We have seen a lot of marketing and advertising trends come and go over the years, and they have taken on every shape, size, and form imaginable. Remember when banner ads, automated direct messages on Twitter, QR codes on marketing collateral, and having Paris Hilton as a spokesperson were all the rage?
A trend is just that – here today, and gone tomorrow. While marketing and advertising trends can have a big short-term impact as a way to draw attention to your business, following the latest branding craze could lead you into a vicious re-branding cycle. When you’re building and growing a brand, it’s best to avoid the trends and stick to the basics that are proven to work, like the five key elements of every successful brand:
A brand with a simple logo can easily become iconic, because that’s what, as humans, we’ll remember. If you’ve noticed, big brands keep simplifying their biggest brand elements. The most recent example is Google, which simplified the font used in their wordmark logo. The reason big brands embrace simplicity is pretty straightforward: They don’t have to spend a lot of time making their logo or tagline recognizable.
No matter what kind of organization you are, large or small, your brand must appear in a consistent manner everywhere. That means your logo cannot be pixelated on this piece of collateral or stretched in that blog post, or change with every season. It also means your brand message (more on that below) has to be the same everywhere.
Your brand message has to be short and embody what your brand stands for. It can change over time, but it has to focus on one selling point or main message that you repeat every chance you get. McDonald’s and Burger King do a great job with this – and I probably don’t even have to tell you that their messages are (“I’m Lovin’ It” and “Have It Your Way,” respectively), because they hammer home those messages.
This goes back to my first point: Keep it simple! One thing I’ve noticed companies do with their main message or tagline is try to be so sophisticated in their wording that they end up confusing people. Your main message or tagline needs to be in layman’s terms – no matter who your target audience is. If it’s complicated, people won’t remember it.
Also, keep in mind that your tagline doesn’t sell your brand, it defines what your brand does. Identify your brand’s biggest strength or differentiator, and use that in your tagline instead of trying to describe everything you do. Our tagline is “Marketing Redefined.” It’s very short, but it defines what we do.
Get your brand out there on as many channels as you can, and develop a marketing strategy. If you appear everywhere, you become that industry. Just like we call facial tissues Kleenex, your brand name could become the name everyone uses for whatever it is that you do.
If you want to take these tips a step further, give us a call.