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Trade Show Marketing Basics: Developing Your Brand

What’s the one thing that will get attendees to stop at your booth every time? Effective branding. Your branding has to excite both the attendee wandering past your booth as well as the loyal customer you’ve already secured. Expressing your identity through branding can be a daunting task, but we have the key tips to get you started.

Trade Shows

If you haven’t been to a trade show yet, it’s time to sign up for one. Not only will a successful trade show increase your visibility within your specific industry, but it will also boost your brand identity through networking. The genuine connections you make with attendees at the show will reinforce your brand recognition, not to mention you’ll solidify your relationships with existing customers who know you. You’ll encourage future interactions just by being there, and you’ll be top-of-mind when they need your products or services.

Brand Positioning

In the process of defining your brand identity, there are three important things you should consider: brand positioning, personality and promise.

Brand positioning is essentially declaring your position among your competitors. Why should your target audience choose your brand over the others? What can you offer them that your competitors can’t? The first step in answering this question is figuring out who your target audience is. Create a buyer persona for your brand—a fictional representation of your ideal customer. Through this exercise, you can figure out what motivates the customer base you’re trying to reach! The better you know your customers, the better you can service them.

Just as important as understanding your target audience is understanding your competitors. Figure out what they’re doing well, how they’re stealing customers (if they are) and what areas they’re weak in. In order to convince potential customers to choose you, you have to learn the ins and outs of other offers they’re exposed to.

Brand Personality

In the same spirit you channeled creating your ideal buyer persona, create a persona for your brand. If your brand was a person, what kind of characteristics would he or she have? People often ascribe specific human perceptions onto business entities—because they’re run by people. They want a business to have the same positive character traits they’d look for in a friend. They want you to be honest, trustworthy, ethical, empathetic, passionate, etc. Instead of thinking about what exactly you do—what products you sell or services you provide—think about why you do it.

A good brand personality will do a lot of things for you and your company. It will create immediate brand equity with customers and potential customers alike, and that will inevitably turn into long-term brand equity. Having a flushed out personality will separate you from your competitors—you want your personality to humanize you.

You want your brand personality to be concise and digestible. Modern, trendy, minimal. Dig deep to figure out your company’s culture, goals and who you want as customers. Distill this into an easily shareable concept.

Brand Promise

All relationships are built on promises—the initial commitment and the execution. This is especially true in a customer-client relationship because your customers are counting on you to hold up your end of the bargain. Figure out what it is you’re promising customers, and what they rely on your for. Essentially, get to the heart of what your company offers beyond the physical items being sold.

Do your customers rely on you for quick, affordable service? Reliable advice? Quality products? Whatever the answer is, it will help you understand what your client base is coming to you for, so you can focus more specifically on not letting them down. Make sure everyone on your team knows what you come up with—with everyone on the same page, every team member will have their priorities straight and know exactly what promises they’re aiming to keep on a daily basis. This is how, over time, you reinforce brand loyalty.

Successful trade shows are an essential part of the brand development process, but creating effective branding is just the first step. For more information and expert design advice, contact Design Display today.