Branding starts with knowing what you stand for

This issue focuses on a topic that all of our readers have in common:  brand. We are all protectors of a brand, whether it’s our company’s or our own individual brand. We are also all consumers of brands, which is just as important. Diana Varma explains the concept of authenticity in creating a brand. The idea is that you have to truly connect to your audience in order to succeed in today’s marketplace. Sometimes I see printers struggle with identifying who they are, and more importantly, who their clients are. When I ask “What is your ideal client?” I often get some version of, “We print anything for anyone.” Today, it’s next to impossible to achieve this successfully. Diana will discuss how focusing more narrowly can lead to greater success.

Interestingly, being a jack-of-all-trades can also make it difficult for clients to find you digitally. As an example, John Foley Jr. presents a basic framework for improving Google search results using focused keywords. Knowing your keywords is a part of knowing your brand. Could you choose your five words?

Olivia Parker will address some practical branding tools.  Namely, she shares a typical framework for creating branding guidelines. Once you understand what you stand for, you can organize how you share that information with your team. I’m currently abroad and it is certainly interesting to see brands across oceans fulfill their brand promises while adjusting to the local markets.

In addition to our branding focus we offer a thorough look at the upcoming Print 17 show in Chicago. Tony Curcio provides a wonderful breakdown of the Canadian booths at the show, so make sure you see your neighbours. In addition Joanne Gore identifies how to make the best of the show, both if you are a vendor and if you are a visitor. This is important to consider as tradeshows are not cheap. We absolutely must get the best out of them. I’m most excited to see the speaker series this year. I hope you will also visit us at our booth! And if you can’t make it, not to worry, we will have you covered with details post show.