Before any of your ideal clients meet you, or have the chance to decide if your corporate brand will fit their needs, they will assess both you and your corporate brand—on appearance alone. They will draw clues about your personality, your attention to detail, your values…and much more.
So what are your brand’s visual (and other sensory) cues saying to your target audience? Let’s find out.
How is Your Corporate Brand Perceived?
You may be surprised to learn about all the different ways you’re making first [and lasting] impressions on your brand’s ideal clients. Here are a few examples of things they detect and use to form opinions about your corporate brand:
- Website and Social Media Pages: Are the colours representative of your corporate brand colours? Is navigation simple? Is there relevant, informative material shared there? And do your brand’s values and personality shine through? Contact information should be accessible, too. Taking care of business in this area shows online visitors that you grasp the importance of their time, as well as their clicks.
- Physical Appearance: Is your dress appropriate for your line of work? Has your shirt been ironed? Your shoes shined? Your hair combed? Your face shaved? Attention to your appearance shows respect for the people you will be meeting that day. It says “You are important to me, and so is my brand. I will dress nicely and groom myself to show you that.” Wearing your corporate brand colours is also a great way to maintain consistency, further your brand message, and solidify your brand identity.
- Scent: Never smell badly—I hope this can be left unsaid from here. But there’s more. The smell of your shop, your perfume, your products…should support your corporate brand. Some brands choose to have their salespeople wear branded, original cologne. This is brilliant. It can be sprayed in the store, on business cards and stationery, in vehicles, infused in packaging…lightly, of course.
- Physical Office: Your shop, office, or clinic should be easy to find, with signage that adequately directs new visitors and passers-by. It should be tidy on the exterior and interior. The care you put into your physical space is indicative of the care you put into your corporate brand.
- Vehicles: The same goes for corporate vehicles as it does for offices. They should be clean, in good operating condition, and even bear your brand’s primary colour, if possible. A clean vehicle in good repair demonstrates overall conscientiousness.
- Timeliness: It may be difficult for a potential client to believe that products and services will be delivered on time if you’re late for a speaking engagement or a meeting.
- Packaging: Is your product packaging indicative of your corporate brand? Is the logo right? Are the colours true? The care you put into your products’ packaging is suggestive of the care you put into what’s inside that package.
- Business Card: Your business card should be unique in at least one way—so that it doesn’t end up in the bin. Give it texture, apply a scent, use a unique shape, make it interactive…something that not only says “keep me,” but represents a core value of your corporate brand.
- Spelling and Grammar: This one is often overlooked. A small business owner might assume that since spelling isn’t part of what he or she delivers, then it’s not important to ideal clients. To the contrary, perceptions say that if a brand goes out of its way to perfect even those things it doesn’t specialise in, then those things it does well will be phenomenal.
No one expects every business owner to perform well in all these areas; however, every business owner is expected to outsource those things that don’t suit his or her skillset—so that the brand will be well-represented in all areas.
Is everything you’re doing casting a positive light on your brand? Or are potential clients applying the brakes before they even get to know you and your corporate brand? No matter your area of expertise or difficulty, you can get the help you need at the next B.R.A.N.D. Kickstarter Masterclass, a full-day, fully immersive branding experience for every business owner and brand manager. Enrol at www.brand-kickstarter.co.uk before your seat is taken!