By: Sean Saliva
Even on Football Sundays, Work is Never Forgotten
Sundays in my home are for Football and relaxation. However, at some time in the midst of relaxing, you are inevitably reminded of the work you do or the work you have to do in the upcoming week. As a graphic designer, this also comes with the added nuance of noticing designs, logos and how they are strategically used in today's world of instant media and the onslaught of non-stop advertisements.
How Can My Company Compete?
The importance of getting your company message out to the masses regularly through all avenues of media available to you is paramount today, more than ever, because, without the mindshare of potential customers, your sales go to competitors whose name and contact information is front and center. So, you have to "brand".
What is Branding?
By definition, "Branding is the marketing practice of creating a name, symbol or design that identifies and differentiates a product or service from other products or services."*
Branding differentiates; it sets you apart. It represents who you are as a person, company or organization, and making sure that brand is in front of as many people as possible on a daily basis is paramount to your businesses success. Branding can be as simple as adding your logo to all your business social media images or to your website, letterhead, business cards. It can be as large as multi-million dollar ad campaigns that utilize multiple media formats to get your message across to potential customers. However, don't assume that it's an instant recognition strategy for your company. In actuality, branding is a consistent effort, a long-term strategy or a (long-term) subliminal strategy. It is not a one and done solution. Rather, it is a conscious effort to place your logo, information or business ideas in front of the masses on a daily basis, in order to ingrain your potential clients' memory with your products or services, so when the time comes to purchase, you are instantly recalled from memory and hopefully, into a revenue producing action by your consumer.
Branding in the Big Time Football - How Does Branding Work?
Let's go back to Sundays and football. Like I mentioned earlier, watching football on Sundays is one of my favorite past times, and from a graphic designer's eye and viewpoint, no one does branding better than the football leage. Just watching the games, and the covert, yet precise, placement of logos during the broadcast is a prime example of an intensive long-term branding strategy. Start with the football league Logo for example: it's on every opening and closing credit screen, whether on Fox, CBS, NBC or ESPN, and along with the opening and closing, it can be spotted during the game on the playing field itself, on the backs of players' helmets, on the v-necks of players' jerseys, players' socks, shoes, gloves, hats, jackets, headbands, head scarfs, footballs, referee shirts, etc, etc, etc…. The football league logo is everywhere - there is not a moment when you are watching a football game where one cannot spot the football league logo on the screen.
Not just the Football League
The branding does not stop there. All of the television stations broadcasting football games brand their broadcast with the stations' watermarks or logos. Fox Sports, CBS Sports, The Football League Network, EPSN, all of them, have reserved space on your screen to place their logo. But it's just a TV station you say….Yeah, ask yourself, "What channel is the NFC on or what channel is the AFC on?" If you're a football fan, you instantly remember the Fox and CBS networks respectively.
Does the football league and the television networks need to do this? No. Everyone knows who they are. Then, why do they do it? Because every time you see their brand it forms an impression and every impression reinforces your memory and recognition of them as organizations.
What Small Businesses Can Learn From the Football League
So, how does this translate to small businesses? Most small businesses don't have the time, resources or staff to generate brand messages at this level. However, social media has changed that game; small businesses can effectively brand just like the football league but on a smaller scale. The first step is easy and it's affordable: you can post photos featuring your brand on social media for free and use nothing more than the Branded-Pix social media marketing app which has a one-time cost of $2.99. With the advent of social media sites and instant phone images, branding like a professional has never been as simple as it is now.
Starting a business in this day and age can be simple, but it is far more difficult to obtain success because of the hurdle companies without million dollar marketing budgets face. However, the internet and social media have begun to level the playing field. Getting the message out is possible even against larger companies if you are smart and committed to branding. Yet small businesses often fail to follow the example of mega giants like Microsoft and the football league because they think branding, marketing and effective messaging is a "Big Company, Big Money" process when it is not.
Branded-Pix Uses Your Photos to Build Your Brand Just like the Football League
With Branded-Pix, something as small as a logo on pictures of your products and services uploaded to social media can, on a daily basis, have the same impact as advertising and branding campaigns developed for mega-corporations like the football league. It doesn't matter if you don't generate business immediately. A long-term branding effort on social media can have the same impact as a perfectly placed logo on TV or at a football game.
How Can I Make this Happen?
What is required on the part of any business, is an understanding of the long-term effects of placing your logo or message daily, where potential clients and customers can see it. The Branded-Pix app is a great place to start your regularly scheduled branding efforts online. You are just as capable and important as the football league or Microsoft, you just have to know it and respond with your very own branding blitz on social media. The software exists, you just have to use it. Branded-Pix, The social media Marketing App. Available on your favorite app store today!