What company stands out to you? Why? It is because of the way they branded their company and services. People do not necessarily think of Apple because of the technology it offers – they think of it as an innovator. Apple has made itself stand out from its competitors by consistently branding their company with a sleek, clean feel recognizable across any type of media. What does this have to do with print? If you want your brand to be as distinguished as Apple, there are important tenets you must consider in matching print media to your brand. The first is to create a rock solid branding strategy, which we discussed at length in the last post. Here’s some more:
Pin down your font and colors
The most basic thing a company can do to match print to their brand is ensuring the look and feel is the same. Have you seen a T-Mobile commercial? A print ad? Digital? In every medium, T-Mobile is distinguishable by its trademark neon pink color. You can be sure that the designers who work on their ads know exactly what shade of pink to use, and have the RGB, PMS, and HTML codes for that shade of pink. Make sure that any designers working on your ads have that information for your brand, and also know the names of any fonts used in your logo, tagline, or other marketing materials.
Perception, not deception
We’ve all been on a first date. More likely than not, you decided to wear something clean and charming, take time to shower and look your best overall. Why? Because first impressions are everything. Print ads are no different. Whether this is the first time or the hundredth time an audience will be exposed to your brand, it is important that you consider the perception you want them to receive. Dolce & Gabbana, for instance, would not be featured in a magazine like Woman’s Day. Instead, you are more likely to find their ads in magazines like Departures or Robb Report – high end, luxury magazines featuring similar content. This is because Dolce & Gabbana want to maintain the perception that they are a luxury, elegant product; and that the people who buy their product are equally elegant.
In the over-saturated market today, it is important to stand out from your competitors. One way to do this is by staying consistent with the message you deliver to your audience. Messages take time to sink in, so changing your brand can be detrimental to growing your reach. By staying consistent with the brand you are delivering, you will better engage your audiences’ interests and confidence. Wells Fargo, for example, has carved a niche rooted in building relationships with their customers through their message “Together we’ll go far”. This is consistently conveyed through their font, colors, and their logo across all media so that their audience is constantly exposed to their branded voice.
When considering print ads, you must also consider how you will remain consistent with the perception and look that you are offering through your brand. Even minute details such as color and font, if not matched appropriately to your brand, may disengage your audience. You must also consider what audience you are trying to reach and how they will perceive your brand: do you want your product to be perceived as a one size fits all? Or, like Dolce & Gabbana, do you want your audience to perceive it as a higher-end product? Remember that matching your brand across all platforms, including print, garners a better response from potential customers.