yet. It’s not likely they’ll make it to the VIP lounge at Escape or Quilox on a good night out.

While the industry is busy cavorting with fluff, these ones are busy making great music and building a loyal network. Klitoris, the new album by former Chocolate City star Brymo, is a good example of such. Brymo has been the darling of those who love good music for more than a minute. Even the average listener will tell you he handed the rapper Ice Prince the key to fame and fortune with his iconic Oleku chorus.

Kiss Daniel, rising on the success of a string of singles has now dropped his new body of work, the album New Era. Just this morning, a fan, Don Boye wrote on Twitter, ‘Kiss Daniel has the huskiness of 9ice and the delivery pattern of 2Face’.

Another wrote: ‘I wouldn’t say I’m a Kiss Daniel fan but rating any album out so far this year including Brymo’s above his is pure deceit. Best album by a mile.’

Brymo and Daniel are no longer trying to prove they are fantastic music makers. Just like Adekunle Gold and 9ice and Niyola and Shaydee and more, they’ve shown they have the goods.

But it is unlikely they will get to use the password if they don’t take lessons from the charm and swag and braggadocio of those hitting the right notes with the media and fans and businesses.

It will be unlikely if they continue to be hamstrung by media gaffes and lacklustre personalities.

Recent case: the awkward interview Kiss Daniel had with Ebuka, where he seemed not to know how old he was and the apology of a press release that followed. Brymo, in his own case still can’t shake off the Chocolate City toga, years after his controversial exit. He’s rarely ever up to anything newsworthy outside of releasing music.

Not done with stealing the limelight off ‘proper’ rappers and comedians, Falz is even stealing the shine off Adekunle Gold when the subject is Simi.

Why is M.I a more successful rapper than the almighty Mode 9? Why did KSA get much farther than Ebenezer Obey? How’s it that Olamide and Da Grin became legends in an art largely made  popular by Lord of Ajasa? Why is Don Jazzy a bigger and more profitable brand than almost all other music producers (with the exception of Cobhams, perhaps?) combined?The art matters a lot. But today, it’s only 50% of what you’re selling. Match a great art with a personality that works (M.I : Swag and relatability; Don Jazzy: mystery and pseudo access; Olamide: street credibility, relatability, unpredictability; KSA: charm, swag; Da Grin: bad boy, grass to grace, mischief; Wizkid: first innocence and promise, then luxury and style and aspiration) and you’re on your way to packing stadiums like Wizkid Psquare and Davido.

And the personality must be contagious. Remember the way Don Jazzy would whisper in Dbanj’s ears in the early days? Remember how M.I, although diminutive, would make everyone stand up and clap with his dramatic entrance? Remember the costume and choreography of P-Square and KSA? Remember Lagbaja’s mask and Fela’s string of controversies?

Having made great music, the next set of music stars truly interested in making it big will need to invest in brand development and exciting reputation management.

Online and offline, they will need to make sure their appearances are memorable, their performances remarkable. They will need to set a clear target: match or beat the likes of P-Square, Asa, D’banj, Olamide, Tiwa Savage and Flavour when it comes to delivering a ‘show’ – and everywhere’s a stage, today. From Twitter to Snapchat, Facebook, Freedom Park, Airport lounges or Landmark.

It will be herculean. But what’s it they say? You either play big, or go home.

 

By Victoria Ige

CREDIT: HTTP://THENET.NG

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WHY GTBANK CANNOT PAINT AFRICA ORANGE

Orange is the colour of GTBank, Nigeria’s most loved bank. But As it just seems that Nigerian banks would be looking at Africa in the coming years, the colour and shape of the logo of this great bank looks like it might not sell the institutions in some African countries where Orange, the telco, rules.

Africa Strategy for Nigerian banks died when the boom era ushered in by the post Chukwuma Soludo banking consolidation era thawed five years ago following the entry of Sanusi Lamido Sanusi as the country’s banking regulatory helmsman. During this period, everyone seemed to have an “Africa Strategy”. Nearly all the 25 banks that emerged from the induced mergers and acquisition of the time had eyes on the continent, expanding into the west, east and central parts of Africa with speed and glee.

But the stress syndrome in the system noticed and fought by Sanusi somehow slowed things a bit. Everyone began to thread with caution.

But Africa Strategy is on the upward swing once more, it seems. This time, it is being driven by a different reason. People have spoken of the return of the banks to the “monster profit” era but this may just not be the reason for the renewed interest in Nigerian banks on Africa. The recent bold move by First Bank to acquire some banks in Ghana and other countries in Africa may have blown the whistle for a new movement.

To get its Africa strategy right and avoid the pit-holes of crises of identity, First Bank recently announced a tweak in its logo and identity, changing from First Bank to FBN Holdings. We had captured this in a story where we clearly stated that this Nigerian big-gun would have to change its name if it were to play in Africa. We were sure that First Bank would find have found it difficult to be “First Bank” in a jurisdiction it was not the first bank.

Confused? Well, First Bank was the first bank to operate in Nigeria. So it can afford to bear the name, First Bank. But in Ghana, Kenya and a few other places, First Bank is not the first bank to open for business there. So answering First Bank would be impossible, except it would endure the bad marketing burden of the name First Bank of Nigeria. This is rather bad for business. No one would ever make this mistake.

Retooling identity is doing First Bank a world of good. And this is why, we think there is yet another bank in the country that could do with rehashing its look and feel for stronger recognition on the continent.

That bank is Guaranty Trust Bank, popularly known these days as GTBank. Guaraty Trust Bank is easily the warmest bank in Nigeria. Survey after survey has repeatedly confirmed it as the most loved. Outside of these surveys, a drive around town would give clear evidence. Customers would rather queue for cash withdrawals at the bank’s onsite ATMs than go to another bank that may just be next door. It was the endless queues at the bank’s branch at the Mobolaji Bank Anthony way, in Ikeja, Lagos, that most times spills into the motorwar, that prompted the state government to close a certain U-turn around the area to facilitate traffic movement.

That is just how strong the bank is in the minds of consumers. Its lead role in digital transaction activations and customer engagement has also endeared it to the young.

And with this pedigree, GTBank moved into Africa, opening for business in 10 countries. It is easy to conclude that with the same engagement template, and a few tweaks here and there to accommodate local palate, GTBank would win in Africa. This is still possible. But then there are a few little things that might make the task of winning the marketing war quite tough on the continent.

The challenge is not that there is another GTBank somewhere in the continent that would hamper brand recognition. The case is not also like that of First Bank which cannot claim to be the first bank in any other country outside Nigeria. It is a simple issue which most would gloss over, thinking it would not matter. Fact is, in the world of brands, the most critical considerations most the time are those things considered not-too important.

You see, the GTBank logo has been driven into minds so deeply that most people who sight any other element adorned in the orange house colour of this bank can easily be mistaken for something the bank is selling. Not that there is not competition around the colour, orange in the country but GTBank seems to have taken ownership.

In sincere speak, most brands in Nigeria have tried their best to avoid the orange colour. It is not easy to determine why this is so but a look around the market would reveal that even those that have orange as their house colour somehow balance it with one or two other colours in such a way that orange comes out as part of an array of house colours rather than the sole colour.

It is not like the colour, red, where there are quite a few brands jostling for ownership. And the warmth in this colour has contributed in no small way to place the bank where it is today in the Nigerian banking space.

But take a look at the continent. For the colour, orange, GTBank has a strong competition and this is in the form of a company, not in the banking space but which on its merit, is so strong in the environments where it operates that reinforcing ans selling the power of ORANGE for GTBank just might be tough.

That company is called Orange, the African subsidiary of France Telekom that has been providing telecommunications services in parts of Africa for many years now.

You see, when GTBank launched the logo it is trading with presently, a few people raised questions on the originality of the concept. At the time, lawyer-turned brands consultant, Leke Alder was the “Chief Brandsman” was given the charge to refresh the bank. In fairness, Alder, in all his abstractions, did a good job of giving the bank a new face, a new soul, a new spirit. Alder had designed a campaign, which it said would “augment the bank’s mind share and cement its leadership role in Nigeria and the rest of West Africa.”

The campaign was crafted to reinforce the Bank’s positioning as an iconic brand and was tagged “Orange Rules” – a 3 pronged reference to the Bank’s corporate colour, industry dominance and the 8 rules” or principles that define the Bank’s brand (Simplicity, Professionalism, Service, Friendliness, Excellence, Trustworthiness, Social Responsibility & Innovation).

It was a fantastic campaign really. Problem was some people thought at the time that Alder may have copied rather too generously from the brand manual of Orange, the telecom company that was already rooted in countries like Kenya, Ivory Coast, Uganda and some other countries in Africa.

GTBank was lucky so much war did not trail its change of brand identity at the time. It was even luckier the brand has been able to etch its name very strongly on the minds of most citizens. Leke’s “Orange Rules” sounded very brilliant, even original. But I recall a niche media house murmured one or two things about the relationship between the logo of the bank and that of orange. Besides the brand names, “GTBank” and “Orange” and the window that gave the Nigerian bank a breather, everything else looked all too similar. The colour, the tone of the colour, the shape of the square-shaped logo and even the fonts were exactly the same.

It was alright for Alder and may be GTBank to get away with this since the ecosystem was only Nigeria. But now that GTBank is increasingly going continental and Orange is also not hiding its ambition to play bigger on the continent, the challenge of differentiation becomes clear and present.

I must state here that the great brand, the iconic brand is that brand that can achieve 360 degree resonance in its market. In the world of 360 degrees branding, sight, sound and smell are critical to delivering all round experience. First we start with the sight and here, we look at GTBank’s logo. As visual brand shorthand, says Heidi Cohen of Actionable Marketing Guide, “color is often the starting place for branding.” Colour makes the first association possible for the brand. As limited as the colour space is, brands have found a way to play with it in such a way and to make a clear distinction between them and others competing for space in the mind. GTBank and Orange are in the same colour space. But this is not as problematic as the shapes of the two logos, which, as can be seen, look exactly the same.

As can be seen in the box that discusses how people read, most people do not stop to concentrate on particular images. A glance is enough for them to take in what they want and their conclusion is usually driven by stored up images and imageries in their minds. The challenge for GTBank is therefore one in which people in countries where Orange is operating would be looking at its logo and thinking up imageries of Orange Telekom. This is made worse by the fact that Orange had been in these places years before GTBank walked in.

As challenging as the logo resemblance is, the two brands also have similar house fonts. This means that those familiar with Orange in these countries would be reading their marketing brochures with images of Orange invading their thought processes.

People may find it hard to understand what is being said here but a tour of the Psychology of Communication would help. Psychologists have long recognised that Word recognition, shape recognition (logo recognition comes in here) is “the ability of a reader to recognize written words correctly and virtually effortlessly.” It is sometimes referred to as “isolated word recognition” because it involves a reader’s ability to recognize words individually from a list without needing similar words for contextual help. They hold that “rapid and effortless word and shape recognition is the main component of fluent reading.”

What this tells us is simply that people do not stop to isolate constituent letters in particular words before recognising them. The same applies to shape. People do not wait to examine all the dimensions, bends, curves and contours of particular shapes before recognising and making associations.

This is the challenge GTBank is going to face. Most people in the markets where GTBank would be encountering Orange already had formed mental images of what the telco is all about and ,most encounters with GTbank’s logo would create some kind of mental tumult, with most concluding “this is Orange.” Those who would pause to ponder must of course have to wonder a while before concluding this is another brand. Questions they would not ask but which would hide somewhere in their minds, driving their bonding decisions would be, “what’s this brand that looks like Orange.”

 

How People Read

 

Although this research concentrated much more on word recognition, its relationship with logo and shape recognition is not too far. We read and recognise logos much the same way as we read written words. Take time to read this to understand the challenge we are sure GTBank will face on the continent.

 

The article “The Science of Word Recognition” says that “evidence from the last 20 years of work in cognitive psychology indicates that we use the letters within a word to recognize a word.” However, it also says that “we recognize words from their word shape [which] modern psychologists call…the ‘bouma shape.’” Over time, other theories have been put forth proposing the mechanisms by which words are recognized in isolation, yet with both speed and accuracy. These theories focus more on the significance of individual letters and letter-shape recognition (ex. serial letter recognition and parallel letter recognition). Other factors such as saccadic eye movements and the linear relationship between letters also affect the way we recognize words.

Word recognition is measured as a matter of speed, such that a word with a high level of recognition is read faster than a novel one. This manner of testing suggests that comprehension of the meaning of the words being read is not required, but rather the ability to recognize them in a way that allows proper pronunciation. The intrinsic value of word recognition may be obvious due to the prevalence of literacy in modern society. However, its role may be less conspicuous in the areas of literacy learning, second-language learning, and developmental delays in reading.

Bouma shape

Bouma shape, named after the Dutch psychologist Herman Bouma, refers to the overall outline, or shape, of a word. Herman Bouma discussed the role of “global word shape” in his word recognition experiment conducted in 1973. Theories of bouma shape became popular in word recognition, suggesting people recognize words from the shape the letters make in a group relative to each other. This contrasts the idea that letters are read individually. Instead, via prior exposure, people become familiar with outlines, and thereby recognize them the next time they are presented with the same word, or bouma.

The slower pace with which people read words written entirely in upper-case, or with alternating upper- and lower-case letters, supports the bouma theory. The theory holds that a novel bouma shape created by changing the lower-case letters to upper-case hinders a person’s recall ability. James Cattell also supported this theory through his study which gave evidence for an effect he called word superiority. This referred to the improved ability of people to deduce letters if the letters were presented within a word, rather than a mix of random letters. Furthermore, multiple studies have demonstrated that misspelled words with a similar bouma shape are less likely to be noticed than misspelled words that have a non-matching bouma shape.

Though these effects have been consistently replicated, many of their findings have been contested. Some have suggested that the reading ability of upper-case words is due to the amount of practice a person has with them. People who practice become faster at reading upper-case words, countering the importance of the bouma. Additionally, the word superiority effect might result from familiarity with phonetic combinations of letters, rather than the outlines of words, according to psychologists James McClelland and James Johnson.

Parallel recognition vs. serial recognition

Parallel letter recognition is the most widely accepted model of word recognition by psychologists today. In this model, all letters within a group are perceived simultaneously for word recognition. In contrast, the serial recognition model proposes that letters are recognized individually, one by one, before being integrated for word recognition. It predicts that single letters are identified faster and more accurately than many letters together, as in a word. However, this model was rejected because it cannot explain the word superiority effect, which states that readers can identify letters more quickly and accurately in the context of a word rather than in isolation.

Neural networks of word recognition

A more modern approach to word recognition has been based on recent research on neuron functioning. The visual aspects of a word, such as horizontal and vertical lines or curves, are thought to activate word-recognizing receptors. From those receptors, neural signals are sent to either excite or inhibit connections to other words in a person’s memory. The words with characters that match the visual representation of the observed word receive excitatory signals. As the mind further processes the appearance of the word, inhibitory signals simultaneously reduce activation to words in one’s memory with a dissimilar appearance. This neural strengthening of connections to relevant letters and words, as well as the simultaneous weakening of associations with irrelevant ones, eventually activates the correct word as part of word recognition in the neural network.

Word recognition and the brain

Using positron emission tomography (PET) scans and event-related potentials, researchers have located two separate areas in the fusiform gyrus that respond specifically to strings of letters. The posterior fusiform gyrus responds to words and non-words, regardless of their semantic context. The anterior fusiform gyrus is affected by the semantic context, and whether letter combinations are words or pseudowords (novel letter combinations that mimic phonetic conventions, ex. shing). This role of the anterior fusiform gyrus may correlate to higher processing of the word’s concept and meaning. Both of these regions are distinct from areas that respond to other types of complex stimuli, such as faces or colored patterns and are part of a functionally specialized ventral pathway. Within 100 milliseconds (ms) of fixating on a word, an area of the leftinferotemporal cortex processes its surface structure. Semantic information begins to be processed after 150 ms and shows widely distributed cortical network activation. After 200 ms, the integration of the different kinds of information occurs.

The accuracy with which words are recognized depends on the area of the retina receiving stimulation. Reading in English selectively trains specific regions of the left hemiretina for processing this type of visual information, making this part of the visual field optimal for word recognition. As words drift from this optimal area, word recognition accuracy declines. Because of this training, effective neural organization develops in the corresponding left cerebral hemisphere.

Saccadic eye movements, fixations and word recognition

Eyes make brief, unnoticeable movements called saccades approximately three to four times per second. Saccades are separated by fixations, which are moments when the eyes are not moving. During saccades, visual sensitivity is diminished, which is called saccadic suppression. This ensures that the majority of the intake of visual information occurs during fixations. Lexical processing does, however, continue during saccades. The timing and accuracy of word recognition relies on where in the word the eye is currently fixating. Recognition is fastest and most accurate when fixating in the middle of the word. This is due to a decrease in visual acuity that results as letters are situated farther from the fixated location and become harder to see.

Credits: Wikipedia