OK, let’s get this out of the way – your brand is NOT your logo. It’s how you use it, and OH SO MUCH MORE, to create an identity, but not any ol’ identity. No, you want a branded identity that speaks to who you are and what you’re about. Your identity will largely define your company culture, and ultimately anchors your most valuable asset in business, your paying customers.
With that said, let’s talk about that logo, and how you’re currently using it along with associated tag lines or value statements to capture interest and demand for your products and services. You know you’re awesome and your company rocks, so how do you reach out visually to grab potential customers? This is a very misunderstood medium and one that causes great debate – but wait, let’s not get into all the cool and wacky ways to show off your creative genius, and impress us all with stylized versions of your logo using every pantone available. No, we’re going to focus here on your effective use of visual media in your current marketing collateral, social platforms and promotional graphic displays.
You see, it doesn’t matter if you’re a retail storefront on Main Street, or a consulting firm off Broadway, the importance of your visual messaging and brand content is the same – critical to your success. Think of your favorite retail stores or branded products. What do they all have in common? They all appeal to you visually, in some way or another, but make no mistake, you are captivated by how they communicate their brand image to you. You immediately equate their key sell points to what you see. Why? Because they have visually illustrated those points, and through your own experience with that brand, they became real and internal to you. Yes! You want your brand to become a trigger of an experience, an emotion that evokes a positive response. In a nutshell, that’s the power of visual media and promotional branding today.
So, how do you do that? Well, let’s start with some branding and visual media truths. First, you need to develop and speak verbally and visually with a Constant Voice, by the use of a common theme, approach, message, color scheme, use of logo and communicated value of brand. By using a Constant Voice, you’ll develop an ‘expected understanding’ of your brand’s value, and begin to evoke powerful call-to-action emotions from both prospects and existing customers alike. Does your marketing collateral and sales slicks, or point of sale graphics contain the same key visuals and brand messaging as your web site, online store, or social media platforms. Do your prospects understand why they would want to engage with you and do your current clients know why they are? Your visual messaging should be consistent to deliver the expected results of your overall marketing strategy. Even if you don’t have a fully defined strategy in terms of how to capture more market share, or drive revenues properly, it really starts with the development of Constant Voice.
What are some of the more common forms of visual media? Beyond marketing slicks and death by Power Point (God forbid, don’t do it!) we’re talking about virtually every other kind of visual messaging you’ve ever seen. If you’re in a retail environment, it’s point-of-sale (POS) or point-of-purchase (POP) graphics, like counter cards, standee ads, or window graphics. If you’re selling B2B products and services, you may exhibit at a variety of promotional events, including targeted industry trade shows, or exhibit halls. You’ll need captivating large format visuals, such as portable and modular style booth displays that contain a variety of high impact graphics. Maybe you operate a fleet of service vehicles. In this case, there are many great ways to properly brand your fleet; well-placed logo decals, dedicated color schemes, or even a complete vinyl wrap. Is your brand and message a good fit for grand format ads like billboards or oversized banners or building wraps?
We are all visual creatures, and we respond to the Constant Voices we see displayed – in visual media. So as you consider how you use visuals to grow your brand, you see how it plays well beyond your logo. You can have the worst logo ever designed, but together with powerful visuals and the use of a Constant Voice throughout your messaging, you can build a powerful brand.
We’ll talk about tightening up that logo another time! ; – )