Branding Memories Through Trade Shows

Branding Memories Through Trade Shows

There are many definitions and flavors of definitions for what defines a Brand (hint: it's not your logo). But for the purposes of this article, we'll use the idea that “brand is a memory”.

Everything you remember about a company - through interaction, what other people say about it, its advertising, its products or any other connection is all to be considered the parts that make up the whole of the brand.

That being said, trade shows and face-to-face marketing events are ideal for creating interactions that engage more of the senses and creating a more enduring "memory" about a company as well as its products and services. These encounters can help to create a brand experience that differentiates the offering from those of competitors - if done right of course.

The "memory" begins at first impressions and is reinforced through interaction and sealed by experience.

Thinking of branding your company through trade show events as a five-step process may be useful in the creation of a program that can take your prospects through the stages from first becoming aware of your brand until ultimately turning into a loyal fan.

The 5 stages are: Position, Attract, Engage, Comprehend, and Remember. These five steps serve both as a sequence of filters as well as a process to win customers.

The 5 Branding Stages As a Filter

As filters, the 5 stages of branding can help you identify if your trade show marketing program is doing the brand and your company justice. By measuring your program against the following criteria, you can being to troubleshoot where you might be coming up short on creating "memories":

Position: Are you consistently projecting the right/correct image of your company?

Attract: Is your message attracting the right type of customers and prospects?

Engage: Is the initial introduction, to your brand, enriching and interesting?

Comprehend: Do you understand your prospects' primary and secondary needs and concerns? Do your prospects have a better understanding of your offering and do they understand your value proposition and the way you are different from your competition?

Remember: Do your interactions support the creation of strong bonds, which help recognition and recall at the time of your customers' or prospects' time of need? Is there a follow-up process in place to reinforce the memory and keep your brand top-of-mind?

The 5 Branding Stages As a Process

The same 5 stages of branding can also be applied to your company as an actual process, to which you can apply to your trade show marketing program. The end goals and result is to create a memorable experience for your customers and prospects through each phase of your trade show event - pre-show, the event itself and post-show:

Position: The size of your exhibit space, type of environment/architecture, materials used and color schemes are just some of the tools that can be used to communicate your brand's stature or to differentiate yourself from your competition.

Attract: Your pre-show marketing campaign, the design of the exhibit, the messaging in graphics and your exhibit personnel all serve to reach the type, quality and quantity of the prospects you desire.

Engage: The way you greet and qualify your audience, including scripting and rehearsing opening statements, should be crafted to intrigue and capture the right audience from the outset. Your first engagements go a long way in setting the stage and tone for a meaningful interaction and begin the creation of memory.

Comprehend: The better the comprehension of your products and services, both tangible and intangible attributes that the prospect can experience and understand, the better the memory. The exhibit space and interaction needs to be designed to walk the prospect through a logical process that makes them experience, through multiple senses, your brand and how your offering is the one they need to become a fan of. This is the stage where the brand/memory is reinforced.

Remember: Keeping the memory alive is a continuous challenge and process. The seeds of your brand that have been sown in the previous stages need to be watered and nurtured to create top-of-mind recall at the time of need. Having a post-event follow-up process, that leverages the positive impressions created during the trade show, is a must in creating the ROI or ROO objectives that are demanded of marketing departments.

Your process should include a post-show follow-up schedule that is appropriate to the requirements and needs of your audience and industry. This will include follow-up calls, information packages, advertising and visits that will brand and deliver revenues.

If “Brand is a Memory”, trade shows, with their unique ability for prospects to actually experience your message do just that - create memories that build your brand.

Like to find out how our Team can help build your brand and create memories for your clients and prospects? Give us a shout, our trained professionals will be happy to guide you to a loyal following!

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