We all like to pontificate about the best place to advertise our companies: magazine vs. newspaper, social media vs. search engines, but remember, everything starts with the image. If the image isn’t right, no amount of advertising spend will help.
When you visit your bank manager, you expect to see a perfectly groomed and well dressed individual whom you’re trusting with your millions / thousands / few cents. But would you feel so trusting if he was garbed in dirty denim and chewed gum none stop?
A well groomed image is also essential for your company: from your logo and signage, to your promotional products and website. A professional look helps reinforce the message that you are a company to trust – you produce quality products and offer an organized, reliable service.
So make sure you consider quality at every stage of creating your company image.
Quality of the design
Of course your logo was created by a graphic designer… wasn’t it? Tut, tut. This is the basis of your company image and needs to be an absolute perfect match for your company ethos and products. A quick sketch on a basic design program using a bit of clipart just won’t do, nor for posters, brochures or promotional products.
What about your website? I trust you worked closely with a website design team to get the right professional look for your company and haven’t created one of those sad, amateur versions.
Quality of the content
Write good copy. Remember good copy leads to sales. People don’t buy just because they see an attractive photo – there have to be persuasive words supporting it. Make sure you write clearly, informatively and get the right tone of voice for your target market. Best get a copywriter if you’re not up to the job.
Quality of production
Do consider the specification of anything you produce and don’t skimp. Nasty, cheap produce means a tacky looking offering. And who wants to buy trash?
Business cards – use thick card, professionally printed in full color
Flyers – no flimsy paper please or they will never hold their own in the mailbox
Brochures – again paper weight is so important to give the right impression. A good weight paper as a minimum, and for selling luxury products, go heavier, with embossing and other embellishments as you see fit.
Promotional products – do remember that you want clients to use these products repeatedly. So don’t give away items that will fall to pieces in their hands. Some lasting impression of your company!
Quality of review
Just because everything is set up, printed and distributed, doesn’t mean you can sit back and wait for a flood of sales. Keep an eye on the things out there that are promoting your company image:
Website – check it regularly and make sure all links are working. Remove expired offers. Update with new news, change images – keep it all fresh
Outdoor signage – this is particularly vulnerable to weather damage: bleaching in the Californian sun; battered in the New York snow gales. Check all of it regularly, especially directional signage which may be far removed from where you spend your normal day
Printed material – including brochures, business forms etc. If something changes, then you must reprint. Nothing looks so lazy or unprofessional as seeing a sticky label or hand writing to make an amendment
Transport branding – check the livery on your vans. Peeling and torn stickers look nasty and a few missing words could mean you are advertising something different completely!
And let’s finish with a final thought – however much you build quality into developing your company image, it will all amount to nada if you kant spel good and use bad gramma. Write it, check it, check it again and only then get it published and in the public domain.