Sometimes, Image REALLY IS Everything!
Create a great brand experience for your customers and everybody wins!
A few days ago, we took our four girls to the circus. Now, this was not your ultra-high-wire-, 3-ring-, tigers-jumping-through-fiery-hoops-type circus; it was a modest, big top, traveling affair. There were no lions. There were no tigers. The most exotic creature-performers in the show were some mini donkeys, though I believe the kids spied some sleepy-looking camels out back who must have had some role to play outside of the big tent 😋.
No, the traveling nature of the enterprise restricted the amount of "wow factor" that we could be exposed to. After all, the whole show had to be packed up and hauled off to its next location the minute our evening's performance was through. Unnecessary "bling" was impractical and, quite possibly, unprofitable. But, as we filed through the ticket line and entered the big top, there was music...
The music was not your typical, carnival-style, merry-go-round fare: they played "The Greatest Show" from the Hugh Jackman movie, The Greatest Showman. Now, if you've seen the movie, I hope you'll agree with me that it truly is a great show, and the songs from the movie soundtrack bring all of the awesomeness of the movie's depiction of P.T. Barnum's circus to mind every time you hear them.
So, as we hobbled up the rickety bleacher steps (How sturdy could they be? Later we were to see the performers themselves don hard hats and begin ripping them apart in order to load them onto the awaiting tractor-trailer trucks idling near the tents!), we were filled with expectation and excitement far beyond what that little circus was promising. Our family had such a positive association between that song and our experiences together enjoying that movie and the soundtrack from the movie that we were predisposed to view each circus act with a heightened sense of appreciation.
The company put on a fine show, we had a great night, and as I looked back on our night, I had a thought: My family made such a connection with a product (a movie in this case) that just hearing one song gave us such positive feelings that our whole night was made better.
That's how you want people to respond when they see your logo. You want people to have such strong, positive interactions with your organization that just seeing your logo stirs up those positive feelings. That's what great branding is all about.
"Your brand is what other people say about you when you're not in the room." ~Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon
In the book Business Boutique, author Christy Wright talks about how branding is both visual and experiential: "Your brand is made up of the design that you put out there and, at the same time, your brand is determined by how customers perceive you and what you're known for....Your brand is your reputation, and it reflects who you are."1 And there are some eye-opening facts and statistics about customer perception and experience that are definitely worth taking note of:
73% of consumers love a brand because of friendly customer service.2 This is great news because great customer experience is probably something you're devoted to already. You are filling a need or solving a problem for your customer and you care very much that he or she is well taken care of to the best of your team's ability. A great experience with you will help ensure that that customer returns to you the next time they have a need, which is great, because...
Customer loyalty can be worth 10 times as much as a single purchase.3 Earn someone's loyalty with consistent, excellent service and not only will they keep returning to you and refer their friends and family, they will also be a great source of honest feedback when you want to try something new or evaluate something that you're already doing.
There will be 5-7 brand interactions before a customer remembers a brand.4 As you establish your brand through interacting with your customers, they are also taking in your visual branding, which includes your logo. A great logo is thoughtfully designed to align with the tone and feeling of the customer experience that you're aiming for: serious and trustworthy, playful and energetic, tranquil and natural, sophisticated and luxurious - whatever makes you you. But you have to make sure that your customers connect your visual brand (logo) with their positive experience with your organization - consistently! So let them see your logo over and over again - especially while they are interacting with you. Branded shirts, hats and aprons are excellent ways of doing that!
Logos provide brands with a face and, therefore, can enhance a brand's authenticity and intimate appeal to customers.5 People don't love doing business with distant, mysterious companies. They want to interact with businesses that make an effort to get close enough to them to know them and really understand their needs. It's not surprising that insightful companies invest in such promotional products as coffee mugs and water bottles with the knowledge that their customers will develop a familiarity with their brand and subconsciously recognize the companies' efforts to reach out and connect with them.
Logos often create value to customers by making brand identifications easier and enabling faster decision-making.5 All of your marketing efforts will pay off when your customers start to really appreciate the fact that when they see your logo on a product or service, they have no need to bother shopping around - they can rely on your brand to come through as promised and they can relax!
So, keep building those strong connections with your customers and let your brand flourish! And help them to recognize you easily with great visual branding.
Early on, when Joe and I were brainstorming our tagline for Jarato Screen Printing & Design, this stuff was pretty much exactly what we were thinking about. We decided on "It's your image - get it out there!" as our tagline because we knew that although we can provide our customers with great-looking "images" (customizing their shirts and promotional products with their designs/logos), it's really all about the hard-but-rewarding work that our customers are doing to build that awesome brand experience that is their true image. And we love getting to be the ones who help them get it out there!
Need help getting YOUR IMAGE out there? Joe at Jarato Screen Printing & Design is an experienced, professional screen printer who would love to work with you!
1. Wright, 2017, Business Boutique, "Who You Are", para. 6
3. White House Office of Consumer Affairs, Washington, D.C.