I’m halfway through a little book called ‘Branding Basics for Small Businesses’ by Maria Ross, which is full of helpful information, and while reading the book, it occurred to me that there is no better place to showcase your brand than at a tradeshow.
Virtually everything about your company comes into play: image, interaction with the public, products, sales team…it’s all there.
And when you think about branding, don’t mistakenly believe that your brand is just your products and services and your logo. Or your advertising.
Everything about your company transmits and broadcasts your brand.
In the book, Maria gave a great example of how a brand is shouted out by the small interactions.
“My husband and I want to love and support a local bookstore in our neighborhood. Based on location, name and visual identity, the store offers a warm, personal book-buying experience unlike the big box bookstores. Unfortunately, my husband was turned off by an incident that didn’t seem important at the time. One day when we entered the store, someone behind us left the door open as we walked in and they walked out. The clerk glanced up, saw the open door, and headed over in a huff to close it. Her body language told us she was miffed and assumed we left the door open. She nearly pushed us out of the way in her haste to make a point and shut the door.”
As she continues, because one clerk didn’t live up to the promise of the store’s brand, her husband is left with a negative impression of the business – and doesn’t feel like going back.
This little eye-opener should help you focus on the little things: is your staff always smiling and helpful? Do you have enough free samples if you’re offering them? Is the floor of your booth as clean as possible? Do you have staff purses, coats and other personal items stacked haphazardly in plain view of visitors?
Any little thing that’s ‘off’ can create a negative impression. And that negativity echoes through a visitor’s mind long after the show is over.
It’s your company. It’s your brand. Everything from your logo to how you answer the phone to how you interact with people at a tradeshow must be derived from how you would like people to perceive your brand.
At your next tradeshow, pay careful attention and see if all that a visitor sees is a positive representation of your brand. If not, find out how to fix it.
photo credit: DaveBleasdale
(the above link is an affiliate link; I purchased the book and recommend it based on the quality of the content)
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