The first use of a brand was just that – a mark of ownership on cattle. Later, trademarks were used to define individual products. Wally Olins, a leading authority on branding, defines it as an organization’s ‘personality’.
So if your brand is your company’s personality don’t you want that personality to shine through in every touch point with your customer or a prospect?
It’s important to realize that your image always has either a negative or positive influence on the purchaser. A negative impression can detour a potential customer, just as a positive reaction can influence a customer to buy.
How can you package your brand so that it is an integral part of your business and represents a strong identity?
Packaging can be judged and represented by the following common business tools to name a few:
- Business cards and stationery
- Web site, email newsletters, blogs
- Answering system
- Email address
What image are you putting across with these business tools that you use everyday? What are they saying about your company? Take a few moments and lets look at each one of these. If the message isn’t consistent and the look and feel isn’t cohesive then your sending mixed signals to your market.
What are your business cards and stationery saying? Are they saying we are strong, we are confident, and we can succeed in helping you? Or does it reflect an image that says we are flimsy, our dynamics are minimal, we’re cheap and we will try but we cannot guarantee you’ll be happy?
What does your web site say about your company? Does it reflect professionalism, clarity, and show them that you respect and care about them? Or does your web site confuse viewers, project an untrustworthy image of your company and ultimately drive potential customers away?
What does your answering system and call return policy say about your company? Does it say we are here to help, or that you’re too busy to cater to a new client? You may even want to get an answering service such as gotvmail or onebox to ensure that you are making the right impression the first time a customer calls.
What does your email address say about your company? Does it project a meaningless or generic emptiness?
As you can see all these things speak volumes about your company and they either strengthen or weaken your brand. Your image is all in the packaging. If you thought these things were not worth the investment or didn’t matter, you were wrong. Clients and customers will make assessments of your company based on these things and while not always conscious, that customer appraisal says much about your business.
Creative Intuition works with companies to develop consistent and cohesive brands so that you can make the right impression the first time and every time. We consider ourselves the branding gurus and have helped dozens of companies develop branding packages that either got them off on the right foot or helped them get to the next level.