Sign & Digital Graphics

February '18

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60 • February 2018 • S I G N & D I G I T A L G R A P H I C S RUNNING THE BUSINESS Cackling to Grow Your Business The importance of brand building and tips for success Scott Franko owns Franko Design Concepts and Consulting. He formerly owned and operated a multi-division sign, graphics and custom fabrication business. You can locate and contact him online at www. FrankoDesign.com. But a little-known fact is that David and I share something in common; the codfish. Specifically, there's a little anonymous poem that he and I have both used from time to time to help illustrate the importance and value of advertising to boost brand awareness, increase sales, and grow a business. And it goes like this... "The codfish lays ten thousand eggs. The homely hen lays one. The codfish never cackles to tell what she's done. And so we scorn the codfish, while the humble hen we prize. Which only goes to show you that it pays to advertise!" Although most would agree that marketing and advertising, or cackling, have their places, and they are necessary to build- ing a brand, I still find many instances where an organization doesn't do them for one reason or another, or doesn't do them enough, or well enough, or at all. This presents opportunity, and why I'm still in business. And its common—fortunately for me. I can understand why a business outside of the sign and graphics industry can use our help to create branding for them that build impressions. I don't understand why so many shops in the industry that understand the value of branding do not apply the time, effort, and resources to their own operations. Then years later wonder why they are not growing or have to continue to work so hard to attract the sorts of jobs and project opportunities that best fit the products and services they want to provide. In other words, many times in business you find a sweet spot. The sweet spot is the thing you do that you like, others pay for it, everybody is happy, and you find it be most rewarding financially. The sweet spot is where your strengths and passions intersect. You might make all kinds of signs, for instance, but then a certain job comes along and has you making a special sort of sign not done before with unique materials or methods. The result is stunning and profitable. You then decide boy, wouldn't it be cool if we did one or two of these each month? If so, it most likely won't happen by accident. You need to bring attention to it. You need to cackle. What you want in your business has to come about from vision, a plan, and the carry- ing out of that plan. Part of that plan should include branding. I did this with my own shop. I wanted to grow and diver- sify. So I began a process of applying the very same branding principles that I was using with my clients that included some cackling. Allow me now to share ten of them in brief. Perhaps they will inspire some ideas for you and your business. W hen it comes to marketing and advertising, for me the fun kicks in with the creation and development of the advertisements. These creations become the many faces of the brand. It's what people see, hear and experience. We branders carry the ball and hope that our plays are executed with enough punch to help our clients score. Of course, the fun of effective advertising doesn't happen without all the front-end hard work of figuring out where to place the ads and to whom we want the ads aimed. That's mar- keting. Advertising is a subset of marketing—the pointer finger next to the thumb—along with strategy, pricing, distribution, and products like signs, displays and graphics. David Ogilvy is considered by many in the industry to be one of the founding fathers of modern advertising who preached the importance of creativity with communication within advertising. I am not as widely well-known or accepted by my branding peers as Ogilvy. In fact, they might innocently mistake any recognition of my name as being associated with a popular brand of many years past contained in a can of Franco- American Spaghetti with Meatballs. B Y S C O T T F R A N K O Building Your Impressions

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