Brand-Building With Your Expo Displays
Brand-building is one of the single most fundamental aspects of expo displays, yet it seems like it doesn’t get talked about. In fact, “Branding” seems to be a dirty word these days in some circles, which I’d say is silly given just how important brand awareness is online.
Beyond presenting your new wares and ideas to the public, your exposition appearance is also a chance to position yourself, telling a new audience about who your company is and what it represents.
After all, brand impressions happen all the time online, mostly in forums that we lack control over or, sometimes, even lack access to. When you appear at a trade show, people are going to end up discussing you and your materials. Their impressions of you, as well as the impressions they give each other, are going to form their overall idea of your company.
The more effective you are in presenting a coherent and unified brand image, the more input you’ll have into that process.
Branding doesn’t have to be pushy, though. Much of it simply boils down to having an attention to detail, as well has having an understanding of your company’s underlying beliefs and philosophies.
Effective Brand-Building Through Your Expo Displays
1 – Know Thyself
First and foremost, you need to figure out what image you want to project. If your company has a clearly-defined list of core values that everyone follows, awesome. You’re ahead of the pack. If not, it’s time to make one.
Your image will ultimately be a mix of what you want to present, and what the customer wants to see. Those core values and corporate ideals will be the seed of your overall branding efforts.
2 – Be Consistent
You know those businesses that give themselves makeovers every six months, trying to find the perfect look to lure in more people? Yeah, it’s a terrible idea.
Once you begin to commit to certain elements of your branding, stick with them through trade shows to come. Some things, like your color scheme, really should not ever be changed once finalized without very good reason. Others, like mascots, are more flexible but still should be kept in use for a year or two at least.
Consistency is a requirement for building trust, and customers can’t form that bond with a company with an identity crisis. They want to see the same logo and colors whenever they visit you, in person or online.
Well, unless the colors are really bad. These things happen.
3 – Attention To Detail Matters
One of the simplest elements of branding, believe it or not, is simply spelling things correctly and knowing where apostrophes do and don’t go. During the run-up to a trade show, you should be getting as many eyeballs as possible on every piece of content, trade show banner, iPad kiosk, throw rug, and whatever else will have text on it.
What goes onto your expo booth needs to be perfect. It’s unfortunate, but even small flaws will be noted and then swiftly Instagrammed.
Likewise, going back to colors, once you pick some, make sure you’re picking a specific hue. The best standard for wide format printing is the Pantone Solid Coated color book. By picking an exact hue, you’ll know your trade show banners and brochures will always have the exact same look that people expect, every time.
4 – Design A Font
Custom fonts can be a quick and easy way to make trade show graphics that stand out, as well as helping you better-define your corporate personality. While not every company uses custom fonts, they aren’t expensive to commission if you shop around.
If text is your voice in print, then to a large extent the font defines the tone of voice. A well-designed font created to match your overall design and ideals will tie your communications together. It emphasizes the extent to which your company has realized its vision of itself.
5 – Choose Booth Hardware Around Your Brand
Past a certain point, hauling in cheap tables and chairs will hold you back in terms of making major impressions on visitors. Your booth furniture, hardware, and other display elements are part of the overall message you’re presenting as well.
This is another area where you’ll be glad to have a well-defined idea of the brand-building vision your company wants to present, since it makes hardware selection a lot simpler. In the best case scenario, you have the money to order some custom branded chairs and tables to match the expo booth, but simply having furniture of an appropriate style for your image is usually enough.
6 – Matching Employee Attitudes
As your brand ambassadors, the importance of training your staff members to properly represent you really cannot be overstated. While we suggest you bring along people with a few different personality types to broaden your outreach, they should all be well-versed in your corporate ideals and values as well.
Another sign of a well-integrated company is having staff who ultimately share the company’s values, especially in one-on-one settings like a trade show. Buyers can tell the difference between staff who are honestly enthusiastic about their employer and products, and those who are faking it for sales.
Picking staff with the right attitudes is a must when looking to present a unified brand image at your expo displays.
7 – Theme-Appropriate Freebies And Attractions
One of the hardest things in trade show booth design is having to throw out a really good idea because it doesn’t match your corporate image, but it happens. Whatever goodies you give away, as well as whatever electronic attractions you add, need to match your overall messaging.
For example, we’ll usually tell people that pens are a poor investment for brand-building, since they’re so plain. However, I’ll never forget the pen I got from a blood bank’s booth in Dallas which was done up to resemble a plunger syringe, complete with red water (I hope) surrounding the ink chamber.
It was a perfect example of updating a standard piece of swag to clearly communicate their identity, in a fun way.
Brand-Building Means Having A Unified Identity
In short, everything about your trade show displays should tie together in as many ways as possible. That’s what ultimately separates a company with a well-integrated identity from an upstart. Look constantly for ways to add details that reinforce your overall message.
Like the difference between a $100 department store suit and a $10,000 tailored three-piece, presentation at trade shows may not be everything, but dressing for success absolutely helps.
For personalized advice on selecting the right trade show display elements to fit your company’s image and messaging, just drop us a line to request a free consultation!