The wider the penetration of your brand, the more integral it is to make sure that the messages you deliver are compelling, creative and further your goal of greater awareness.

Perhaps you remember teachers who would say, “Neatness counts.” Those same teachers probably also told you that spelling counts as well.

Personally I’ve observed two recent examples where the spellchecker (or proofreader) missed an opportunity to do just that.

At a neighborhood Farmer’s Market, a sign for a donut stand encourages buyers to really load up on their donuts:

A mix of colloquial linguistics and unfortunate legitimate oversights.

A mix of colloquial linguistics and unfortunate legitimate oversights.

It’s cute and kitschy, with the people flipping them across the booth and caught on the fly in paper bags fresh and steaming hot out of the completely automated donut-making machine.

But I’m not quite sure how many dozens a “multible” is and do they mean my family or the more proper “you’re” family instead?

Small businesses have the responsible to carve out a niche and differentiate themselves from other businesses or their more larger competitors. Now, no one is going to mistake the two people and a stand mixer for the corporate power of a Dunkin’ Donuts or Krispy Kreme, but it is still the kind of thing that to my mind says, “Signage is important, and if this is off, what else about their business is off as well?”

But what if you’re a big business? What if you’re a huge beer company, who purports to be the flagship beer of your city? In Chicago, that company is Old Style.  “Chicago’s beer since 1902.”  Just ask their cans and signs.

Old Style SignBut in the case of Old Style, there’s something wrong. Apparently, they’re the beer of two cities, because if you look to the bottom, you’ll discover that they’re not only Chicago’s beer, but you have a chance to win an experience in some other city that I’ve never heard of and don’t think is where they intended, either.

Can you find this city?  I couldn't.

Can you find this city? I couldn’t.

I saw this sign in downtown Chicago on Clark Street, and I can’t imagine that it was a one-off by their advertising company. Which means that not counting the impressions that this single banner is making, you’ve got to multiply that by the number of banners and the number of impressions and realize what a huge potential gaffe and point of embarrassment it is for the brand. Somebody proofed that banner and somebody approved it. In the digital world, things do get immortalized, but to the pedestrian consumer, a quick copy change in an ad or story can go by unnoticed.

No question that everything you do in business is important; but among the most important are the things that face your customers. Particular attention should be paid to them to insure continuity of brand messaging and to let people see the most professional donut shop, beer company, logistics company, trucker or whatever you do.

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