The difficulties of branding

Businesses open and close all the time. While some of these organizations will be missed, others aren't, because they were unable to wow their targeted audiences with their marketing tools, be it signs or some other materials.

It sounds surprising because these signs can be found in many places, but it is important to have a memorable presence. Whether it be through vinyl banners or window graphics, many businesses are still around because of their advertising lasting power.

Establishing a brand is a challenge for newer companies, but it really isn't if your staff takes the time to create a visual that has a clear, appealing message as well as have appeal. Even established businesses face their own branding challenges.

"In some cases branding can almost turn into marriage counseling for companies: how do you want to grow, and who (or what audience) do you want to grow with?" Fast Co. Design contributor Margaret Rhodes wrote.

For example, up until last year, American Airlines had used the same "AA" logo since the days of the Cold War. Although it is one of the largest commercial air carriers in the United States, executives realized it was time for a change. Now, jetliners will have logo that looks like a bird flying with an aircraft's wing.

On the other hand, the Wall Street Journal found that Activision Blizzard Inc. missed the mark when a commercial for "Call of Duty: Ghost" was released because it didn't take into account the public's perception of mass shootings on the streets.

"The pure joy of these young men running around with heavy artillery in a world that is hauntingly real becomes more insensitive as news continues to break about mass shootings performed by lone men," Susan Credle, chief creative officer at Publicis Groupe's Leo Burnett US, told the Journal. "Glamorizing violence today in mass communication channels is dangerous business."

Appealing to an audience is not easy. Before creating a marketing campaign, consider how others may react to it. Depending on message, it can make or break your emerging business.