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Maintaining Brand Consistency at Trade Shows

By: Rob Murphy
Posted: May 4, 2011, from the May 2011 issue of GCI Magazine.
  • Taking the time to strategize before embarking on any trade show program is the most effective approach to making trade show efforts part of overall branding and marketing strategies.
  • It is important is making sure an exhibit or booth design is in alignment with your strategy and priorities.
  • While you certainly want your exhibit to be impactful visually, it’s critical to make sure your brand doesn’t get diluted in the process.
  • Involve key stakeholders early to ensure messages remain consistent across all communication vehicles.

Beauty brand owners invest a significant amount of time and effort to establish a brand identity—considering the brand positioning, the image being portrayed and how the brand will be perceived by consumers. The resulting brand identity is built upon with every decision made and every product or service launched.

A company’s overall communications strategy also plays a key role in reinforcing brand identity to current and potential consumers of the brand. For many, this means logos, brochures, online presence, public relations, advertising and packaging. But what about how a brand is portrayed at trade shows? Think about it. How often have you been to a trade show, seen an exhibitor and wondered: What exactly does this company do? What is the brand? What is it trying to communicate to me?

Unfortunately, you’re not alone. After more than 20 years working in the trade show industry, I’ve seen that the disconnect often stems from companies treating trade shows as individual events instead of integrating them into an overarching brand communications strategy. But the sheer power of trade shows to cost-effectively connect with hundreds—even thousands—of customers and prospects makes them an important avenue to showcase a brand.

Simply taking the time to strategize before embarking on any trade show program—and, in particular, exhibit design—is the most effective approach. Here are four tips you can use to effectively maintain brand consistency at your next trade show:

1. Lead With Your Brand