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How To Build Your Brand Using A Direct Approach

When it comes to building your brand, there are innumerable potential methods—from the way you package your product to how you portray it through a variety of online and offline media channels. However, sometimes these communications can become rather abstract and you lose touch with a clear understanding of how your audience responds to your brand. It's hard to move forward with your marketing when you’re not sure how people compare your products and services to the competition even when you do your best to engage with them through your social media marketing.

The solution to close the communication gap between the image you're projecting and your audience's response (or indifference) is to find ways to engage your target audience in person rather than through print, radio, and television advertising, or through online content creation and social media marketing.

In other words, find a way to speak to them directly rather than digitally. Get live feedback on how people are relating to your brand. After all, building your brand only works if there is sufficient engagement to gauge interest levels.

One way to fine tune your brand-building is to participate in trade shows because these are events that facilitate ways that you can directly interact with your audience and get their opinion on how you're doing. 

3 Brand Building Tips for Success at Trade Shows

The more popular a trade show for your industry, the more likely it is to be saturated with other vendors who have similar product lines. Trade shows are also a big investment as you have to pay booth fees, pay for logistics, pay your staff for setting up and running the booth, and pay for booth equipment and displays.

Consequently, trade shows can be a hit-or-miss deal. They can either double your business or derail your working capital. They only work as a brand-building opportunity if you have a clear idea of your reasons to exhibit . However, the good news is that with a well-thought out exhibition and a carefully executed plan, trade shows can be one of the best ways of establishing your company as a superb brand.

Here, then, are 3 ways to enjoy the upside of a trade show exhibition:

1. Get the word out to your audience.

Use newsletters, emails, and telephone call to inform customers. 

Then, during the exhibition, use social media to stir excitement. 

You can tweet your location at the event –like “We’re # 27, turn right from the lobby.” You can share pictures of your booth on Instagram. And you can create a status update on Facebook and respond to comments. The only thing you need is a dedicated staff member and a smartphone to run your social media campaign while the event is in progress. 

Think of it as a form of "live" reporting.

2. Practice as if you were planning a theatrical production. 

Train your staff well ahead of time on how to describe your brand and respond to frequently asked questions. Also, polish your pitch and get feedback on it. Finally, work out what should be your most important talking points. 

Failure to rehearse will mean a lot of ad hoc presentations by your staff that will probably waste your marketing opportunity.

3. Set up your booth to visually communicate your message. 

At trade shows people often simply walk by a booth and quickly look it over to decide if it’s worth stopping there. They will be too quick for your people to engage them in conversation—so you will have to rely on visual aids to snag their attention.

So, post banners next to your booth and add some intriguing full-length posters behind the table, or you could add some eSigns table signs or banners to round out the front display. eSigns says a great way to "build your business' brand is with quality table front banners at trade-shows, exhibitions and promotional events."

Final Thoughts

After the trade show, continue the conversation. You will have collected many names and addresses from visitors and even engaged with quite a number of people online. So send them thank you notes, either digitally or via the mail. You will also want to create a digital album to exhibit all the fun pictures of your event on Google + and Facebook to further engage with your audience. Document your experiences in a lighthearted way, as if you were sharing your day rather than promoting your company.