Branding 11: Repeatability and Exposure

impact of viewers on branding

One of the things I often talk about is that how any given brand needs significant time and exposure before anyone really begins to recognise it. This is a task which is only becoming more difficult as we receive (and ignore) more and more branded messages and content online.

Timescales

The simple truth of the matter is that it might take many years before people begin to recognise your name in industry, and certainly longer to recognise your brand. This should be a little easier if they’ve had some form of communication with you, but even then it may not be straight forward.  I often advise newer businesses to stick with simple, bold designs that will easily stick out in the viewer’s mind. Less is very often more, and although simple and bold may get boring to see day in and out, few of your customers will have that level of exposure with you.

Why Re-Brand?

People are becoming increasingly visual these days and design software is becoming much more accessible where it would not be uncommon to bump into someone who knows how to use photoshop. The result of this, is that there are far too many people tinkering with their websites and branding, or worse still ripping it all up and starting again losing any progress already made. Although elements of your brand will need to evolve and adapt over time, the core should always be the same. An example of this would be that there have been three different Spiderman series, all with different actors and slightly different stories but all recognisably still Spiderman films. Re-brands should be a last result or come from a major business change, not just because Pink is in this month and you want to follow the trend.

The Mere-Exposure Effect

An interesting Psychological phenomenon when it comes to explaining the power of a brand, the Mere-Exposure effect explains that people are more likely to develop a preference to a particular thing because they are more familiar with it. There have been numerous studies which have all shown that the more you are exposed to something, the more likely you are to rate it highly.

This is one of the fundamental reasons why mega-brands spend billions of dollars on advertising and product placement, no matter how subtle. Even when they are not directly trying to sell you something, they are prompting you to think about their brand and the more you are exposed to it, the more likely you are to think it is a good brand and want to buy it. I would be really interested to see what would happen if Roller Cola or some other rip-off brand where given the same advertising budget as Cola Cola!

Any company looking to build a successful brand must think in terms of years and not months and although all companies will change and adapt over time, keeping those fundamentals in place will ensure a familiarity with your potential customers.

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