Holistic Branding & Technology

If the photos are not well done, either too dark or too light; if the words on the pages are not composed very well, without typos and grammatical errors; if there is so much information in the brochure that it’s a challenge for anyone to look at, let alone read; or if there is too little information, it may not support your other efforts as well as it could.

A note about brochure content… Most marketing is a multi-step process. As I mentioned before, many camps use the brochure as a tool to drive folks to the Web site for more information, and then to sign up there.

Your brochure does not need, nor should it have, every bit of information about your camp. All it really needs is enough information to move the people to take the next step; in this case to go to the Web site.

The Web site will have all the details, all the history, and the nitty-gritty about your camp. Try not to overburden your brochure with information that is too dense for people to appreciate.

Just as a weak brochure cannot properly support a great Web site, the opposite can also happen. A great brochure can be undermined by a weak Web site.

Your camp has spent a lot of time and money to craft a truly great brochure. It is visually compelling, with great pictures, glowing testimonials, and words that move the reader to action. They simply must have more info about your camp… they want to sign up, and they want to do it online… right now!

They type in your Web address and… Whammo! Right up against a brick wall. They were cruising along so well, and then they land on your site. And you lose them.

Maybe it looks amateurish, compared to the brochure. Maybe it’s difficult to move through, or information is hard to find, or it’s difficult to register, or it’s just plain disappointing. It does not support the great brochure. It is inconsistent, and as such, it sets up a psychological domino effect that potential campers may not even be aware of at the time. But they might feel cheated, they might feel uncomfortable, and they may be unsure about continuing the process any further. You have lost them. All because one element did not support your camp the way you thought it did.

These are only two very basic examples of the effect of missing the big picture of holistic branding. But there are many other elements as well.

Small Efforts

It does not stop with getting the big things right. It should extend all the way down to the increasingly smaller and smaller elements that go into creating your holistic brand.

Holistic branding includes the camp facilities, the activities available, the attitudes of the staff, the clothing the staff wears, the look of your letterhead and envelopes, the cleanliness of the grounds, the food in the mess hall and canteen, the way you stay in touch with families who have inquired into your camp (even if they have not attended in the past), how you communicate with campers and families in the off season… it all goes into creating your holistic brand.

Even something as simple as answering the phone can affect your brand. Using a polite, confident, happy voice can go a long way toward making families comfortable with your camp.

Imagine seeing a great brochure and a wonderful Web site, and then calling the camp office and instead of being greeted with a hearty, “Thank you for calling Camp Tango…the home for summer fun. How may I help you?” the first thing you hear is “Hello,” and that’s it!

All the work and effort of creating strong consistent materials dashed, because someone wasn’t on the same page one day.

It is the consistent effort that makes the grade. Make sure all the elements of your marketing program fit into the whole. Each effort will contribute to creating the brightest face for your camp; the one you want people to see, the one that kids will enjoy, and parents will trust.

Tim Diering is the Vice President of Marketing at Summer Camp Design, a full service marketing and design firm. He can be reached at (800) 957 7175, at tim@summercampdesign.com or visit www.summercampdesign.com.

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Related posts:

  1. Branding With Brains
  2. Staff Marketing
  3. Designing Your Marketing Budget
  4. The Three Knows: Part Two
  5. Technology 2.0

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