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Recognition and placement for brands can end up pushing sales harder than any marketing or advertising plan!   — Bloomberg/BusinessWeek

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Recently I have been working with a new client in the capacity of a Project Manager.  As a part of the process of gathering information to develop the website, I started going through their Marketing Department sales brochures.  I was really surprised to see that a company that has been successful in many areas of their business and in their industry as a whole, has done so very little to follow the brand that they have worked very hard to develop.  Many companies fall victim to this and it can seriously jeopardize the future of your business.  Let’s take a look at branding as a whole.

 

The Value of Branding Consistency

Menswear

When you open your mail at home and see the advertisements that you get each week, mixed among them will generally be an advertisement with a big red bulls eye and the entire advertisement is outlined in red.  Anyone who has been inside of a department store knows that we are talking about Target.  In fact, they have been so successful in building their brand, that most Americans can identify the “Menswear” sign that we have shown here as belong to Target.  The fascinating thing is that it was identified by 92% of the people surveyed by simply showing them this picture in a Facebook post.  That is powerful branding.

That is EXACTLY the branding that you want for your company.  Your branding should come from what your company stands for, who you are and who you cater to.  The rest is presentation. From there, repetition.  That is exactly how successful companies do it.

The most important thing to remember in designing your brand is that you want to design a brand that that can be EASILY remembered, rather than easily forgotten.  Think again about Target.  They created a simple logo… a bulls eye.  Then, using that same concept, they created all of their marketing materials in red.  They are so easy to identify and as a whole, you can spot their brand and look from halfway across the room with minimal effort.  They have also learned the most valuable lesson of all… STICK TO YOUR BRAND!!!  Do not “mix it up”, as they say.  What does that mean?  Can you imagine for a moment seeing a Target ad that is purple and blue with squares all over the pages?  What if they printed their logo in blue instead of red?  Wouldn’t all of that be horribly confusing for consumers?  Absolutely. It is very important that you design your product advertising brochures and sales sheets to match your company brand.  Be consistent.  If you are Target, today’s color is red.  Tomorrow’s color is red.  Next Wednesday is red, and so on.  That consistency will create a lasting memory in your client’s mind.  It is how you will be perceived and remembered.  Why can you walk into a convenience store and pick a Red Bull off of the shelf with minimal effort?  The answer is simple.  It is because you know that blue and silver can and could pick it out of a police line up with one eye closed.  It is effective branding.  In this example, it is an effective mix of product colors and an EXTREMELY recognizable can.  What if Red Bull decided to change their can size to half as tall and change the color of the can to green and white?  Consumers would immediately wonder whether they changed company ownership or changed their product ingredients.    Sales would drop significantly.  Changing a recognizable brand is seriously detrimental to the success of a business.  Next time you tell your marketing department to go ahead and change the colors on the new sales brochure to blue and grey instead of your company’s branding that has been in place for the last 25 years, think about the damage you are causing to your brand.  Think about what your customers are wondering when they see a significant change in the solid branding foundation that you have worked so hard to produce.

 

Your Branding Goal

The ultimate goal of your company should be to win the hearts and minds of your customers. Once you’ve done that, you have achieved ‘brand recognition.’   This means that your audience knows your company well enough to know you by your “look and feel”.  They can spot your product from across the room/store and can identify with your products with sincere admiration.

 

Things To Come…

Branding is such an important business concept.  In fact, it is imperative that your company perfect this concept.  Below is a link to an article written in Bloomberg Magazine on branding your company.  It is a “Practical Guide To Branding“.   One of the most intuitive things they talk about in this article is how “YOUR BRAND IS YOUR PERSONALITY“.  Think about that as you evaluate your current company branding.  Do your customers identify with your brand?  Are you consistent with your branding?  Are your marketing materials blue today and red tomorrow?  Take a strong look at what you are doing and see what you can do to become the next Target.

If you have questions regarding branding or your company needs some assistance in this area, e-mail me and let’s talk.  We have been working in web development and marketing for more than 25 years.  Suffice it to say, we have some experience in this area.  We are happy to help.