It’s time to get in sync
I am in the middle of syncing my brand. What does that mean? When branding a product or a service, one of the most important and most over looked details of branding is making sure all your marketing pieces have one cohesive look. Same colors, same logos, same slogan, same everything. I challenge you to lay out your marketing materials. Go head. Right now. Pull out your business cards, brochures, pull up your website, pull up your Facebook page… Get it all out in front of you and now answer this… Do your marketing pieces look like a patch-work quilt? Does your logo look different on each piece? Does your slogan read differently on each one? If the answer is yes, then you are suffocating your business.
Before I get into this I just want to say… For those who, right now, are staring down at their patch-work quilt, I completely understand why this ends up happening. Successful business management includes watching the bottom line. You shop the deals. You buy the business card design that was on sale with free shipping. You purchased a website template that came with free hosting but you had to choose from only three different templates and you already have your business cards printed. Then, the reason you didn’t use your logo on your business card was because you didn’t know how to create a .jpg out of the logo you created in Microsoft Word and therefore, can only use the logo when you are on a computer with the same font… I could keep going but I won’t. I just wanted to prove to you I know why and how it happens. We are creatures of the bottom line. Just give us what is economical and gets the job done and get on with it! Those who have been in business for twenty years are usually the worst offenders for all the reasons I just listed and about 1000 others. I hear you but just hear me out…
Three reasons why you need to sync your marketing pieces
1. All that money you think you are saving shopping the deals, you are actually loosing. You are wasting your advertising dollars and your time.
All your clients were drawn to your business through various marketing pieces right? One person saw your website, another one saw your print pieces and then another one picked up your business cards. If you showed any of those clients your other marketing pieces, would they recognize it was you? Or would they think it could be another business with a similar service? You may have advertising all over town but your existing clients only recognize the branding they are drawn in with. They haven’t seen the new logo you created for your billboard. Have you ever heard the expression “One step forward, three steps back?” Patch-work quilt marketing pieces are exactly that. Branding is a building process. When you build something, you lay down a foundation. The foundation of your brand is your logo, your fonts, your slogan, your color schemes etc… if you make pieces that don’t build upon what you have already spent money and time to establish, then you are having the opposite effect with your marketing. You are creating marketing pieces that are just stand alone pieces and they are all by their lonesome, just swinging in the breeze. Have you ever seen a really successful company with patch-work quilt marketing? Go to a business you admire and look at their advertising. Everything has the same look, colors, consistent logo usage… they may do different marketing campaigns but the core of their brand is always the same. I worked in marketing and communications for a very large corporation. They had operations in 15 different countries. It was my job to make sure all the internal communications had correct logo usage. The advertising department had a thick booklet that specified how the logo could be used. It even specified how to display their logo on a tombstone. LOL! Now, I’m not suggesting you need to go that far but it is important to be consistent. There is a lot of confusion that can happen when you have everybody doing something different. Do you want to get maximum return of investment on all the advertising you have placed all over town? Sync. Your. Marketing. Pieces.
2. You are ignoring your established client base
See, most business owners are focused on attracting new business only. You want to hear the truth? Your marketing pieces are your first impression, your second impression, your third impression… and on and on and on. When you make your marketing pieces based on the old adage “Make a good first impression” you are missing the boat entirely. Think bigger. Yes, you want to attract new customers but you need to focus on retaining your existing client base as well. Every single time your clients see you, your website, your business cards, your social media posts – you are giving an impression. You have impressed upon them who you are, what you stand for, what your goals are, how seriously you take your business, how knowledgable you are… If one of those impressions looks like a different company… what does that say about your business? Those who don’t know you will ask “Are they established? Are they successful? Is the person at the helm dedicated? Are they a new fledgling business? Maybe they don’t have much experience yet.” This image is SO important. It creates trust. It makes you look like you know what you are doing and it encompasses all of your clients, old and new. Sync. Your. Marketing. Pieces.
3. Learning composition is Photography 101. Syncing your marketing pieces is Branding 101.
When you were just starting out in Photography what was the first thing you learned? The elements of good composition: leading lines, rule of thirds, fill the frame… Think of your marketing just like the creation of an award-winning image. Good design and effective advertising have the same types of rules. There is a formula for what works. If you do not have a background in advertising and marketing PLEASE team up with someone who does. It will be the best money you ever spent because you will be sucking as much marrow out of that investment as you possibly can. The bottom line for your bottom line? Get in sync!
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