There’s no sugarcoating this information, so we’re going to give it to you straight: Branding is tough. In fact, it may be one of the hardest ongoing tasks your company has to deal with because it only gets more difficult as your footprint expands.
The increasing popularity of online shopping and its resulting race to the bottom for pricing has not only reduced your margins, it’s also made your store nearly indistinguishable from your competitor’s store in the eyes of your consumer.
Retail stores wanting to differentiate themselves and achieve high Black Friday sales figures must focus on their branding well before the holiday season. Here’s how to do that.
But First, a Word on Brand Image vs. Brand Identity
Although often used interchangeably, the terms brand image and brand identity mean two different things.
Brand identity refers to your company’s visual elements, such as your logos, signage, graphics, colors, taglines, etc. In essence, it’s the look of your brand, which you fully control.
Brand image refers to the public perception of your brand. This includes what people say about your company (whether true or not) and their general sentiment toward your products, operations, staff… everything. Unfortunately, you have very little control over your brand image.
Savvy companies can help influence their brand image by carefully managing their brand identity across key, highly visible media, such as retail signage and graphics.
It’s important to do as much as you can to support a positive brand image because, according to Adweek, consumers are more likely to buy more from a brand they identify with and whose views they support. This doesn’t mean you have to be political, but it does mean that you have to embrace a specific lifestyle view in order to bring your branding message to the fore.
You must also ensure that your brand is highly visible everywhere; Nielsen verifies that consumers are more likely to buy new products from familiar brands. In marketing, repetition breeds familiarity and trust.
How to Establish and Maintain a Strong Brand
As the manager of a retail business, you already know the basics of branding, which includes brand identity details like your logo and colors. Something you may not know is that the locations of your branded items can affect your brand image.
Brand image gaffes occur all the time, so you’ll want to think carefully about the impact of an out-of-home (OOH) advertising project before you give it the green light.
To avoid mistakes, the smartest way to manage your brand image is to post marketing materials on the exterior or interior of your building. Not only is this a highly effective way to ensure that consumers know where your store is located before Black Friday, it can also help you to increase your brand’s exposure and positive goodwill – since you’ll have the power to control where and how your signage and graphics are displayed.
Well… you’ll mostly have the power to control display details.
Branding Issues for Signs and Graphics
There’s a high likelihood that you, like other commercial building tenants, will run into logistics issues for your planned signage and graphics projects, due to strict landlord requirements or bizarre city codes. Delays in these areas take time to work through, especially during the busy holidays, and if your project falls behind, it can cut into your Black Friday sales.
In addition to avoiding delays, you’ll also want to carefully plan the design of your branded materials. Whether your company is focused on minimalism, luxury, efficiency, or happiness, making sure you use well-designed graphics and signage can help you to reinforce your preferred brand image throughout the peak sales season. Remember, consumers are more likely to buy from a brand whose views they support.
Overcome Branding Challenges the Easy Way
Ensure that your branding is done your way, on your terms, and sends the message you prefer, when you choose a full-service, national graphics and signage team that manages your entire installation, from concept to finished product.
As you’re making your vendor selection, you’ll want to ensure that the team you choose takes care of design, landlord negotiation, and city paperwork for you. In fact, you may want to consider a company that manages every aspect of the project for you.
If you’re not sure where you can find such a helpful team in your area that also has the time and resources to complete your project before Black Friday, we’ve got you covered.
As one of the nation’s top resources for commercial branded graphics and signage solutions, NGS Films and Graphics provides project management and execution for all your holiday interior and exterior branded media – anywhere from coast to coast.
Talk to an NGS signage and graphics expert at (866) 925-2083. to learn more.