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Lead into Temptation

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with Roland A. G. Nicholas

During the thirty minutes the shopper (you) spends on an average trip to the supermarket, hundreds or thousands of different products battle to win your attention and ultimately to make you, the shopper, believe in their promises.

You may be bombarded with personal questions while passing through the aisle. Are you a good parent or provider? Do you have time to do all you think you should, and would you be interested in a shortcut? Are you worried about your health and that of those you love? Do you care about the environment? Do you appreciate the finer things in life? Is your life what you would like it to be? Are you enjoying what you’ve accomplished?

You might read the label carefully, looking at the package itself and judge whether it will, for example, reseal to keep a product fresh. You might consider how a cosmetic container will look on the dressing table at home, or might think about whether someone might have tampered with it or whether it can be easily recycled.

But the most fundamental difference between an outdoor grocery or flea market, and the places through which you push your cart is that in a modern retail setting nearly all the selling is done without people. The U.S. supermarkets reduce the human factor in sales promotion, which slows down sales (Ever noticed many Americans don’t ask for help?). In many cases, the shopper has been prepared for the shopping experience by glossy, colorful print advertisements, thirty-second television mini-dramas, radio jingles, and coupon promotions. But the package makes the final pitch, seals the commitment and gets placed in the shopping cart.

Advertising leads consumers into temptation. Packaging is the temptation.

Now if you are a business owner, what makes your company stand out from the crowd? Is it your product? Your service? Your charming smile? Or is it your logo? All these are tools that promote your brand.

Ah, the logo. Tell me, how much time did you take to choose a suitable logo for your company? Did you research the logos of the competition? Did you check with your customers to know what they look for when they shop? Or did you just go to clipart in Microsoft Word and picked what looked nice?

A successful logo or trade mark is one that engages viewers and allows them to play a small interactive mind game with it. Developing a successful trademark requires meeting many different criteria. To start your education in brand management, I will introduce a checklist of ten (10) visual criteria that must be considered in the creation of a good logo, symbol, or icon. “Visibility” will be the first identity factor to consider, asking the question “Will your image stand out in its surroundings?”

Each week I will explain a new identity factor until the list is complete. Also in future articles I will discuss other brand identity elements and provide more detail, with examples of successful, well-known symbols of globally recognized companies. The goal is that these tidbits of information will encourage you to make a self-assessment of yourself, your company, and your message in a Caribbean and international context. Who knows . . . .? Your brand may be as tempting as you think.

Roland Nicholas is the founder of Brand Coral, LLC, a brand marketing consultancy in Atlanta, Georgia USA with ten years experience in successfully developing client-specific design methodologies that evaluated brand image, analyzed product positioning, and implemented market strategies. Client industries include consumer products, food & beverage, healthcare, hospitality, retail, telecommunications, tourism and travel. Inquiries are welcomed at rnicholas@brandcoral.com.

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