Brands are funny little things.
Good brands work away in the background without your customers noticing how much work goes into building them. Yes, you have the obvious things; you have your logo, your colours, your PowerPoint deck. Hell, you might even have a nice little pen sitting on your desk.
But what a lot of people don’t realise is that a brand is made up of touchpoints that connect everything across the board. The language your company uses on its website. The way employees talk about their workplace. The delivery of your pitch presentations. Even down to the tone of an out-of-office voicemail recording.
Now you may not think a voicemail message is enough to give anyone an impression of a business… but that’s just the thing.
It’s why brand-conscious companies carefully manufacture thousands of these tiny moments; thousands of experiences working in tandem to form that all-important impression of your values and your culture. All experienced in isolation, all designed to reflect your company’s ambitions, all with the sole aim of building up trust with your customer base.
Not sure what to think of that?
Here’s the ultimate case study for you. Fyre Festival. Every #EventProf’s favourite disaster story. From the moment its winning pitch was unveiled, every single touchpoint supported its ambitions – from the tropical colour palette and minimalist illustrations to straight-to-the-point copy designed to cultivate trust, and online experiences seamless enough to appease its millennial demographic.
Nothing existed of the event: basic logistics had been tossed aside (water, anyone?), and there was barely even a team left by the end of the process… but it had a brand consistent and trustworthy enough to muster millions of dollars’ worth of cold hard cash in under 48 hours… and even more millions of dollars’ worth over the course of three months.
This constant barrage of confidence, business-sense and exclusivity from all its touchpoints provided the backdrop for the perfect storm, and when nothing materialised (do festivals really need a venue after all?), I won't be the first to argue that their impossible dream was forged solely out of a top-notch branding plan and a damned good marketing strategy alone.
Why am I so impressed about the fact a festival can conjure up images of the ultimate FOMO-inducing event out of thin air?
Because it’s my job. I design brands for events that haven’t happened yet; brands that can last anywhere from two weeks to six months; identities that need to be flexible enough to work on anything from a website favicon, to a brochure, to a 30-metre stage set. Events that need to reflect the same goals and objectives as our clients’ company-wide brand guidelines, reinforced through carefully planned touchpoints that evoke a sense of joy, excitement, care or even concern.
It’s a stark realisation when you notice that in this fickle consumer-led world, every thrown-together Word document, cheap plastic pen, badly designed PowerPoint or confusing online experience is all material for your project to lose a fan.
In fact, one bad interaction is enough for your company to lose a fan.
What's the takeaway?
The message is simple. When you’re working on your next event, building your next comms strategy, or even just writing your next email, I want you to make sure every single interaction anyone has with your brand is stuffed with meaning.
Take the time in the first phases of any project to unveil your core messages, understand your demographic and create touchpoints that inspire every step of the way. Don’t just sling a logo on a stress ball because ‘that’s what other people have done’; do something more that really says what you want it to.