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Will your brand take root this spring? -Part 1

Just as it takes a combination of all the right elements to make a beautiful garden grow, it takes more than a great logo, or a great ad to grow a successful business.
How do the best businesses do it? They use an integrated approach to their marketing, combining a great visual identity with a compelling message that gets delivered through a variety of channels. People are bombarded with hundreds to thousands of messages a day. It’s just not reasonable to expect an ad that runs one time in one newspaper will be enough to get your prospects’ attention and rally them to action.

Over the next few issues of our newsletter, we’ll be sharing thoughts with you on various channels of marketing and advertising in order to clarify the pros and cons of each one

and to demonstrate why a layered, or integrated, approach is worth every dollar you’ll invest. We’ll start with the obvious -- your visual identity.

Your visual identity -- it’s more than a logo

Strong brands use every opportunity to mark their world and their customers’ world with the organization’s visual identity. Do you? Sure individuality is important, but how often have we gone into a store or office and not been sure who’s a customer and who’s an employee? Rewarding your staff with high quality logo’d items that they can wear to work, identifies them as staff embers on-site and subtly promotes the business off-site.

Every business is cost conscious, but are you cutting costs at the expense of visibility? Sure you can buy plain white envelopes for your business’s correspondence but envelopes with your logo and mailing information look more professional and show you care about the details.

What promotional items link with your business, your mission and values, and have a significant shelf life or staying power for your clients? Coffee mugs? Don’t we have enough of them? A client recently had us create bookmarks. What a clever and appreciated little thank you. Add it to a book that relates to a subject of interest to the client, or that relates to your industry, and you’ve got a perfect thank-you gift that has significant shelf life.

You wouldn’t dream of using a business plan that hasn’t been updated, so why would you want your customers or staff to come to an office that hasn’t been updated? Are your office colors in harmony with the environment and the brand message being sent by your visual identity? Sure, it can be costly, but not investing in your environment is also costly when it results in customers who think you don’t value them, or causes them to feel things aren’t going well for the business.

This concept of “environmental branding” is exemplified by retail giants such as Ikea (an example that it doesn’t have to be a costly investment), Borders, and the Disney Store.

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