Why even the smallest pieces of branding matter
Branding is not just about beautiful graphic design; it’s about perception. It is psychological. The most effective branding causes an emotional response in your audience.
While more often than not companies and organisations get the main message right, there are often smaller, subtler aspects of branding that get missed. Specifics that could help push the client perception of your company further and help to generate growth.
To explain this more effectively; here are three examples based on real-world experiences that show how small aspects of branding have impacted customer perceptions.
The straw that breaks the camel's back
A retail organisation spends significant amounts of money on an advertising campaign to promote themselves as a cutting edge and modern brand. They have a modern and easily identified new logo yet their paperwork and in-store marketing materials still, some years later, feature some old branding. Small details like the complimentary pens offered to customers when signing paperwork are several years old and you can still see the old logo dotted around some of their stores.
A customer who has seen the advertising forms a picture of what they are expecting to see from this brand, but the reality is inconsistent for them by the subtle flashes of legacy materials. A subliminal and unwanted opinion is formed; this company lacks attention to detail, they will happily make a big sale but can’t follow up on the detail.
For a customer who is already in two minds about whether to make the purchase, this inconsistency could very well be the straw that breaks the camel’s back. They decide not to make the purchase, or worse, choose a competitor.
Whilst inconsistent branding is only a purchase blocker for a small number of potential customers – it is an unnecessary and easily avoidable problem.
The sales teamed pipped to the post
A large company wins the vast majority of its clients through pitches. Their sales team are the best in their field. At every pitch and presentation, their charisma and personality shines through. In the running for a potential multi-million pound contract, they are down to the final two.
Their competitor has an equally talented sales team, who though different, are equally as personable and charismatic. Both companies are fairly equal on quote and the decision for their potential new client is difficult.
They lose out to their competitors. When seeking feedback as to why they lost out, they are told by the lost client – the other company just seemed better.
Why? Because the other team were all wearing bespoke and premium branded name badges. Their presentation used the latest graphic design standards. The phone of the lead presenter had a sleek company-branded phone case.
Through subtle and subliminal branding, they visually showed that they were the professionals and had an eye on the details.
The meeting that ticked all the boxes
A logistics manager is having concerns with one of his suppliers. He arranges to visit them on-site. Following a tour of the factory, he is taken to the head office.
Above the reception, the company logo is printed onto glass, offering a solid visual feature. Walking through the offices to the meeting room, he sees branded examples of the companies previous work. The meeting room is prepared with branded bottled water and he is served pastries on branded napkins. This is followed by a high-quality presentation which was clearly designed specifically for the meeting.
He leaves and renews their contract. Of course the branding didn’t have a major impact on the decision, however it subtly helped to reinforce their professionalism and attention to detail, which is what lead him to choosing them over a competitor in the first place.
Whilst branding is never alone going to win you sales, you can clearly see that it plays a role in how your potential audience perceives you as a company and the products/services that you are offering.
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