Having the proper ID has become the norm for gaining access to secure venues or obtaining certain privileges. Imagine trying to board a flight without proper ID – there’s only one outcome. Let’s say you give the gate agent a bio, a protracted explanation and pledged to be a happy traveler, would you still be refused entry? The obvious answer is, yes.

Let’s apply this scenario to your small business. All of your marketing efforts should be focused on moving your company’s name past the gate of consumer apathy or resistance. However, many businesses feel that a long, drawn-out story is the key to entry. In reality, gaining access to your customer is really about having the proper identification – a quick, concise means whereby the audience can connect with your brand.

Remember this important tip: if your goal is to win an audience over, you must first establish your identity before doing so. Think of our example; if you want your plane ticket to get you to your destination, you’ve got to get through security first.

So as you ready your business for success, consider carrying these small, yet powerful forms of ID:

Jingle
I’ve had clients tell me that jingles are cheesy, hokey and even unnecessary. If that is true, why would multi-billion dollar companies use them to market their products and brands? The answer is simple – jingles work. In fact, studies have shown that jingles are a prime way to quickly command attention. Studies have also shown that they are ten times more effective than spoken-word alone. Also, it has been demonstrated that jingles curtail channel surfing – a huge plus, seeing that many marketers are now at the mercy of a DVR skip-button, thanks to technology.

Tagline
Just like jingles, some business owners balk at the prospect of having a slogan or tagline – they shouldn’t. Taglines are neat little phrases that can encapsulate your brand and image. If clever enough, they can become the very thing that consumers latch on to quickly ID your company.  For example, what marketer uses the slogan, “I’m Lovin’ It”? Think about this phrasing for a moment; it’s only three words, it promotes the marketer’s agenda and it’s memorable. I purposefully omitted the name of this institution in order to prove that taglines work. You know who the company is, right? So don’t discount the impact of this form of identification.

Logo
Studies have shown that we are exposed to several thousand marketing messages every single day. If yours is one of them, how do you establish separation? Start with your visuals –specifically, your logo.  Take time to observe the most recognizable logos out there; they are incredibly simple, easy to make out from a distance and usually comprised of no more than four colors (for the designers out there, no feathering or gradients). Apply lessons learned from some of these basics and you’ll be happy to show your ID.

Walter Dailey is an experienced marketing professional. He is the lead consultant and executive producer at Dailey Sound Vector, a creative services organization that specializes in developing jingles, radio ads and automotive advertisingfor small businesses throughout North America.  Ask Walter your questions at walter@dsvmedia.com