The human brain has a complex process for decision-making. When provided with various alternatives or choices for any given situation, the brain starts looking for various cues in the stimulus and begins its categorization. Then, it analyses these cues to find the alternative it can best identify with.
Branding is the process of giving the brain these necessary cues in such a strategic manner that it simplifies the customer’s decision-making in a favourable way for the organisation.
In simple terms,
Branding is giving away of all the necessary information about an organisation in a manner that can be better understood and accepted by the target audience.
This law of branding stands universally for event branding as well. Through your branding efforts, you need to tell your audience what your event stands for and then convert it to the reasons for attending your event.
Keeping these basics in mind, let us know move towards some tips and tricks that will help you make an ‘out of the box’ branding strategy.
1. First things first — Get a theme.
No. By theme, we don’t mean the agenda of the event. The agendas may change with the event editions. But the theme stays consistent throughout.
Your event theme defines the premise you are planning to work for. It defines all that your event stands for. Once you have the theme ready, you can communicate it with your audiences and make it fit into their ‘need hierarchy’. Thus, get as creative a theme as possible.
2. Communicate. Uniquely.
When you are ready with your theme, you can easily begin the ‘communication’ part. Communication here means answering the question of What can our event do for you? In every possible manner.
Event profs usually spend a lot of time coming up with the theme but they are often unable to communicate it properly. Unless and until you tell people what you are up to or what are you capable of giving them, they are never going to get attracted.
Let’s take TED for an example. One reason for the humungous success of TED Talks is the organisation’s ability to communicate well. They have made it very clear that their goal is to share ideas that encompass all the fields of the world and are relevant throughout the demographics.
The first step to such an effective communication is naming the event. Name your event more thoughtfully than you would name your baby. The name should be eloquent, inspiring and unique. And above all, it should say what you are up to.
3. Create a tagline. Stick to the theme.
The next step in the communication process is creating the tagline. While the name would give a gist to the theme of the event, the tagline would do the briefing. Though your tagline cannot be more than a few hundred characters, it should be pretty eloquent.
Again, just like the event name, the tagline should also correspond to the event theme. As you proceed with each and every step in branding, ensure that you are making the concept of your event clearer.
Remember Apple’s Think Different. In two little words, they are conveying their complete ideology. That’s what is required for your event as well.
4. The logo should say something.
If you believe that your logo is a mere graphic, then you are totally mistaken. Your logo is the visual representative of your event. That is why it should also be a graphic summation of the entire event theme.
Humans retain more than 65% of all the information via visuals. Thus, your logo would probably be the first thing that your audience would notice and use as a decision-making cue.
Also, remember that the logo of your event will be present EVERYWHERE. If it is not the best, it won’t be worth it.
5. Consistency is THE way to go.
The world is not such a huge fan of chaos. Though it can be pretty when it is found in nature, chaos never looks good in corporates. That is why it is always very important that you stay consistent with all your branding strategies.
If your name or logo suggest that you stand for minimalism, make sure that nothing in your event is too extravagant. Contrasting your own ideologies is the worst thing you can do for your event branding.
6. Online v/s Offline Branding.
Person A is pretty old-school. He thinks that it is the offline event branding that works. There is a lot of content floating on the internet. So, there is pretty much no need/ scope to fight for more.
Person B is a new-gen techie. She says that social media is the new place where the world lives. Thus, all the event branding work should be done online.
While in theory, this can be an amazing debate topic, rationality calls for an amalgamation of two. You need social media campaigns as well as billboards/ hoardings. The fact here is that online branding can probably help you reach millions. But usually, only a few hundreds are actually relevant. Yet, it plays a very important part of the campaign.
In case of offline branding, though you might be reaching out to a limited number of people, they can be very relevant since they are the locals. Thus, make sure that you combine the two in the best possible way.
7. The four online branding biggies.
The conventional offline branding has a lot of ways that are also elaborated in the further points. But when it comes to online branding, there are four broad aspects that you need to take care of.
- Event Website
- Event Application
- Marketing Emails
- Social Media Handles
All the 4 of these will have a direct association with your brand’s identity. That is why the way you handle them will also make a difference to your event branding.
There are a few things that you essentially need to take care of:
i. They have to be all consistent and should speak the same language. For example, if you are keeping a formal tone in your event website and event application, the other two should also be the same.
ii. They should all essentially have the details of your event placed in a visible way.
iii. While the name, tagline or logo are pretty limiting, these are the broader platforms where you can specify on your event’s theme and concept.
iv. Since they are a reflection of your brand’s image, they should be free of any technical/ grammatical/ other basic flaws.
8. Let the merchandise speak.
Various products/ merchandise customized for your event are a pretty basic necessity for event branding. Repeated exposure to your event’s logo, tagline or theme will leave a lasting impression on the brains of your attendees.
This will help them remember your event more significantly and vibrantly. The next they hear about your presence, they are most likely to react positively. Not only that, they might also inspire others to be a part of your event.
9. Every brand needs ambassadors.
The concept of brands and ambassadors isn’t limited outside the event industry. Your event needs some good ambassadors as well. Their presence and involvement reflect the quality and popularity of your event.
Now if you are wondering as to who can be your event’s brand ambassadors, here’s your answer. All the speakers, guests, sponsors or any other eminent personalities or organisations that are a part of your event can act as your brand ambassadors.
They can share the details of your event on their blogs/ vlogs/ social media or any other platform they are comfortable with. This would become one special reason for their followers to attend your event.
10. User-generated content does make a difference.
While in general sense celebrities are considered as brand ambassadors, in event branding, attendees can do the same as well. How? Well, user-generated content is the answer.
Prompt your attendees to share some pictures, videos, tweets, etc. on their social media handles. Create a hashtag for your event and ask the attendees to use it whenever they post something.
This way, they will be promoting your event among their followers or the internet users in general. A good quality and quantity of user-generated content for your event can actually create a lasting buzz adding value to your brand.
Follow these tips and see your brand shine throughout the event.
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