Sign & Digital Graphics

May '17

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Page 10 of 104

6 • May 2017 • S I G N & D I G I T A L G R A P H I C S __________________________________________ Publisher James "Ruggs" Kochevar – Executive Editor Ken Mergentime – Managing Editor Matt Dixon – Digital Content Editor Tony Kindelspire – __________________________________________ Art Director Linda Cranston Graphic Artist Iveth Gomez Multimedia Producer Andrew Bennett __________________________________________ Advertising Account Executives Adam Decker – Diane Gilbert – Sara Siauw – Sales Support Dana Korman – __________________________________________ Contributors in this Issue: Glenn Chambers; Matt Charboneau; Vince DiCecco; Ryan Fugler; Paula Aven Gladych; Charity Jackson; Stephen Romaniello; Bill Schiffner; Andy Stonehouse; Rick Williams ___________________________________________ Vice President/Events Sue Hueg CEM, CMP – Show Sales Damon Cincotta – Exhibitor Services Antoinette Vernon – ____________________________________________ National Business Media, Inc. President & CEO Robert H. Wieber Jr. Vice President/Integrated Media John Bennett Vice President/Finance Kori Gonzales, CPA Vice President/Publishing and Markets Dave Pomeroy Vice President/Audience Lori Farstad Director of IT Wolf Butler B Y K E N M E R G E N T I M E The Long View E very successful shop in the sign and commercial graphics indus- try—small, medium or large—strives to offer something special to their customers that helps make them stand out. That something gives them the edge that has allowed them to grow to whatever point that they've grown. And savvy businessmen know that the something they offer is actually their brand—or it should be. You know what? A surprising number of smaller businesses—some say most—put little or no effort into creating and sustaining a brand for themselves. They have not been able to connect those two dots—the thing that sets you apart, and your brand. The trick is not only to fully understand what your special edge is, but then to also project exactly that element via consistent branding. Your brand is like a promise that your business makes to its customers. It's a way for your shop to project an image of itself that's consistent with your shop's core assets. Any business worth its salt should have a proper branding program in place. Okay... how do you do that? Well, some advice I've read suggests you start by updating the company logo, but I think it should first start with some serious self-analysis. Think about and decide what your brand is and what you want it to be—then write it down. The core ele- ments of these ideas can now be applied to both your visual identity (logo, colors, and typography) and the voice of your identity (tagline, promotional messaging). Now you can work on your company logo—it should be distinct and memorable, and should in some visual way reflect a core value of your shop's brand—quality, creativity, dependability, durability, etc. These core brand values are a guide for your business as well as a way for your customers to better know who you are. The idea is to integrate your brand into to every aspect of the company—from the storefront signage to your various promo- tional materials, right down to job quotes and purchase order tickets. Branding also entails creating a company "voice" that reflects your brand. Start by developing an effective tagline. A short one-liner that reflects what you want to project. This statement should accompany all promotions and could also be incor- porated with the company logo. Once you've established your brand values it's crucial that you stay consistent with them. Everything about your brand, from the look of your logo to the lan- guage you use with customers, should represent those core values. But brand con- sistency doesn't mean you have to stay the same forever. It means that the image you project should be consistent with your core brand values. It means be true to your brand. Nobody said it would be easy. Okay, back to work. Expanding Branding Got something to say? Join the S&DG Discussion Group at:

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