Saturday, February 27, 2010
At a recent event I had numerous exchanges with owners of businesses not unlike many networking opportunities. Of the dozen and a half business cards that I took back to the office with me I would have to say only three were professionally done. The rest were obvious design-it-yourself models or the very least done by "think they're graphic designers models."
In the pursuit of saving money, these business owners are putting professionalism on the sacrificial altar. Oddly enough, there appears to be no scrimping on office furniture, equipment or accommodation. These short-sighted entrepreneurs have to yet to recognize that a professional brand image sets a powerful impression in the minds of their target audience. You might accuse me of being self-serving in this observation, if you can also dismiss that most major players in any industry have impeccable brand images. Your logo is the first exposure to your brand. Let's just say it is the face of your brand. If it is miserably uninspiring it becomes one more hurdle to being taken seriously.
In this economy, competition is fierce (no news here). Smart companies are saving money to become flatter. Is scrimping on your brand image really the smart thing to do? I argue no. I take my brand image very seriously. My promotional materials are top drawer. Once I walk away from a networking opportunity, it is my brand that must carry me forward. When the individuals leave my presence and visit my website and blog, it is my brand image and support materials that they will use to draw further positive conclusions as to whether or not they want to start learning more about me.
People want to trust you and believe that you can help them. The last thing you or I want, is any impression that I may not be the person I present myself as. You have but one opportunity to make a powerful impression, at that point it is too late to regret putting a cheap price on who you are.
How much are you worth?