Brand Design, Brand Marketing and Brand Psychology

Exhibit Design Challenge: How Unique is your Brand?

Posted by sarmistha tarafder on Feb 11, 2020 5:30:25 PM



Marketing is all about making a meaningful differentiation.

You simply have to look, feel and be different. Being different gets you noticed. And, “If you don’t get noticed, you don’t have anything."



You just have to get noticed. The challenge is how?

We live in a world of information overload. “Every two days we create as much information as we did from the dawn of civilization up until 2003,” according to former Google CEO, Eric Schmidt. Today, we are fortunate to have have way more than trillion web pages of information at our fingertips. The unfortunate part is, as humans our brains can consume only so much information at any given time. Given this digital scape that we preside over, it is quite challenging for a brand to strike out as unique. Thus, brands are latching on to emotional marketing. Talk to the intellect, you will perhaps get them to pay attention. But, talk to the heart you will get them to take action.

Easier said than done: many companies are struggling to become truly customer-centric and thus failing to fully leverage the potential of their brand and deliver on brand equity.

However, if you are exhibiting at trade shows your chances of striking out as a unique brand player and create a meaningful difference suddenly got a whole lot bigger and better.


Number One Dilate the circumference of your brand

Your brand is not an idea in the minds of your customers and your prospects. Your trade show exhibit is a powerful, physical manifestation of your take charge: enlarge, engage and excite.

Enlarge your brand by increasing the circumference of your brand offering. Entwine it with the current challenges of our times.

Get out of your comfort zone. "If you decide that you’re going to do only the things you know are going to work, you’re going to leave a lot of opportunity on the table."

You can dream to excite and engage only if you are radical in your thought process. Else, you can be rest assured of your inevitable demise.


why you need to be a radical brand


Being unique does not have to be a ‘thing.’ Simply changing the way a brand communicates with potential prospects and customers can allow them to see the brand with fresh eyes and unlock new growth potential. "Adidas, Subaru and Snickers have each reaped significant benefit from changing their communication strategy and connecting with consumers in a new and different way."


HubSpot Video


Snickers has dreamed to become unique by tapping onto the primal emotion of anger and marrying algorithm to the price of it's product. The brand's online/offline advertising-meets-point-of-sale hybrid campaign gauges the mood of the Internet and adjusts the price of its candy bars in 7-Eleven stores accordingly, in real time.  "Hungerithm" is the unique communication tool that has helped the brand to personalize relationships with individual consumers without obtrusively encroaching in their privacy



HubSpot Video


Adidas has dared to strike the chord creativity beyond the field of sport. The brand is redefining the athletic pursuit as a form of creative expression. According to Ryan Morlan, VP of Global Brand Communication:

The rules of sport are not defined. We believe in the power of writing your own rules, but it will take those who think differently and are confident enough to make it happen. It will take Creators. Adidas is shaping the future of sport every day through our products, partnerships, and innovations, and with this campaign, we’ve called on some of the most admired faces in sport culture to help us inspire others to find their Creator within, no matter what their field of play.


"TO A LIFE FILLED WITH OPPORTUNITIES TO GIVE THANKS" — this is the highlight of a brand that manufactures whiskey as their 'widget'.


The brand that sells gratitude.png

selling gratitude as a part of your trade show marketing.png

trade show booth graphic gratitude-1.png



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Can time be stopped, captured or even known? Does it exist, or is it all just an illusion? While we leave the tough questions to the physicists and the spiritualists, the secret ingredient in creating any time honored meaningful experience, is via empathy — the NEUROECONOMICS of your trade.



How can you be unique when you design your booth?

Obviously, unique concepts help. If you are unable to flex your creative muscle, use the analogy of sports. It is a big part of our non-working life.

The safe bet is create your booth design that is consistent with your website. If you play safe, you will not get noticed. Create a theme. Carry out the theme with design details and active elements of exciting participation. Do not worry about being consistent with your website. Instead, create a microstie that will act as a digital interactive tool of empowerment for pre-show, at-show and post-how communication.


booth design for positive sports results1

Image: Skyline

Participation creates experience. Experience enriches the memory module within us. And memory is more real than objective knowledge that you gleam from the digital media. “Your memory is a monster; you forget—it doesn't. It simply files things away. It keeps things for you, or hides things from you—and summons them to your recall with will of its own. You think you have a memory; but it has you!” 

As an exhibitor, you get to create and enhance the memory of your attendees. Think for a moment the power you wield.









Number Two Add Flesh, Skin Tones and Make Up


Your brand is a tangible expression of color, form and motion. Make use of it. And see how you gain admiration and evoke inspiration. Remember, "color answer feelings in man, shapes [form] answer thought; and motion answers will."

The Color Surge trend highlights the ability for image-makers to liberate themselves from the accepted theories of “what something should look like.”

A heightened sophistication around visual language means we can use color in ways we previously couldn’t, breaking the rules and embracing unnatural combinations and unseen co-existence.

"Our understanding of the power of color has evolved through history. Painters, photographers, filmmakers and advertisers use it to manipulate our senses and emotions on many levels." In a hyper-kinetic world, your audiences are fatigued by that which is ordinary. Unusual color combinations and unique fusion of concepts immediately ignites interest and enchants your booth design with intrigue and curiosity. 

Whether they are overwhelmingly beautiful or exquisitely ugly, the powerful manipulation of color stops us in our tracks. It embellishes our Memory Palace. 


unique color combination for your booth desing

Elevate your space into a consequential color of fantastic. Because, “Memory believes before knowing remembers. Believes longer than recollects, longer than knowing even wonders.”

Take advantage of the 5 senses to maximize brand memorability. It is a sure-fire way to implement brand uniqueness.










Number Three — Eradicate the suspicion about your brand


You are a citizen of a world that is widely adaptive and changing rapidly. Figuring out who you can trust is easier said than done. Faced with new-found freedoms of information, 'identity-formation' and innovation, we are suspicious of whatever, we are being 'sold' or told we should believe.

Many startups and innovators do believe that what they are trying to communicate would benefit humanity.. if they can get others to see, care and believe in the same story. Somehow, the core language of language of communication is missing.

This core, we call it, storytelling. Story telling is about making choices, and every choice reflects a deeper set of beliefs and values. the choice of your narrative has everything to do with how your story is received, accepted or rejected bu others.


What is your story?
Can people identify and belong with your story?

“We are in the twilight of a society based on data. As information and intelligence become the domain of computers, society will place more value on the one human ability that cannot be automated: emotion. Imagination, myth, ritual - the language of emotion - will affect everything from our purchasing decisions to how we work with others. Companies will thrive on the basis of their stories and myths. Companies will need to understand that their products are less important than their stories." Rolf Jensen, Copenhagen Institute for Future Studies

TOMS Shoes weaves a great story. Buy a pair of shoes and and identical pair goes to someone who does not have shoes. The story is not about about the fabric or the workmanship, the story is about what your act of buying did.

booth design for effective messaging

Image Source: RSA 2019

Above, the brand weaves a visual story and lends dynamism to their booth space by identifying malware viruses with illustrated characters of contemporary comic culture.

We seek out stories in order to know who we are and where we belong.

As Seth Godin puts it: "Great stories agree with our world view. The best stories does not teach people anything new. Instead, the best stories agrees with what the audience already believes and makes the members of the audience feel smart and secure when reminded how right they were in the first place."

Every time your audience encounter you, unknowingly, they neatly tuck away a story in their mind attached to your brand.

According to BrandZ, knowing how people think, feel and behave in relation to a brand can often reveal an immediate opportunity for growth. Perceived differentiation proved to be the leading indicator of success for the 6% of brands that did grow over three years. Similar to much more disruptive brands, these growing brands started out as more different than expected. The challenge for a well-differentiated brand is to identify what will make it more salient and meaningful to potential consumers.


Use Purpose to Drive Profits







Number Four — Shake up the status quo and find out the existential implication of your brand's existence

What is your unique brand proposition?

A good brand proposition includes the Unique Selling Proposition (USP) that states the benefits that no other brand can provide. It addresses the current needs of your audience and the future aspirations. A worthy brand proposition connects with its audience on a emotional level. It is laced with a grand purpose. A compelling brand proposition delivers a connection between product and purpose.


A strong emotional connection happens when you are fearless in speaking out as to what is wrong with your industry.
People start trusting you. You start creating valuable brand equity.

Now, this is what I would say an unique brand proposition (watch the video below and you will get it.) It takes a contemptuous look at corporate culture, and how companies are tackling the big problems facing the planet.

This satirical take shows the worst side of business and gives you a subliminal message that highlights the importance of companies to think about people, planet and profit. "F**k you takes what would be our present day financial burden away from us, and transforms it into a chronic economic, social, cultural and political crisis  for future generations. It ensures solid returns to our shareholders - by killing their grandchildren."



At the end of the day if you are peddling the same stuff, pitching the same features and claiming to be the world's biggest and best all in the same voice, you are destined to be doomed.

For a moment think about this: there are countless institutions that we have built. Many now require re-invention, re-vitalization and renewal. Not complete rejection or destruction. Invent and re-invent words that better reflects the world that you seek to create. We are human species. We posses the weapon of imagination that the much feared robots will never have. With that tempestuous imagination, humanize your brand. You are bound to stand out.


Always remind yourself: Your brand "is composed of many different pieces which, together, capture the attention of your buyers. Some of the pieces are physical, but much of branding is intangible; ideas and thoughts put into words, pictures and videos.” And, your exhibiting space is a creative expression of your brand experience — make it a fluid space where your audience can try, buy, admire, engage and be inspired!




More Article to Inspire You:

Unique Ideas for Events and Trade shows

Engaging Design Experience Leads to Higher Traffic and Qualified Leads

Booth Design: Trendy in Turquoise: A Sure-fire Way to Success!

Marketing Magnificance of Lady Gaga

Exhibit Design: Opulent Orange

Island Booth Ideas: United We Evolve, Divided We Accomplish

Topics: Brand Marketing, Trade Fair Design, Brand Design, Brand Potential, Brand Exhibiting, Brand Perception, Brand Colors, Trade show Booth ideas, Trade Show Booth Design, The Value of Tradeshows, Sarmistha Tarafder, Brand Power, Brand virtue


















This should be intuitive, but if you don’t exhibit at key conferences, if you don’t make your booth stand out among the competition and if you don’t communicate your exhibit plans to your customers or prospects, it’s the real-world equivalent of not having a website. Or, at least, it’s like having a poorly-optimized website. Your lack of visibility will hurt you among that core group of trade show attendees who use these events as vital meet-and-greets, regardless of where they are in their buying cycle.



Furthermore, your competitor’s enhanced visibility at these events will only enhance their brand awareness at your expense. So, when you’re dealing with an audience that’s ready to visit with you or your competitors, make sure they can find you at the show. Exhibit at your industry’s core conferences, invest in an eye-catching booth design and make sure your signage clearly communicates your value proposition to attendees who are looking for businesses like yours.




This is a tough pill for many marketers to swallow, but the vast majority of website visitors and trade show attendees are looking only for free information. They are not yet in “buying” mode.

The first big mistake marketers make with this audience is not clearly providing the sought-out information. The second mistake is providing the information, but allowing visitors to walk away with it without capturing their contact information, segmenting them by interest and then nurturing them after the event.

On the web, information seekers are best served by search-optimized blog content or how-to articles — content which in turn entices users to sign-up for a related, value-added downloadable document or webinar. This content lures the visitor in and the gated content gets them to convert into a qualified lead.


Out of the Box Design Thinking

At trade shows, booth features such as product demos, kiosks and other interactive elements encourage visitors to enter your booth and engage with you. Once the step inside, you can use your badge scanner or smartphone app to capture attendee names and interests for later follow-up.

In both situations, the key is to make sure your follow-ups are specifically catered to the information that the visitor was initially seeking. Whether you do follow-up sales calls, email marketing or both, you need to specifically address the topics that were of initial interest to your website or booth visitors, then guide them into making a purchase or requesting a sales call. You can’t just “spam” them with sales offers when they aren’t in “buying mode.”






These audiences are the nuggets of gold we are all searching for: visitors who know exactly what they want and are ready to buy. Getting them to engage with you online means having quality, clearly-described products and services and a clear call-to-action, along with an e-commerce platform or responsive sales team ready to handle the conversion.

On the show floor, closing more of these sales may mean offering a free trial that can be tested onsite by attendees, providing them with an online ordering solution right in the booth, or having a dedicated space available where contracts can be reviewed and signed. The goal in each situation is to make the final steps of ordering as easy as possible and closing the sale on the trade show floor, rather than relying on follow-up calls after the event (because waiting can jeopardize the sale).


the art of smart


Optimizing your website and optimizing your trade show booth all come down to understanding the core psychology of your intended audience. It’s only when you are providing optimized features to all three types of visitors that your website and your trade show presence will both high visibility and high sales activity.

KNOW, THAT YOUR audiences are fatigued by that which is ordinary


color manipulation for effective booth design


booth design based on comic book



In a world of copycats, where all brands are  'similar but better', driving a brand proposition that is unique is the most difficult feat. in the short term a brand may seed an unique idea or concept, but in the long term the unique idea disappears. All that is left is the difference between your brand name and the brand name of your competitors. To establish yourself as an unique brand it pays to discover and re-discover your brand presentation — it can be an unique hanging sign, a robotic hand that delivers your presentation (see examples below) or better yet, some creative extrapolation of your brand visuals. For starters, start with with the right word.  If you want to aspire for uniqueness you must focus on owning a word in the prospects' mind. A word that nobody else owns.




creativity on call

idea book

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About the Author:

Sarmistha Tarafder is the co-creator of brands in 3D spaces. Always, in pursuit of essence and enchantment, mind and mystery, myth and matter!