The hidden value of your physical branding


With digital monopolising our attention, it can be easy to let physical branding become an afterthought. And yet how your brand is presented in the physical world has a big impact on brand experience, brand recall, brand engagement and sales conversion.

Why is physical branding important?

Here are some of the important – and sometimes surprising – ways that physical branding is valuable.

Physical branding is often more memorable

In a digitally saturated environment, capturing attention online is becoming increasingly challenging. Users scroll through enormous amounts of content, seeking stimulation, distraction or validation. That leads to poor retention, as users churn and burn through information.

The physical environment is different. People tend to be more present in the real world. There’s often a stronger opportunity to engage the consumer and create memorable brand experiences when the user is offline. The way a brand presents in the physical world is more tangible, creating a deeper level of engagement.

Physical branding strengthens brand awareness

When it comes to brand awareness and recognition, physical branding is critically important. When the customer is reminded of the brand repeatedly through signage or other striking physical branding, it creates additional touchpoints which drive conversion. This complements other campaigns, including digital campaigns, through keeping the brand top of mind.

Physical branding is an essential part of the path to purchase

Your physical brand plays a key role in getting consumers to enter your bricks and mortar store and then converting those shoppers once they’re inside. Signage (shopfront, in-store and digital) and POS will take your customer on a journey to purchase. If these touchpoints aren’t up to scratch, it can do the opposite and actually serve as a barrier to purchase.

A sound path to purchase strategy will integrate physical brand elements with digital. For example, in mobile campaigns which drive traffic to stores through geo-targeting, once the consumer arrives at the store the physical brand experience takes over – so it must be seamless with the digital experience.

Physical branding creates a brand experience beyond the visual

It’s important to remember that brand experience is more than just the visual, it’s also about how the consumer feels. When it comes to physical branding, this can be achieved through evoking an emotional reaction from branding, or more simply through reducing confusion or creating calm.

For example, if a customer is visiting a law firm based in a high rise building but can’t locate which level the firm is on and how to get there thanks to poor signage, it immediately creates a bad experience which can colour how the customer feels about the rest of the exchange. It’s more important the signage is clear and readable, then a close representation of more complex brand elements.

Tips for unearthing the value of your physical brand

Want to make the most of your physical brand? Here’s what to do:

Keep branding consistent

The way your brand presents in all environments should be tailored to that environment while creating a consistent look and feel across channels.

Maintain brand integrity

The integrity of your brand can be damaged when brand assets aren’t kept in good condition, branding is inconsistent or doesn’t meet the style guide.

Keep things simple

Sometimes the simplest option is the best option. A more streamlined, uncluttered and pared back look and feel will often perform better than something which is unnecessarily complex. Are you getting the most value out of your physical brand?

About the author 

Mike Battrick is the WA State Manager at award-winning signage solutions provider SignManager. SignManager creates, implements and manages comprehensive and intelligent signage solutions for more than 50 of Australia’s largest corporate organisations across 50,000 sites and 250,000 signage assets. The company was the NSW winner in the Outstanding Growth category for the 2022 Telstra Best of Business Awards.

SignManager is an award-winning signage solutions provider. They create, implement and manage comprehensive and intelligent signage solutions to more than 50 of Australia’s largest corporate organisations across 50,00 sites and 250,000 signage assets. Led by a team of industry experts, SignManager offers end-to-end signage management solutions that are innovative, streamlined and on-brand. With services suited to both small and large-scale businesses, SignManager is passionate about bringing consistent, captivating signage to life. In short – signs made easy.

Photo by Rachel Claire

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