Decals designed the wrong way or the right way will affect the viability to build brand awareness

The proverb of our capitalist and gadget driven society states; “who ever builds a better mouse trap, the consumer will beat a path to their door”.  The entrepreneur that designs a product that embodies this proverb has conquered the first mountain, the summit of this mountain is attained by giving to the consumer what they need or desire.    


The company that manufactures a product that scratches the itch of the market place, must communicate to the consumer that their product exist.  This endeavor is called marketing.  How does a company advertise a product to make the consumer aware of their product? 


Advertising not only asks the consumer to purchase a product, but more importantly builds what is known as brand awareness.  Advertising on the normal media outlets is essential, such as T.V., radio, newspaper and magazines.  Advertising in any form is subliminal, because of this advertising must be repeated over and over in many forms.  The short commercials utilized in the broadcast mediums are one way to reach millions, at a high cost.  These sound and video shorts must be continued at regular intervals, thereby engineering the awareness of the consumer that this brand is the answer to their need. 


The print media newspapers, consumer or trade magazines advertisements have duration that last days to months, these ads do cost less because the consumer audience the ad reach is much smaller.  If this is a national product the marketing team must place ads in all major markets.  This avenue of advertising brand awareness is viable and effective.  Because the marketing team must advertise in the entire major markets the cost, although lower that broadcast media, is still expensive.    


Now to the point of this article, how does the decal assist in this endeavor to create brand awareness?  The decal is a most effective and low cost tool to assist in creating and keeping the consumer aware of the brand.  There is a wrong way to use decals and there is a right way.  What is the wrong way to employ a decal as a way to remind the consumer of the subliminal message that is in situ in the consumer’s conscience? 


One of the wrong ways to use a decal; when the marketing team chooses to ignore marketing 101 in the acronym K.I.S.S. most of us know this abbreviated message and its implications to advertising.   The design of the decal is ambiguous and difficult to read usually because trying to covey too much information.  The decal isn’t any different than any other advertising medium, like the radio’s sound bite or the television’s one lasting image; the decal must communicate one lasting image of the brand.  This is why logos are employed the logo is a simple message and creates brand awareness by using an image in stead of words. 


Another way to employ a decal the wrong way; is to design a decal for inside the window of a retail store or a motor vehicle behind the heavy tinting that is on most windows of retail establishments and motor vehicles making the decal hard to see. 


Choosing the wrong color combinations in designing a decal is another bad choice.  If a decalcomania colors are too similar the message will be lost, because the intended audience can not see the message.  Example of this if a decals background is black and the logo or text message is dark blue the intended audience will not be able to discern the branding message.  


This dilemma of packing too much information into a message also occurs in television commercials.  We all have viewed the commercial that is so funny and entertaining, but when it is over; we ask others in the audience what were they advertising?  The experts who design commercials, print ads and decals, sometimes get lost in their own left brains and the artist creativity becomes more important that the product, so the end result the art is advertised not the brand.


The correct way to use decals as advertising is to make the message simple, easily viewed, and readable.  Sounds easy does it not?  Not so easy it seems, because many designs used in decals that may work in print media, but may not communicate effectively when employing a decal. 


One example of a decal that effectively communicates brand awareness is the decal designed by the security company ADT®.  ADT® decals and yard security sign uses the logo image predominately as their message and only one color.  This design is a simple message, that has continuity with their media and print advertising, the decal can be seen because they are always placed on the outside of windows, and the color combination does not obscure their message.  


The decal used correctly is a powerful tool in the tool box of a marketing team, because of two factors.  The first is the cost of the decalcomania which is very low; the seconded is the message duration, is counted in years not minutes or months.  The ubiquitous decal if designed correctly will communicate brand awareness long after broadcast and print media, complete its task, the decal will keep reminding the consumer of your brand as a 24 hour a day silent sales person.


There are case histories where the decal eclipsed the media and print advertising; have any of you witnessed this kind of advertising genius?  If so please share.   






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