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Branding: The Art and Science of Being Remembered in the Right Way by the Right People

 David Kelbaugh with Tacklebox Brand Partners discusses the two types of identity associated with your branding and how you can make sure you maximize on the full value of both.  

By David Kelbaugh, President, Tacklebox Brand Partners

We all want our events and exhibitions to:

“Deliver an unforgettable experience”…
“Engage our communities”…
“Get attendees, sponsors, and exhibitors to want to come back year after year”…

We figure if we do all the right things and “get it just right”, that our show will hit all of its goals and be the talk of the town; sponsors, attendees, exhibitors, and speakers will be lined up to sign their name on the dotted line for next year.

So we focus on “getting it just right”…

Get just the right speakers.
Get just the right exhibitors.
Get just the right attendees.
Get just the right sponsors.
Get just the right activities.
Get just the right breakout sessions.
Get just the right venue.

There is so much to “get just right”.

One thing that we believe a lot of show organizers (and organizations) don’t always get right is their Branding…

When we say “Branding,” we’re not only talking about logos and colors and design… we’re also talking about the words and the messaging that you use to promote your event. We refer to this side of Branding as your “Verbal Identity.

More often than not, we think of Branding as the visual things that go into our company’s identity… the logo… the colors… the textures… the photography… the icons. These visual things are very important, for sure.


In my many years working at the largest advertising agencies on the planet, I learned a lot about the “other” side of Branding… the words… the messaging… what’s referred to in the agency world as your  “Verbal Identity.” Verbal Identity?

Research shows that your Verbal Identity (what you say: the words you use to promote your Brand, event, exhibition, or trade show) has a greater impact than how you say it (the visual aspect: the design of your Brand).

My company, Tacklebox Brand Partners, helps organizations develop and elevate their reputation by focusing equally on both sides of the Brand equation: the Visual Identity and the Verbal Identity.

We believe that paying attention to the Visual Identity and the Verbal Identity of your organization’s or event’s Brand is very important.

Visual identity is composed of the things that we traditionally think of when we think of Branding:

Brand Colors
Textures and Artwork

However, just as you develop a package of visual-identity elements, you should also develop a package of Verbal-Identity elements, which should be peppered throughout your show’s or organization’s marketing and communications.

Core Verbal-Identity Elements:

Mission statement. Why does your organization or event exist? And why should anyone care? “Our trade show or organization exists to __________”
“The What”. What exactly is your organization or event? “The trade show for _________” or “The trade show that _______.”
Foundational Beliefs, Truths, or Opinions. What are the beliefs, truths, or opinions that are foundational to your existence. “Our trade show (or organization) believes that _________.”
Reasons-to-believe. What is it about your show or organization that makes it credible? What makes your show (or organization) better than others?
Anthems & Taglines. What are some memorably and quippy slogans that can be used to promote the virtues of your organization or event?

When you get your show’s or organization’s Verbal Identity and Visual Identities right, you get your Brand right.

And we believe…

When you get your Brand right, the rest comes easy.

About Tacklebox

Tacklebox Brand Partners (tacklebox.us.com) is a branding and marketing company that helps remarkable organizations brand and market themselves in equally-remarkable ways.

About David Kelbaugh

David Kelbaugh is the president of Tacklebox Brand Partners, a branding and marketing firm that specializes in marketing and branding of organizations and the events that support them. For a free evaluation of your event’s (or organization’s) Visual and Verbal Identities, email David at [email protected].

The views and opinions expressed by blog authors are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the International Association of Exhibitions and Events®. Any content provided by our bloggers or authors are of their opinion. All content provided on this blog is for informational purposes only. IAEE makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site or found by following any link on this site. IAEE will not be liable for any errors or omissions in this information nor for the availability of this information.


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