Your brand is anchored in what differentiates you. Without that differentiator, you have to fall back on image or (god forbid) price. A good number of small businesses think to raise the bar they have to changes their logo, update their image and refresh that website. I’ve sat through enough meetings with graphic designers who still push this antiquated notion. My background is in graphic design so I have a healthy respect for the industry. But, I don’t rest the success of communication and sales initiatives squarely at the feet of design. Design from my perspective is the compliment to great branding.
Give me something that absolutely resonates with your customer and then wrap it up with great design so that your overall communication is outstanding and really positions the customer as a leader in their category. That’s a story worth telling. Graphic designers today have a tendency to not understand fundamental marketing. Most (that I know) have never taken a marketing course. Graphic design courses in this region don’t have marketing as part of their curriculum. To these isolated designers, it’s an us or them attitude.
How many presentations on social media have you been to where they compare social media to off-line media as if they were rivals. ie: doing this and this social thing will save you the cost of print, radio and TV. Email marketing is much more beneficial than direct-mail marketing. Stupid. It’s all about fit – NOT us or them.
The fact of the matter is, they are ALL tools in your brand tool-box. Online marketing is spectacular and combined with traditional media can be incredibly powerful. The Kardasian’s may have millions of Twitter and Facebook followers but without television and print coverage how long do you think they’d last. When the day comes and the public tires of them and they no longer exist in the visual media – THAT will be the true test of their brand power.
My promotional efforts include on and offline, and face to face efforts. And every single effort I put out there has to be absolutely consistent and powerful. My brochures aren’t printed on my office printer. My business cards to come in a sheet | have to tear apart. My web efforts weren’t developed for the price of a case of beer. But I didn’t spend a King’s ransom either. Everything involves a fit. What works for your brand. Overall what is it saying to your audience as opposed to what your competitors are saying. Are you leading or following?
Peer deep inside that tool box and foster a strategic plan than carries your brand along as authentic and as powerful as your marketing budget affords you.