In the process of building impressions, there are times for taking the stage. The stage can be a wall, a floor, the sides of a vehicle, in the yard, on the facade, the top of a building, in the office, or at the store. Any placement or environment where a branded message can be experienced and build an impression is a stage for the taking. You don’t get much more attention than being the main attraction on the stage.
A few years ago, I worked with Daman Products, a manufacturer in the Midwest that’s become one of the world leaders at producing hydraulic manifolds. Though they were leading the way, the owners said it didn’t feel like when they came to work. They recognized that their office building on the inside was a stage and their performance was lacking energy and pride.
Daman had already established a well-respected name and recognizable brand, but they brought me in to help them with branding on the inside that would do four things for their business: 1) show their innovation without saying the words innovation, 2) portray their brand as a world leader for visitors, 3) create more pride and engagement for the people working there, and 4) provide a deeper understanding of the business and the important role they play in the world.
The first thing I did was to help them develop a primary brand statement to summarize their position as a leader in their industry. And we ended up being able to do that with one word-“DAMANizing.” From that word, we developed a tag line: Damanizing the Fluid Power Industry.
To showcase their leadership, we decided to not highlight their products, but instead highlighted all the places in the world where their products are being used to make a difference in the world.
For the innovation, we got creative and worked with their engineers and production supervisors to create a series of images that blended technical schematic drawings with photos of their tooling and manufacturing process along with photos of their manifolds.
With these themes, I created branded images and messages to take to the stage by decorating the walls of offices, conference rooms, reception areas, and manufacturing spaces to start building the intended impressions.
Months later I ran into some of their employees who came up to me in a social setting to tell me how my ideas and my company’s work transformed the energy and attitude of the entire company.
The themes we created were building the right kinds of impressions. They even changed their website and all their branding and marketing to better align with their newly branded interiors. Those interiors were the stage for building impressions.
Today, when you visit Daman Products you understand their impact on the world with the impressions they are building.
Sometimes, the building itself is the stage and can be the building impression. I vividly remember the day we got a call from a customer for the first time who wanted a building impression, not just a sign. Those were his words. He needed new signs but wanted a complete building impression makeover.
Cannon’s Auto had serviced vehicles for years with a good reputation, but their image was stale and old. The business was built on solid principles, but their image on the outside needed help. So we provided him a new image, the right image, one that made the local market take notice and is helping the business grow.
When the project was completed, the owner told me, “Ever since the changes were made to the outside of our building, we are busier than ever! And people stop in just to tell us how much they like our new look!”
Recently, we worked with a Burger King location in Florida where the first-ever Whopper was supposedly invented and sold. To help commemorate that, when the building was updated we provided a giant whopper on the side of the building.
This Home of the Whopper became a literal home of a whopper by putting a giant one on the side of the building and turning its tagline into a unique visual expression and experience of the brand. What a stage!
Think about all the stages for building your client’s impressions at home, at work, in the office, and in branded environments.
Remember, branding is what you say about yourself. What others actually say about you determines your brand. And what they say is highly determined by what they experience. Experiences are what build a brand. Experiences make an impression. As brand builders, you want brand experiences to build impressions. Taking the stage will help you build them.