We’re more visible than ever - social and digital media have given us an opportunity to reach our customers and our audience more than ever before, and with the many benefits that come with this also come the things to keep in mind - our brand identity and personality are also exposed more than ever - and it’s important to keep this in mind, as whilst the terms have become interchangeable at times, they are still quite different things.
Our brand identity is the image - our logos, our digital media - it’s what our audience sees when they think of us, and what we associate with ourselves when we present to a new audience. There are many different ways to handle our brand image - our logo is the first point of contact many will see and having a clear and simple logo that can be displayed in many ways could be a factor that differentiates you from a competitor - something simple and memorable. It may be displayed on your packaging, your invoicing - your storefront signage and banners, and all your online media - but it also says a lot about you. The colours that have been chosen, the flow of the logo, even how it is positioned and used - it can convey a more serious tone, or something more playful, and is definitely something that should have a lot of thought and time put into it.
Our brand personality covers the more emotional side - whilst brand identity plays a huge part in defining this, the introduction of social media has made all the difference here. Before you may have just been a name, and customer service would be a part of your business that could receive criticism, but now with constant content through instant or direct messaging the service feels much more personal. This is where you may find the biggest distinction - if your branding comes across with a more serious tone but your personality seems the opposite, you may confuse your audience - it’s important to keep the two in line with moderation.
Once a distinction is made, the next step is to decide how to get your branding out there. And there are some great examples of this to take - we’ve seen platforms such as Twitter used to great effect as a more playful personality, and in others where the CEO may even become the figurehead of the personality through representation of the brand online. Whilst digital media does provide a unique way to interact with your audience, traditional branding still provides an invaluable way to get your message out there.
As far as the internet has propelled us, there’s no replacement for our physical presence and branding in a physical form can be just as effective. Brick and mortar still relies on large print media to communicate its message and push brand identity. Advertising online also comes with its own difficulties, you have to be able to advertise in a way in which you capture a good amount of traffic to justify the pricing, which is typically more expensive, and you may not always see any immediate success. This is where traditional marketing really finds its benefit, it can reach a large number of people, whilst still being inexpensive - and if the initial placement doesn’t carry much payoff, there’s no cost to moving - some good options for your physical marketing may be;
Display Stands - Available in all shapes and sizes, but also to fit your existing stands, they can serve as a great eye catching aid when you’re set up away from your own premises. Whether you’re at an exhibition or a convention, or the many other ways that display stands can be utilised, you can convey your brand identity easily through what message on your display stand.
Outdoor Banners - As previously mentioned, online advertising can be quite expensive and requires good knowledge to understand if your placement will be successful or not - a larger outdoor banner or flag doesn’t suffer the same difficulties. Largely inexpensive, they can be placed and moved around depending on the results you’re seeing, and if you’re able to place them in an area with large foot fall, you can capture the attention of a larger audience without needing to adjust your strategy - an eye catching design that pushes your message is all you need.
Roll-Up Banners - As with the outdoor banners and flags, this can also be utilised with either single sided or double sided roll up banners, with the added benefit of being easily portable - you may even be able to move them multiple times per week depending on the feedback you’re receiving.
Managing your brand and ensuring you’re getting the right message across can feel a little like spinning plates, however there are plenty of tools and options available to you to get the most out of your branding and to push it as far as you need - they key is to understand the message you want to send, and be sure your brand identity and personality match that.