Have you ever wondered why the same TV commercial plays over and over?
Or thought, ‘ya know, we all know what McDonald’s is by now, do they really need every other billboard in America?’
Those things are not an accident. Those brands understand a psychological effect humans have.
It’s called the ‘mere-exposure effect‘, and we’re all susceptible to it.
Basically, what this means is that we actually develop a preference for something by just becoming familiar with it.
The mere–exposure effect is a psychological phenomenon by which people tend to develop a preference for things merely because they are familiar with them. In social psychology, this effect is sometimes called the familiarity principle.
Your brain is a busy place, and to conserve energy you are hard-wired to prefer things that are familiar to you. This makes the decision process much easier.
This condition is something that is well-known marketers. That’s why those same brands are pounded into your head day after day.
It’s a really common mistake.
But it doesn’t have to be. I see most small businesses make the same mistake over and over again, and it’s 100% free to fix. You just have to be able to recognize it.
The problem is, they are not consistent.
If the goal is to become more familiar to your audience, then we need to make it as easy as possible for people to instantly recognize our brand.
Your brand is much more than just the name of your company. It’s your logo, colors, typography, imagery, and iconography.
I see businesses every day that have one logo on their business cards, another on their building and their ad in the paper doesn’t match either.
How confusing is that to a consumer? Their brain is just looking for something they are familiar with, and here this business is being three different messages.
Fix it— with brand standards.
While some brand standards can be hundreds of pages, this can be something as simple as a single sheet of paper, but it’s crucial for making your brand recognizable.
A brand guideline is a set of rules for how your brand is communicated.
This can include, but is not limited to:
• Your logo, it’s variations and usage guides.
• Your typography (or fonts).
• Your colors (specific Pantone or color formulas).
• Your imagery.
• Your messaging, tagline, and tone.
All of these elements play a crucial role in people becoming more easily familiar with your brand.
Imagine if you met a new person. They had brown hair, glasses, wore trendy clothes and spoke with a British accent. But the next time you saw them, their hair was bleached blonde, no more glasses, wore sweatpants and spoke Japanese.
How confusing would that be? Is it even the same person? Do I trust this person? They seem unstable… what’s the deal?
I see brands do this every single day.
So how can you avoid this mixed-messaging and help your brand become more recognizable?
Set your brand standards— and stick to them!
Not only will this make your brand more recognizable, but it will make advertising and marketing so much easier. When you run an ad, send the publisher your brand standards. When you get something printed, give the printer your brand standards.
You should set the goal of being as consistent as possible, at every customer touch-point. Instantly your brand will be more memorable, your audience will become more familiar and your marketing efforts will become much easier.
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