Building brand awareness at trade shows.

Author:Friedmann, Susan A.

Branding is a basic marketing concept that is designed to set your products/services apart from the competition. By using a particular name, phrase, design, symbol or a combination of these, you can create a unique identity. When choosing a brand name, consider the following five criteria:

* It should suggest product/service benefits.

* It should be simple, memorable and unique.

* It should fit the image of the company.

* It should have positive connotations for the target market.

* It should be easy to pronounce and to visualize.

Branding is not a sales and marketing gimmick. Instead it refines and defines corporate culture and identity. A brand must have meaning to its consumers, its organization and its employees. Brand is an emotional link between you and your customer. It is what people buy when they buy your product or your company. The most important part of a brand's identity is the promise it makes to customers. The essence of branding is simplicity and timelessness.

Exhibiting tips

Since exhibiting is a powerful extension of your company's advertising, promotion, public relations and sales function, that automatically means it is an excellent way to enhance brand awareness. Everything your company stands for, no matter how large or small, is being exhibited on the show floor. This means there must be total consistency, congruity, clarity and focus in every aspect of your exhibiting program, before, during and after the show.

Here are three important points to consider as you plan to integrate brand awareness into your trade show program.

  1. Consistency and repetition is vital in creating brand awareness. People buy brands they know and they trust. A brand is a promise that companies make to their customers. Strong branding requires all the levels of communication to agree with one another.

  2. Make sure all your marketing and promotions are consistent and that they have your logo, colors, typeface, slogans and characters. Everything you develop should have the same look and feel.

  3. Peoples' perception about your company, products and services is a major factor in their choice of brand preferences and their buying behavior. All perception is subjective and based on experience. Individuals tend to interpret information according to existing beliefs, attitudes, needs and moods.

    The power of buzz

    Ten guidelines to use "buzz"--or word-of-mouth marketing--to bolster your existing marketing efforts:

  4. Brainstorm all possible groups of...

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