The Art Of Branding…And The Signs Of A Good Plan
So you’re going through a set-up, expansion or re-brand? Well, there are a lot of seemingly big, and, ultimately, seemingly small decisions to make in order to take that to fruition.
Knowing that the concept is correct, the next steps are critical to efficiencies down the road. Over the past 30 years, we’ve worked with hundreds of clients, maintaining a compartmentalized structure in the “big” vs. “small” decisions/factors. Knowing that all decisions factor into the greater idea of branding and, ultimately success, we acknowledge the interplay with:
- Size and Scope of plan
- Financial Vehicles
- Services and Statements of Value
- Growth Continuity
Knowing that these decisions, undoubtedly, demand about 95% of your available gray matter, we’ve structured our business around the other 5%. Our key value proposition, is to keep the 5% in its place.
*For the sake of getting into my needed talking points, I’ll skip the next few decisions to be made, like coasters for the lobby and company pens, and move on to Signage/Branding – Where seemingly small decisions can take up as little as 1%, or as much as 99% of your available gray matter.
“If you build it, they will come.” One of the most generally recognized movie quotes of all time, does not hold water in this journey of brand building. In fact, you can point to examples where blind faith in this idea has stopped many a dream short…many times, before it even has a chance to be tested fully in the market.
Sure, advertising can get the word out to your target market. Yes, social media can create a “brand feel” that creates an affinity. Maybe, your website will be able to organically attract prospective customers to your brand. Sadly, no, your logo is not the end all be all of brand touch to your customer.
So, what do you do now? Well, assuming you’ve let people know you are in business or have changed names or corporate allegiance, you need to now tell people on a very granular level.
Whether you are embarking on a single location or national expansion, context and clarity are key components of the signage decision. (In the case of franchising expansion, see: Brand Security). The most critical component, is to plan on the location. There are many variables that exist and are unique to a single location…many more when a multi-location roll-out is undertaken. Having completed over 1500 projects per year, we here at Egan Sign have seen the best of intentions turn into a very unnecessary point of contention for many a brand. For example, the need for a very clear understanding of the permitting process at each location, whether one or many, is absolutely critical. Assuming that one size fits all and one borough is similar to another can turn a successful project into a complete team meltdown. See: Navigating the Sign Permit Process and Permit Procurement.
The next important part of this process is to fully understand what each site “looks” like and where it is located compared to other businesses or features. As much as the sign manufacturing and overall impact of said sign are the focus when embarking on a project of this nature, the most critical point is the initial survey of the site. We have learned over the past 30 years in business, that a fully exhaustive survey with measurements, perspective photos and drawings will enable the project to go smoothly, pushing any decisions to the forefront of the project. Have a 150 sq/ft sign that worked great in Poughkeepsie? Think it’s going look perfect in Albuquerque? Well, it may, but Albuquerque may have an issue with anything over 149 sq/ft. Knowing that upfront, from the survey, will save you countless hours and dollars in revisions and permit changes. You will be able to decide if you want to go through the variance process or revise the sign to fit 149 sq/ft.
By making all of these decisions up front, we are able to provide on-time, on-budget delivery for our clients on every level. This also enables us and the client to have an up to date, clean Design Control Document (see example). This DCD will prove to be one of the most valuable tools we and our clients have going forward.
Once the process and manufacturing are completed, we are left with the install. We always work with our installer to do the initial survey so they are comfortable with the project from day one. That really eliminates most issues that can arise on the install process.
So, in summary, before you begin to embark on the signage journey, regardless the scope of the project, make sure you are partnered with the right national sign management company to save yourself headache, time and money.
Or just give us a call!
John Dever III