Before working at ADESA, part of my job was bringing our brand to life at major sporting events. These events were massive, and at times, overwhelming to the visitors we were trying to reach. I learned that to be effective, we had to put our brand in the right place to be seen and present it in a way that is remembered and liked.

So when the Super Bowl came to Indianapolis last week, I wanted to see how the event and its sponsors presented themselves. What could have been completely overwhelming for visitors from all over the world was anything but. The Super Bowl committee planned each and every experience, event and sign down to the tiniest detail. This, in turn, created an inviting and pleasant time for all. The NFL was the clear hero of the show. It’s brand was presented consistently and often. Other brands were added in ways that made sense for visitors, advertisers and other sponsors.

The JW Marriott wearing its Super Bowl colors.

So whether you call an auction or a dealership your “event,” you have to see your space from the eyes of a stranger. Here are a few things I saw at the Super Bowl Village that you may be able to incorporate:

Color: Consistency is key. It’s not just about graphics; it’s about using consistency to your advantage to build familiarity. This familiarity will make new customers comfortable and put them at ease.

Signage: Build on that consistency with properly placed signage. This will help guests navigate your location and mark key spots at your site.

Convenience: Are all your customer-service products centrally located and easily accessible? The Super Bowl Village had everything in one spot: lodging, restaurants, entertainment and transportation.

Responsiveness: Super Bowl Village was well-staffed with well-trained volunteers. Remember that every customer touchpoint builds brand. Can your employees respond to feedback quickly and fix the problem when they see that something isn’t working for your customers? Even the greeting that I heard over and over again, “Have a super day!” was a reminder of the brand and the experience.

Preparation: Indianapolis was blessed with unseasonably warm weather during the Super Bowl, but they were prepared regardless. Because we all know that even if it’s snowing, you have to keep your business running despite obstacles like weather.

Attentiveness: The “Ask Me” Super Bowl volunteers were visible at all times and easily identifiable. They watched visitors and would even approach them with offers of assistance. When is the last time you’ve observed your business on its busiest day? Really stopped, watched the flow and interaction and talked to employees and customers? Along the same note, can customers easily identify your employees when they need help?

Great shot of how the Super Bowl recognized its volunteers and humanized the event. All of those scarves were hand-knitted in case of cold weather.

There is so much we can learn from the Super Bowl experience. From colors and graphics to signage and displays, the NFL and the Super Bowl really control their brands. But it’s not control for control’s sake. They know they have an extremely valuable commodity, so they maximize the value and potential of this commodity with each and every detail.

In what ways do you control and promote your business and your brand?