The Image: Using It In Every Aspect Of Your Business
When we look at our business and how we communicate ourselves with everyone, our image is, undoubtedly, the key thing. It’s how we communicate with our clients, customers, and our competitors. Your image is your business ethos, and it is one of the main things that people will notice first, if not the main thing, so you need to have it as high quality, and as well considered as possible. So, when it comes to your image, especially in how you merchandise yourself, market yourself, and present this image to your peers, how do we do this?
Creating The Image
Now this is, much like your business plan, something that needs to be set in stone right at the start. Yes there are those who changed their image, or their brand every few years. But in the difficult early stages of setting up your business empire, you may think that the product is the most important thing, because this will get you the sales and therefore the profit. However, it is more quality over quantity at this stage. So the image is the brand, and so what customers and receivers of your advertising need to see, is the story. This is something that lots of new businesses tend to not think about, by telling a story that people can empathize with, this is what will draw people in. A great modern example is the smartphone. As a product, it’s not just something to take pictures and search the internet. It is something that is used to capture precious family moments like the birth of your first child, so think about it in this way. The story is what will link back to the image. Your image and your story need to be linked inextricably. And a lot of people do make a big mistake when it comes to setting up a business image…
Mistakes In The Image
As already mentioned, lots of businesses change their brand on a semi-regular basis, but they only do this once they have established that their brand is not doing what it once was i.e. drawing in customers. When you are making a business image, you need to think about the brand guidelines. So, what are these brand guidelines? This is in relation to your brand identity, so you go back to the basics, such as the logo, the tagline, the typography, even the color. These are the very basics, but in creating a defined image for your brand, it is all about conveying the character of your company. Businesses make mistakes in their image, as we’ve seen countless times on TV shows like The Apprentice,that the message is muddled, or the points that you want to make are very vague. Not only this, but established businesses suffer by changing their brand in a very poor fashion. Changing your brand, also known as rebranding, is not a bad thing. But you need to be aware of the connection you’ve already built with your customers.
What Is An Image, Really?!
Your image is your business ethos, and so, for it to represent your business properly, it’s not just about the exterior components, it is also about the internal ones. In other words, your business ethos is not just about the marketing processes, although these are a vital component. The interior or the ground-floor aspects of your business needs to be represented. This is why lots of businesses now do video blogs, and we, as customers can see what is going on in the inner sanctum. This is something that can be employed in your business by using the image on items, such as mugs, staplers, even lanyards. This is an underestimated part of the marketing process, but you need your staff to have belief in the branding, and what better way to do this than to have the image worn by your workers? There are plenty of branding suppliers, such as The Lanyards Factory, that do exactly what it says on the tin, place your business image into a small item that you wouldn’t have necessarily thought of as important. Your employees carry the brand too, and you need to remember this. Implementing your image isn’t just about the common methods; you need to think about it in a more holistic sense.
Picking Your Marketing Platforms
Now that you have the image in place, and it s communicating your brand properly, it’s now time to choose the most salient platforms relative to your brand. So, this is where marketing campaigns are born, it goes back to telling that story with your image or logo in tandem with your products. And this is where blogs, online videos, or even podcasts are important pieces of the puzzle in the marketing jigsaw. Lots of businesses make the mistake when starting out by going for the big platforms, and covering their bases because they think that by having a Twitter account, that area is covered, or by having a YouTube channel, that’s market is covered. In fact, it is seldom this simple, so at the outset, it’s important for you to start picking a small amount of these key platforms, and push hard at each one to make the content as high quality as possible.
The Image And Visual Merchandising
If you are running a store, or you are consistently engaging with customers on a face-to-face basis, this is where visual merchandising comes into its own. Visual merchandising is a very fine art, and it works at engaging shoppers. The notion of aesthetics, in relation to the layout of a particular store, or if you have a stall set up in a shopping mall, it’s all about getting the customer’s attention with a subtle blend of the brand in combination with what the product can do for them. This, in essence, is your business ethos.
The image is the vital component, because of these various aspects, from merchandising, to the various online platforms, to making your employees feel like they are moving together as one. So you need to be sure that your image is in line with your business ethos, communicates exactly what your business is straight away, but is also of a high quality. Get these aspects right, and you’ve got a successful image that carries.