Joseph Casagrande / May 7th, 2019
Before Marvel released their characters onto the silver screen, they began by creating comic books that were seen as a unique art form appreciated by only select few. Which begs the question: how did Marvel become so popular amongst such a diverse collective?
The answer is branding.
Branding is a necessary (and ongoing) process that helps businesses thrive.
As printers, it’s crucial for each of us to establish our own identity (or brand) to help us securely develop and grow our print businesses.
It’s not uncommon for people (even printers) to think when it comes to branding, creating a logo is the only step. This is far from the truth. While creating a logo does help with the visual aspect of your branding, it’s important to think bigger. Many things encompass the idea of branding and what needs to be done to create the foundation of your image.
Before jumping into logo creation every time someone mentions the word branding, keep in mind that good branding is built around company culture. Anything that represents your company also needs to represent your culture.
Here’s an example: Marvel has created a brand that welcomes people of all varieties (age, size, race, etc.) to explore the reaches of their imagination. Marvel as a company is not discriminatory and creates their characters based off of a multitude of different cultures, races, or creeds. While people recognize Marvel from their signature logo, their vision and ideals as a company are what help the business thrive.
Your printing company should be running on strong core values and a vision that positively affects everyone within the company and people that use your services. This foundation should convince people to use your services and help you build a continual customer base.
Over time, you can expect your printing business to gain new customers and lose old ones.
It’s essential to recognize that change will always be happening, so learn to embrace it. If you want to combat customer turnover, you need to be able to move with the changing needs of your audience. Stop trying to convince yourself that you can stay the same as you were years ago and weather the storm.
Instead, grow your company along with the advancements in technology and look for the right next steps to increase your capabilities. Gaining new capabilities allows your company to grow, and your brand must grow along with it.
Imagine how much business revenue Marvel would be leaving on the table if they never expanded into films and television? Their success is built around the fact that they recognized that comics by themselves were a waning business, and they took steps to adapt their business and their brand accordingly.
Your printing company must also look for new ventures and take on a new identity that embraces what you can do. If you initially only did printing of business supplies (stationery, business cards, letterheads, etc.) and now you print posters and signs, you must let your customers know that you have gained new capabilities. This communication is what will allow your consumers to know that you have grown as a brand (and as a company), and you will continue to meet their needs today and in the future.
Sometimes, expansion doesn’t always go as planned.
There will be times that your print and marketing company might struggle. But, over time, your company will begin to experience success.
Marvel wasn’t initially the successful mogul that it is today, but after a few flops, Marvel changed the name of their movie studio from Marvel Films to Marvel Studios. They were able to leave their “failed” entity/brand behind and blossomed into a new, successful brand.
At times, your print company may need to go through some stages of rebranding, either by changing the name of your company or its image entirely. Because of this, it’s vital that you loosen your grip some and allow yourself to be open to the idea of changing direction.
So, ask yourself: “Does our brand represent what our business is all about?”
If not, it might be time to warm up to the idea of updating your image to better reflect your company culture and the direction your company is heading. After all, branding is such an essential tool to be successful today as a printer, especially since our industry helps thousands of business with their branding every single day.