When most business owners think about their company’s image, they don’t look past the name of the organization. However, your company image encompasses every aspect of your business that a customer comes in contact with. Building a cohesive company image is called brand management.
You have to be very aware of your image because even when customers can’t see you they will make judgments about you and your product/service based on the visual image that you have representing your brand. For example, if your company has business cards that are low-quality (i.e. you printed and cut them yourself, some of them look better than others) versus professional cards (which can be cheap – you didn’t spend a lot for them but they look good); a customer will make a judgment of you, your business and the level of service that they expect to receive.
One of the most important considerations for your business is your business name. It should be easy to pronounce and relevant to your industry. It should not cause your customer to wonder what your business is or what type of product/service you offer. It should also be easy to remember which in theory means it should be relatively short. Many people, for egotistical reasons, want to include their name in the business name. There is nothing wrong with that unless you plan to sell the business or envision not being active in the business at some future point. Having the business tied to your personal image will set the expectation that you will always be around and customers will prefer interacting with you instead of a manager or salesperson.
The next step is to create a logo. Some people think logo’s are overrated because they can’t think of a symbol that will represent their business. However, a logo can be the font, color and design of your business name – think Staples and Coca-Cola. Their logos are their company name while companies like Rolex and McDonald’s are known by their name but if you only see the golden arches, you will still relate the product to the appropriate company.
Deciding on a color scheme is also important. Some companies only use two colors but I prefer three because it gives you more options with marketing products. For example, if you choose blue and white, you are limited to using blue and white in all of your promotional materials to maintain the cohesiveness of your image. On the other hand, if you choose blue, green and white then you are able to mix your materials with blue and green; green and white; and blue and white. The key will be using the same logo/name when changing up the color schemes.
Finally, you want to make sure that your company’s image stands out from your competition and is professional. You want to make sure that your brand is recognizable and helps your customer make the decision to purchase your product/service.
Hiring a professional marketing consultant is one way to mind your business. In today’s business world, no one can do everything and no one can afford to hire full time staff members to cover tasks that may only require a couple of week’s work. A marketing consultant can help you create your brand and design products (letterhead, business cards, brochures, etc) that will present a polished appearance to your customer thus increasing your revenue.
Leave me a comment to tell me what you are doing to manage your brand.