Published: 10 months ago

Q&A: How Should We Brand Our Welcome Desk?

Q:

We did a rebranding and new campus wide signage over the last year. One area I haven’t added signage to is the welcome desk in our front foyer. I can’t decide how to label it…does just “welcome” say enough or should it have something more specific? It isn’t just for first time guests so I’m trying to think big picture but not over think it at the same time.

[Paige Mayfield, Director of Guest Services, First Baptist Church, McKinney, TX]


A:

Paige, you’ve solved your biggest problem first. By articulating “it isn’t just for first time guests,” you’ll have a better idea of what your signage should say, and more importantly, what it shouldn’t say. (For more on deciding the purpose behind your desk, read Don’t Waste Your Welcome Center.)

Make sure that your signage is highly visible (guests should be able to see it above a crowd of heads), attractive (this is not the time to skimp on materials or design), and a part of the common language (there’s no need for you to label it one thing if everyone else is calling it something different).

But perhaps the most important thing to keep in mind is that clear beats clever, every single time.[2]

I shudder at the number of things I’ve named (some are still named as such) that are super-clever, not so much clear. And that muddiness breeds confusion. Guests should be able to know at a glance…in the moment they’re walking by…in the split second their eyes land on the signage…that the station is for them.

Kem Meyer, in her fantastic book Less Chaos, Less Noise, reminds us of this truth from Mark Twain:

The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and the lightning bug.

So back to the question: How should we brand our welcome desk? I have a few suggestions, and a challenge:

  • Call it what it is: Information Center, Welcome Desk, Next Steps, New Here?, Connections Central.
  • Tell them why you’re there: How may we help?, Go further, Start the journey, Learn more, Get started, Ask us, Have a question?

But better than my suggestions, I want to hear your suggestions. If you’re a guest services guru, here’s your challenge for today:

    • Get up from your desk and walk to your whatever-you-call-it.
    • Snap a photo. Take a picture of your signage, your center, whatever you want to show us.
    • Head over to the Facebook page and upload your photo(s), along with your name and church name:
    • Bask in the satisfaction that you’ve made the world a happier place with your brilliance and generosity.

How do you brand your welcome desk?

 

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  1. [2]Plenty of people way smarter than me have said a variation of that way clearer than me, but I don’t remember who right now. Sorry, smart people.

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