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Designing for Rent-to-Own← back
A Creative Director’s advice on designing for the Rent-to-Own industry
I have been designing marketing materials for the Rent-to-Own (RTO) industry for 10 years. What makes the RTO industry unique is the support these businesses have for one another. It is not uncommon for companies in RTO to share ideas and marketing strategies. Unfortunately, this can lead to a copycat marketing approach.
Here are some helpful tips to increase differentiation:
Start With a Great Logo
A logo is more than just slapping together a simple shape and some type. While a logo seems like a small part of your marketing plan, it is the most important part of your brand’s visual presentation. It will guide future design and brand decisions, which is why it is worth the investment to get it right the first time. A good logo is recognizable, timeless, flexible and original; it should reinforce your brand by communicating identity, values, skills and more. Color selection is equally important to building a strong identity. Select a color palette that is unique to your marketplace. Did you know that primary colors are widely used in the RTO industry? Since people use color as an identifier, choose a color that embraces your personality and separates you from the bunch.
Solve a Customer Problem
Take the time to really know your customer and find out what they need. This will help you to develop a brand promise that transforms your vision into real customer value. Evoke a customer response by citing the most compelling and motivating benefit the brand offers the target audience relative to the competition. Since most RTO companies sell the same brands and products, it is important to focus on the intangible benefits just as much as the tangible features. For example, advertise how the product can enhance the customer’s lifestyle instead of just listing its specifications.
Words to Avoid
Stay away from words like, Quality, Price and Service. Customers today already expect this from your brand. Plus, it doesn’t distinguish your brand from other competitors. These promises are terribly overused, especially in the RTO industry, and will not help your brand stand out in the marketplace. Choose words that combine both the brand’s promise and personality. Be specific.
Print It Simple
I’ve worked with many clients who believe that in order to have an effective print piece you need to pack it with a ton of product and information. I understand the need to make the most of your ad space and precious marketing dollars, but this can backfire. It is important to take into account the environment in which the piece will live. A direct mail piece will most likely be sandwiched between other items; all crammed with star bursts, callouts and product. Keeping your message simple, unique, delightful, engaging and useful will separate you from the bunch. Don’t treat every print piece like a catalog. Use it to make a one-on-one connection between your brand and the consumer. Entice them with a clear message and offer that will draw them to your store or website. They will look at your catalog once you have their interest.
Maintain Consistency Across All Channels
Today there are so many options available for companies to reach customers, which can make it difficult to keep your brand standards intact. All too often I find RTO companies inefficiently executing campaigns with inconsistent logos, colors and messages throughout print, web and television. Potential customers can find these marketing efforts confusing and forgettable. Using the same graphics, colors and typefaces is the first part to building a stronger identity. It is also important that the brand’s personality and voice be recognizable as well to keep your message flawlessly fluid. With a little planning, you can build brand awareness, brand recognition and increase a campaign’s effectiveness by maintaining consistency and carrying the engagement across various media.