The way you present your business gives your visitors lots of clues about your business, what you do, how you do it, and your business’ values.
Everything counts towards the first impression; the words you use, your colour scheme, the layout, your logo, signage, your fonts, and the photographs you choose. Even the quality of the photos used says something about your business.
Online and Offline
I’m talking about all the ways your customers can interact with you and your brand. That could be an actual shop, a market stall, on social media, via a product label or point of sale in someone else’s shop. It could also be your own website, an advert on the side of your car. It is literally anywhere at all that you might be seen.
This stuff is vitally important and it’s no coincidence that big companies spend insane amounts of money on figuring out what they are trying to say and how they want to say it.
You probably don’t have a massive budget for this stuff but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t apply to you, it’s just as important to you, and your success, as any other business.
What do you want them to think?
So, take a moment and consider what you want people to think about your business. Are you a premium service or budget product? Are you a fun company, are you fluffy, quirky, or deadly serious? Do you work with other businesses or directly with consumers? Do you work only with women, men, kids, the elderly, the sick? What are your businesses values? Does the environment matter to you, or animal welfare, maybe? Are you ethical? Do you have traditional values, and are you a local company?
What do they actually think?
Now, take a look at your own business and ask yourself – does any of that actually reflect in your first impressions? And if not, what do you need to do to make your customers’ expectations match your offer?
If you are not sure what you are looking for, take a look at some websites you like and think about your own first impressions of those companies. What is it about their website that makes you think their product might be expensive, or ethical, or whatever?
Do a survey
Failing that, you could do a survey. Why not take a screenshot of your website or Facebook page and hit the streets to ask people. Ask them to guess at your price point, values, the kind of person it would appeal to and does it appeal to them?
Did that go as expected?
What did you learn?
If you didn’t get the news you were hoping for then it’s time to go back to the drawing board with your branding. Look out for a company that will work with you to achieve the look and feel that you were hoping for. Every pound spent on branding at this stage is an investment. The wrong branding will certainly be costing you customers and the sooner that is fixed, the better.