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HOW IMPORTANT IS BUSINESS STYLE? I claim that it is of prime importance. Let us think of style as personality and how your business is characterized based on the visual content of its advertising collateral, which would include; the business identity, printed and digital letterhead, envelope, business-cards, prints ads, website, tradeshow displays, POP displays, television commercials, press releases, PDF, PowerPoint and Keynote documents, brochures, snail-mailers, and email presentations. A reputation is formed based on the perception of these materials, combined with the behavior of service personnel, and the quality of products and services provided. Is your business style unique, or patterned after acceptable norms?   Article Heading Image

• It is the number one way to draw distinction to your company
• It is the number one way to draw distinction between your company and competitors
• It creates an public impression of your values
• It should excite to your customers and make them feel respected as patrons

Style is not contrived, artificial, nor alien to the true nature of what it represents. Just as an artist has an innate manner of expression that cannot be hidden, each business expresses itself in many ways. A style of marketing design should focus on providing the most information efficiently, while being entertainingly appropriate for its market. Recognize the need to focus on creating, or improving, how your style stands out. Do not hold back, and do it with class.
Type Styles Comparison Image
Each of these letters elicit different responses because of the associations we have with them, and illustrate how type style presents a strong personality all by itself.

The most common mistake in marketing style is imitating industry standards, or following the status quo. It is rather amazing to witness companies in the same business competing on the same level, with the same techniques. One can see this demonstrated in media news, television commercials, fashion magazines, and a myriad of websites that look like the same person designed them. There is no point setting a goal to have a marketing plan just for the sake of acceptance, or to 'fit-in.' There is a tendency for people to choose the most conservative approach to marketing concepts and design proposals because they embody ingredients that are familiar, and therefore feel like the most comfortable fit, but they are unremarkable nonetheless.

A great company focuses first on the quality of their wares and customer service, with respect for the planet, while allowing profit to be a result of that higher purpose. The days of profit driven commerce are over because we cannot afford it, and I agree with Buckminster Fuller, that the only way to sustain a healthy human population is through our integrity of purpose as individuals and groups. Now, there is great opportunity for businesses to shine that want to improve the business model for healthy living and working. Great leadership and Innovation inside a company generates a personality that is special, and relatively easy to translate into visual representations that will garner positive attention. It is much easier, more rewarding, and less expensive than trying to dress a hollow promise.

This probably a hard question because, being in the business often prevents one from having an authentic experience as a customer. It is worthwhile to write a serious list of business-traits as you think they are now, then write a second list of the traits you would like to have. The positive qualities on your lists are your best selling points, and provide a solid basis for the way your identity can be styled as a reflection of them. There are also characteristics associated to some industries like music, where the genre can range from Bach to Barney. Obviously, a death-metal band has certain styling requirements in contrast to those used marketing meditation tracks.

Special attention is never given to the average, the expected, the predictable, nor anything that is familiar. After all, our marketing challenges are not new, and the general act of selling has been going on for thousands of years. When looking back historically, the most prominent and enduring influences are made as a result of; controversial actions, unusual achievement, amazing courage, great sacrifice, technological miracles, and emotionally charged events. It is the main task of a marketing designer to fabricate campaigns and supporting materials that offer a fresh take on old subjects. Visual materials must be build around a solid marketing offer otherwise we only have nice images. There is a big difference between the commitment required to generate a company make-over versus a postcard mailer, however, the objective of designing something unique remains the first requirement of any commercial design. The objective is to have an outstanding style for your business that is trend setting. Select a designer who has interests and sensitivities commensurate with the nature of your business style.


– – Mark Smollin

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