All these articles about AV news, new product announcements and acquisitions in the AV industry being released before InfoComm got me to thinking about company recognition. Then at a meeting the other day, one of our reps stood up and told us a story about his contact in a K-12 school who went up to the wall, pointed at it, and told my rep “That’s where I want the Crestron.” My rep looks at him and said, “What specifically are you asking for?” The client said “You know, the Crestron, the Crestron.” For him, Crestron was synonymous with a touch panel control system. Now, not all touch screens are Crestron touch screens, but Crestron has done a great job making themselves recognized as the “go to” manufacturer for this type of product in the education market. (This is not an advertisement for Crestron, please read on. 🙂 )
It doesn’t matter what industry you are in; branding should be an important part of your business strategy. A lot of people think “I am a small company in a small industry; I will never need a brand like Coca-Cola or Nike.” That doesn’t mean that your brand isn’t just as important to your company as the swoosh is to Nike. Your company’s brand is its identity. If you are consistent with your brand and with your message, it will be recognizable to those who are important to your company’s overall success. It is important for Nike to be recognized by consumers worldwide, so their entire branding strategy including messaging, advertising, promotion, packaging, etc. reflects this reach. Make sure your branding and messaging reflect your company values. It isn’t just cliché that people interact with (buy from) those they like.
When promoting your brand, ask yourself what your target markets are, what are the demographics of these markets, where / in what type of arena they are active, and what you want your perceived value to look like. It can never be said enough that consistency in branding is imperative. Changing logos, colors, and messaging too often will result in brand confusion and decreased interaction. There are specific times, however, when you may want to modify your brand or re-brand. For example, a re-brand can be successful when your company is no longer growing (stagnant) or is unstable, when there is a large shift in or addition to the product offering, or when there is a move into a new market or venue.
Regardless of company size, a strong and stable branding strategy will result in increased company recognition and interaction. A constantly changing brand will not only result in a less recognizable company and offering but will also confuse the people you want to engage, rendering the brand less valuable. So whatever your swoosh is, stick with it. You may become the Nike of your industry.