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There’s a difference between design and branding, and it’s as important as the difference between your girlfriend and your mother. Yeah, that important. Really.

Design is defined as this: “To plan and fashion artistically or skillfully.” What something looks like. Important, yes, but the most important thing? Think of this like a woman in a night club. It’s important that she look a certain way (she needs to be attractive to you if you’re going to ask her to dance), but if you want do more than dance, it’s REQUIRED that she be interesting in a way that’s deeper, that has to do with who she is as a person, how funny or smart she is, etc. All of this is NECESSARY if you want to engage her.

What I’m saying is this. If the design is good, I’ll look at her. But there needs to be more to her, something interesting to me specifically — something that connects me to her in a meaningful way — before I will do more than look at her. Your casino advertising and marketing messaging is the exact same thing.

Branding is the meaning behind the design. The purpose and reason. Without meaning, purpose and reason — it’s nothing more than shining wrapping, like a kid’s candies. Your brand is the IDEA that represents your product/company in the minds of the people in your market. Your brand is how they think of you IN COMPARISON TO your competitors. Are you the same, better, worse, too far away, too smokey, full of machines that are too tight, staffed with friendly employees, or not. Your brand is what they think of you.

Let me repeat that: Your brand is WHAT THEY THINK OF YOU. It’s not your logo. It’s not the design of your billboards, your brochures, your website or your tv ads (those CAN support or not support your brand position), but they are only the wrapping around the candy, the clothes and make-up on the girl in the night club. They are the purpose and the meaning. That’s deeper. And much, much, much more important.

If you want your players to take you home from the night club, if you want to “go steady” — then your brand must have depth and meaning. A loud and brightly colored ad campaign can get you looked at — but you want more than that. You want to be considered, to be thought of — and thought well of, even. That’s what a strong brand helps accomplish.
Your brand is like your mother — she gives you meaning and purpose and character. Your mother guides your choices in life and helps you become the person you are. She can help you — and often will (like it or not) help you find the right girlfriend to date. Your brand should, likewise, guide your advertising and your design choices, which, in the end, can be sexy and gorgeous — but only if the meaning and purpose under the sexy/gorgeous is in-line with what Mom says is right for your casino.

Check out some of our case studies. I think you’ll see right away how we marry meaning and purpose to our client’s work. This is how we help our clients get more bang for their advertising spend. A good brand connects with the audience in a way that’s real and true and emotional — and that’s how you get them to do more than dance with you.

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This entry was posted on Wednesday, October 20th, 2010 at 10:53 pm and is filed under advertising, marketing. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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