Visibility is one of the best branded marketing tactics you can employ. I have long said that visibility is the key to success. That phrase, followed by, “…be seen” has actually been a foundational slogan for my business for years. Because I truly believe it. A business will not find success without being seen. If your potential customers don’t know you exist, how can they buy what you sell or utilize your service? It’s as simple as that.
But how do you be seen? What does being seen mean? How can I be seen? What do I do once they see me, once I have their attention?
In marketing, being seen means whatever has your potential customers’ attention, you want to be there. Branding, however, asks the question, how you look once they see you? In order to grab a person’s attention, there must be some kind of attractiveness, shock value, uniqueness, and/or consistency in the brand designs. This starts with the logo.
The company logo must exhibit one or more of the above qualities. It must be attractive, be odd enough to shock the viewer, making them look twice, it must be unique or strange enough to make them look deeper into it, and it must feel designed, not thrown together. These aren’t just the qualities of an effective logo, these are also great qualities to have if the goal is to be seen.
Once the logo is completed, the rest of the brand must exhibit the same qualities of the logo. The cohesiveness of the brand is vital to “being seen”, because once they see you and they get comfortable with you, they need to be able to relive that feeling each and every time that they interact with you. The same joy and sense of trust that the logo gave them must be reproduced. If your goal is to be seen, it’s best to make sure they know it’s you when they see you.
My barber, Elliot is a good friend of mine. He’s been cutting my hair since the 90s when he was working in the basement barbershop at student union at the local HBCU, North Carolina A&T State University. Well, that is, other than the eight years I lived as a hippie rastalike natural man, and grew locs and intentionally wanted them to look “dreadful” so never visited a barbershop, but that’s another story for another day. Anyway, My friend Elliot now has his own shop. But he knew nothing about branding. No matter what I told him, he just couldn’t see the value in it. He viewed branding as spending money, which he wasn’t gonna do. He had a different “logo”, different fonts, and different variations of red, white, blue, and black all over the inside and the outside of the shop. It gave me a headache. This year, I finally convinced Elliot that it was time to bring his brand together by pointing out that he had too many fonts. For some reason, THIS is what triggered him and we talked about his fonts during each haircut I got for about 3 months. After 6 haircut consultations, he finally realized that he wouldn’t be spending money, he would be making an investment in his business just like buying clippers and chairs. He called me and paid me a deposit to “make all my fonts match”. During the next few weeks I created his brand while educating him about visibility, cohesiveness, and having a brand feeling. Today, he has a new logo, a cutout of that logo on his wall, window and door graphics with the logo, and a new sign, also, of course, with his new logo. The business cards have the new logo as well as the flyers, the barbers are excited to share with friends, family, and potential customers. With better visibility, his profits went up while empty seat time went down. And my friend got his matching fonts.
See the case study of the Generations Barbershop here.
I know it’s hard to see the value in “matching fonts” but just as you have an image to uphold when you stand in front of the mirror getting dressed in the morning, so does your brand. Make sure it steps out looking good and feeling good when you set out to Be Seen.