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Brand awareness in a virtual age

DZone's Guide to

Brand awareness in a virtual age

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In a world awash with social media when people spend most of their time walking down the street with mobile phones glued to their ear or their eye, balancing a cup of coffee in the other hand and trying desperately not to make eye contact with any other people on their way to work, does signage have the place that it once did or should it be consigned to the virtual world only?

Perhaps surprisingly the answer is a resounding yes. Whilst human beings may have become increasingly wired to the virtual world our other senses are just as well developed as ever they were, in fact even more so. We may run on auto pilot but we are still alert to anything that is out of the ordinary. In fact, autopilot itself is actually a mild trance state, but rather than making us sleepy as the term may suggest, it actually helps us to access the wider capabilities of our brain.

As we wander around following our usual routine journeying to work or dropping our kids off at school, our brain is like a silent sentinel keeping a watching brief to see if there is anything out of the ordinary.

Anything ‘usual’ or ‘ordinary’ that we needn’t take notice off is quickly dismissed before it enters our thought stream (the inner mind commentary we have on what’s going on around us). Anything out of the ordinary though, suddenly shocks our system into being awake and we are then wired to take special notice and evaluate the situation we see before us for threat or potential opportunity.

That’s where business or company signage comes in. Initially when a sign is new to us we rapidly evaluate it and take in the mix of colours, words and other information that it conveys. If it is a coffee shop for example, we may link the colour of the fabric and style of the sign with the smell of the coffee, encoding it into our senses so that it becomes a ‘fixed point’ of reference. Next time we encounter the sign it brings forth the same sensations so even when we are back on autopilot if we did happen to just fancy a coffee, our subconscious mind would start to prompt us to action as soon as the sign is in sight, even beforehand if we know it is just around the corner!

The neurological links that are made between a sign and the observer are crucially important. Whilst people all have different tastes and considerations, getting the experience right first time is the key towards building positive brand awareness. By making that first experience as positive as possible, a feel good factor kicks in every time the observer sees the sign.

It is never more vital to have the right combination of signage and positive experience than at an exhibition where you are jockeying for position and attention amongst several other vendors, some of whom may be key competitors.

We focus on helping you to keep your signage bold, recognisable and simple enough that the human element can also play its part. Less is often so very much more and we can work with you to design the whole personality of the brand so that that first impression, a combination of information and personality registers as positively as possible with our target clients.

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