Image is Everything
Yes, image is everything regardless what the old Sprite commercials say. Well, it might not be everything, but it is everything at the beginning. Regardless how many times we’ve heard not to judge a book by the cover, people judge credibility by the image. This is why you have less than seven seconds to capture someone’s attention on a website otherwise they leave. Seven seconds is really short, you were probably only able to read the first sentence of this blog in seven seconds. Image is important for your brand and for your team because without a strong image, people do not give you time to educate them on everything else therefore image is everything.
For your brand – People take one look at your logo and determine if you’re a good or floundering company. It sounds harsh, but it is true. Think about it – if you didn’t know them personally, would you hire the company on the right over an established brand such as Century 21 or Remax? Probably not. Business is about relationships, but many times those relationships do not get started because a company has a poor logo on their business cards and they’re not taken seriously. A well-designed brand identity shows credibility and strength while a poorly designed logo makes a company look new and immature. It is a perpetual cycle where the company with the poorly designed brand gets smaller projects, has to work harder to get new clients, and struggles to get the best talent to work for them so they continue to struggle.
For your team – The picture to the right may be a bit extreme, but would you hire him to build or design your new multi-million dollar building? Probably not. The good news is you do not have to look like you stepped off the cover of GQ everyday to look professional, but you need to look like your profession. Contractors can wear nice jeans & a blazer while architects can look more artistic, but they still need to look well-groomed and professional. A poorly dressed engineer or project manager in a project interview can sink the bid before ever taking off because the selection committee will dwell on his dress and not take him (or her) seriously. Part of your company’s brand standards should include a dress code and part of your interview training should be discussing appearance.
If you’re a business developer, imagine working for years to nurture a relationship to have it instantly blown in a project interview by a poorly dressed individual. Your team’s appearance reflects your company’s brand and work. This is why I’ve always stated that every employee is a brand ambassador, not just the people in marketing, business development, and executive suite.
How do you control/foster your company’s brand image when it comes to your brand’s and team’s appearance?