Communication takes many forms, and for today’s businesses that are selling goods and services, branding control and merchandising solutions, among others, are central to advertising and communicating with the general populace of consumers. It is not enough to make a quality product or have professional service staff; to strengthen your brand means to have a distinctive and consistent advertising and messaging method for the company, so consumers know what they’re dealing with and what to expect, and this is where branding control comes in. Shelf tags, a printed sign, even a social media presence online all are channels through which a company expresses itself and reaches out to consumers. Branding control helps ensure that the brand is something that all consumers recognize and trust, and this can help build a more robust consumer base and public awareness. Some brand logos or designs are practically everyday knowledge thanks to such efforts as branding control. Just how do marketing strategies use branding control, signs, and more to communicate like this?
The Power of Signs
Even with the newfound dominance of electronic communication such as e-mail, the Internet, social media, and text messaging, old fashioned communication methods such as signs, billboards, price tags, and physical packaging are still potent and still central to a company’s branding efforts. Some could even argue that physical signs like these are effective because of the exhaustive dominance of electronic media, and marketing strategists have long since figured out how consumers act and think (as in, how they spend their money). Marketing such as signs, price tags, and brand logos are all the result of this research.
There are many instances of how effective signs are. Drivers along a highway have little else to look at besides a billboard, and these can advertise anything from a grocery store to a law firm to a political candidate. Other signs may be placed right over the company’s front door or on top of their roof so that customers see them, and signs can also be placed upright on the sidewalk where pedestrians see them, such as for new menu items at a coffee and sandwich shop or new discounts and deals at an electronics store. What is more, research found that nearly 85% of a business’s customers live within a five-mile radius of the building, so physical signs in this urban or suburban area can saturate people with the brand’s images. A person may see ads for that company up to 50 or 60 times per week, just from signs. No social media or e-mail needed.
Signs work hard to entice consumers to visit a shop or grocery store, but the battle for a consumer’s money does not end there. A store may contain many different brands, such as a grocery store, department store, toy store, or others, and here, packaging, price tags, and brand control will all compete for a consumer’s attention. This is important because marketing research shows that shoppers make a bout 82% of their decisions in the store, not beforehand. A customer walks into the shop but often has not yet made up their mind on how to spend, so this is the right opportunity for brands to compete for the consumer’s attention, and ultimately their money. This will also include impulse buys, describing purchases that are quickly decided upon once a consumer sees an item that they believe they want or need, the opposite of taking a few days to think it over. Some consumers use the mental trick to wait a few days before committing to a purchase, to see if they still want to make it, but effective packaging and prices may convince a consumer to make an impulse buy instead. This is common; a study done by Marketing Support, Inc. found that nearly one in three consumers makes a sizeable impulse buy every single week.
Brand control is one of the foundations to all of this. It describes how a brand name is consistent and attractive to consumers, and that the logos, slogans, images, and tone of all advertising and product descriptions for the brand are the same, creating something comfortingly reliable and familiar. This can help build up and maintain a strong consumer base.