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Consistency and Carrying a Theme

One pillar of effective marketing is consistency. Presenting a business or product in the same way serves two purposes: First, it repeats the image made on the viewer to increase brand recognition; secondly, it provides an impression that the business is established. 

How often have you seen a business card that doesn't match the corresponding website... or office signage... or ad content? This is a common problem when a business doesn't establish its image goals upfront, and/or when it grows too quickly and needs to fulfill media requirements without adequate support to do it right. On the other hand, can you imagine ever seeing a Pepsi, McDonald's, or Nike ad where the logo isn't correct or text is set in Microsoft Word default typefaces? Not likely. All of these mega-corps have had decades to work through their brand issues and regularly dedicate substantial portions of their budgets to address how to carry a theme throughout print, web, and television materials.

Last week, I was invited to go to a premiere event for Eat Pray Love. Unless you've been sleeping under a rock for the past few weeks, you've seen so many cross-promotions for the movie that you're probably sick of them. What do you think of? Maybe Julia Roberts eating gelato with a sideways glance? The filmmakers have carefully limited the printed images to variations of this. It won't spoil anything to mention that the movie is set in Italy, India, and Bali. The event I went to offered Italian appetizers and gelato, yoga demonstrations, and exotic perfumed candles. Without saying the title every two minutes, the parallels to the movie couldn't be missed--and this idea was expanded into tons of cross-promotional events, services, and products (all in-line with the movie's theme). The movie will make serious bank, not only because Julia Roberts sells tickets, but also because the overarching theme (and related merchandising) that sweeps up the romantic, sentimental, and spiritual desires of a demographic and compels them to spend money to have a small piece of it. 

I often say that I provide a "shortcut to professionalism" when I work with a new small business, because I help create the brand and know how to expand across several media. If you have a business and don't know what your image should be--or how you should execute something to fit within a current brand--contact me to discuss your requirements. I'm easy to talk to and happy to provide a free consultation.