Tradeshow and Exhibit Thoughtleaders
"The goal of education is the advancement of knowledge
and the dissemination of truth."

John F. Kennedy


Sarmistha Tarafder's Articles
 
Change, Challenge and Charge Your Brand Marketing - 
Part 1 [The Change]

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Initially, I started this as one article. But, shortly, I realized the magnitude of the subject line. It wants to be a TRILOG - (not a word from the Webster dictionary, of course.) I am breaking it up in 3 parts and this is the first part of the newly coined word Trilog. Let me know what your feelings are about this word. I am kind of liking it.

EMBRACE THE TIMELESS THOUGHT [CHANGE]

Change is an eternal, ever lasting concept.

The days move on to bring us nights. Summer laps into the lavish richness of fall. And, fall moves along to bring us yet another year of CHANGE. Thus, works the mind of the invisible time machine. It is as though the whole creation is in a state of constant flux, an endless revolution. Right now the air you are breathing is different from the time when you started to read this article. And so is the body and so are your thoughts. The only constant that you take refuge in is CHANGE. Consider this CHANGE as a melody, or a stream that is flowing on its' own merry way. You do not pause the theme to memorize the tune, you participate in it. You add to it. You improvise it. You are the jazz singer actively contributing in this CHANGE.

Buddha once said, if you want to understand the workings of life sit by a river bank. You will realize impermanence in the only permanence and that is all there is.

“No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it's not the same river and he's not the same man.” ― Heraclitus

I wanted to play with the concept of CHANGE at higher level, to emphasize the fact that CHANGE is built in our planetary DNA. Yet, we are often mired in silt and happy doing the same thing that we have always done with minimal results to show for. But, reckon it as a powerful force and know that you will stay ahead of your adversaries, while establishing your brand as an aspirational agent of change.

As industries become digitized, and digital transformation and disruption become a social pastime. it has been postulated that the 21st century will see almost 1000 times more technological innovation than the twentieth.

One industry that is leading this phenomenal change is Healthcare. If you are in this space as a trade show marketer, you have to be well aware of of changing trends from the "Break-Fix model of medicine — reactively treating maladies and ailments as they occur — to the Predict-and-Prevent model — an anticipatory combination of detective work and cutting-edge technology that addresses the root causes of health afflictions."

Your exhibit design for this space should be focused on advocating life lifestyle changes, behavioral changes, or preventative practices. You can achieve this by visual story telling and interesting use of Gamification. We see a rise in this trend as it involves the user to walk through branded environment in a game like design setting, contests, competitions before they even visit your booth space. When they are in your space, they are guided by the sub-conscious knowledge of your brand and at that point they will only need hard data to validate the emotions that they feel towards your brand. See how dacadoo  makes health and wellness fun and engaging in real time.

Speaking of effective visuals, CHANGE your visuals from product shots to how they are going to make a difference in your client's world. In other wotds, CHANGE from feature and benefit marketing to the marketing of the feeling. If done right, it turns around declining brand, differentiates your product, creates and identity for your brand and promotes innovation.

WHATEVER, YOUR BUSINESS MAY BE, ALWAYS, HAVE AN OVER-ARCHING THEME THAT ADDRESSES A BIGGER CAUSE. WE ALL ARE DEVOTEES OF SOME CAUSE OR THE OTHER. GIVE YOUR AUDIENCE SOMETHING TO IMAGINE. OPEN THEIR MINDS' EYE. KINDLE THEIR CHILDHOOD FANTASY.

Use "THINK" concepts to "RELATE" to your brand. For example, if you are in the business of selling solar panels and exhibiting at a solar show, don't waste your booth space by showing solar panels.That is what your competition will be doing. You, will design visuals that portrays the sun as a powerful energy source. Spice it up with some interesting facts. Depending on your audience, play the culture card – have exotic graphics of historic sun temples. These effective visuals will transform your branded space into a destination where your target audience would be able experience your brand in a positive light. It will inspire them with knowledge. It will make your space memorable. Build up on this theme and develop sub-themes that can carry you through a year of rigorous show schedule. It will keep your brand fresh, your booth staff motivated, and your attendees inspired.

YOU NEED NOT BE BIG, TO THINK BIG – TO EFFECT CHANGE, TO INSPIRE FANTASY AND LEVERAGE EXISTING PLATFORMS.

“Thinking is a sacred disease.” ― Heraclitus .... Start being comfortable with dis-ease.

START BY CHANGING, "YOUR VISION FROM A CUSTOMER PERSPECTIVE" AND ALIGN IT WITH "YOUR VISION FROM A BUSINESS PERSPECTIVE"... THAT ALONE WILL GIVE YOU PROFOUND INSIGHT IN YOUR BRAND MARKETING

Some examples to inspire you:

When Pep Boys acknowledged a fundamental CHANGE in auto care, from a "do-it-yourself model" to a "do-it-for-me model", it took the holistic branding approach. The overarching concept - "Road Ahead". A visual concept that gets your imagination to expand while aligning itself with the workings of the brand. Their tag line changed from price-based consciousness "Everything for Less" to an old world relationship based message: "Trust the Boys to Get You There."

Do you think Starbuck's coffee is worth 40% more than the market price?
Not at all. Talk to the CEO and he will explain, that the lure of the 'space' is what his brand is about. And, by the way they happen to sell coffee. And talking about CHANGE, get this. Starbucks trials new product lines and stores by opening 'Stealth Starbucks' - coffee stores in disguise.

Design a space that your visitors are keen on visiting after they have they have interacted and played with your brand. Learn from the brand that strategizes from inside out. .

The most valuable start up in the world, (valued at 50 Billion), Uber, survives and thrives on the concept of sharing. Since Uber’s launch, other companies have emulated its business model, a trend that has come to be referred to as “Uberification”.
Is this a hype? Very well could be. But the model will survive. What makes me an expert?

BECAUSE, GLOBAL SHARING ECONOMY REVENUES COULD HIT $335 BILLION BY 2025. SOURCE: VIRGIN ENTREPRENEUR

It only makes sense to look at the Uber network and launch services that leverages the platform

Authenticity and Transparency are much talked about these days. However, Glassdoor has made a business by up-holding transparency. What amazed me was their community guidelines. It demonstrates how authentic they are about their transparency. It is no surprise, that their exhibit design was fabricated to project every facet of this 'transparency'. And, they did it by weaving their
product offerings into the fantasy of our childhood story line.

IN YOUR NEXT DESIGN PROJECT, THINK HOW YOU CAN CHANGE THE ORDINARY INTO EXTRAORDINARY.

Trade shows and trade fairs are
ancient concepts. It can be traced back as far as 4000 B.C. They have morphed and matured and CHANGED over time, to meet the needs of our neolithic emotions. The technology of the times definitely had their play in the evolution of this institution. But nonetheless, it thrived and is well on its' way to become a multi-dimensional experience.

Now, it is for your taking and your making.

Your exhibit design is the interface between people and technology, a place where brand stories are told and treasured. Next time around, CHANGE the way, your clients and your prospects experience your exhibit design, and your exhibiting space.

“The sun is new each day.” ― Heraclitus ... This newness bring us new challenges. In my article, I will delve into some of those challenges. Please be on the look out. Thank you for being with me for this long.

© 2015 by Sarmistha Tarafder