The sun peeks through the trees. A hush hangs over the stadium. Off to the side, one or two intrepid janitors are starting to clean the debris off the seats while concessions workers start scrubbing out the kitchens.
Baseball season’s almost here.
So who’s your team? The Orioles? The Red Sox? The Royals? I’m a Yankees/Mets/Rangers fan myself.
Walk through any frenzied crowd on game day and it’s not hard to tell who’s out on the field. Sports teams are a phenomenal example of consistency in print marketing. From team colors to logos to mascots, each team has its own unique look branded across everything they do.
Location, Location, Location? Doesn’t Matter If They Can’t Tell Who You Are
Companies spend billions each year generating customer loyalty. If you’ve done your job they’ll recognize your logo from the Interstate, fly across four lanes of traffic and cause a ten car pileup in a dedicated effort to get to you. Just because you’re there.
How do I know? That’s the kind of passionate response I have to seeing a Starbucks sign five hours into an eight hour road trip. (Minus the ten car pileup, of course.) They shamelessly use our caffeine addiction and the fact that the wrong coffee tastes absolutely horrible to breed customer loyalty habits that bring on a response faster than opening a can of tuna in kitchen full of cats.
I have three of them. That’s pretty darn fast.
Now that you’ve worked so hard to build brand awareness you want to make sure you’re communicating it in every piece of marketing that goes out to your customers. Right?
This is where too many print marketing pieces fall apart. Companies build brand loyalty. They commit countless hours and innumerable resources to identifying key target markets. (Don’t worry, someone’s keeping track. Just ask your accountant.) They’ve dedicated themselves to building the perfect mailing list.
Then it all falls apart when they develop their print marketing pieces.
What They Read vs. What They Throw Away
Far too many companies find themselves sacrificing consistency in print marketing in an effort to stay fresh.
While a crafty graphic might catch the consumer eye, direct marketing is all about offering value. Value driven pieces from a company to whom they already feel a certain amount of loyalty not only receive more attention, they’re more likely to be acted on. Creative, clever pieces that don’t play on customer loyalty can cause brand confusion, even when it’s from the same company, and make customers less likely to act.
Think of it as a baseball team that packs up, moves to a new location and gets a whole new look. Sure, they’re still your team. But will you eat Ramen for weeks on end so you can get your hands on a new, autographed baseball cap?
Probably. But not as quickly as you would if they were still running around sporting that look we all know and love!
Pavlov knew what he was doing. If you consistently deliver quality product along with the visual symbols of your brand customers will react on instinct, your print marketing materials will send their salivary glands into overdrive and your direct mail piece will be a direct call to action. Or it can make its new home at the country recycling center without being seen by a single human eye. It’s up to you.