When I started working for Eyedeal Graphics back in 2006, our business tagline was “Your Image Matters”. This phrase is significant for our design firm because it symbolizes what gets our creative juices flowing and motivates us to serve our clients every day. But brand management is important to every organization regardless of your business classification, the product you manufacture or the services that you offer. Because, after all, “Your Image Matters”.
What is your image?
“Image” is the public face of your business within the local, regional or global marketing community. Most people would say that your logo establishes your business image and that is partially true. A corporate logo commonly establishes the cornerstone of a business identity package. But “Image” includes much more than simply your logo. Image is also characterized by the colors, shapes, typefaces and textual content like taglines or slogans that are used throughout all of your promotional materials.
Where does your image appear?
Where your image appears depends on the ways that you market your business. Your image can take the form of a simple business card that is exchanged during a lunch meeting or it can be a huge billboard beside an active freeway. Other examples can include, company stationery, websites, email signatures, brochures, sell sheets, posters, banners, vehicle graphics, or building signage. Essentially, your image extends to anywhere and anything that bears your business name.
Why is your image important?
Its fair to say that people generally prefer to connect and work with organizations they believe they can trust. Image plays a key role in attracting people, making connections and building their trust. An attractive business image encourages a perception of quality and professionalism. This builds confidence, trust and comfort increasing the chances for development of successful business opportunities. Conversely, an unappealing, cluttered, or confusing business image may influence some to be hesitant in working with that business.
What qualities make a successful business image?
I mentioned earlier that your image is often established by your corporate logo but also includes the colors, shapes, typefaces and taglines that are used in your promotional materials. One of the most important qualities that characterize an effective business image is consistency. A successful business image maintains its visual integrity and effectiveness by using the same design elements for each promotional piece that is produced.
For example, lets say that you receive a business card and pocket folder from a representative at a trade show. Without consciously thinking about it, you observe that the business card uses that same logo and colors as company’s display booth and the advertising materials you were given. This consistency demonstrates professionalism. Its clear that this business places value in quality and its reasonable to assume that you could trust them to treat you with the same quality and care. This is a successful business image.
In contrast, you receive another business card at a lunch meeting. That card features the organization’s logo which is designed with specific colors, shapes, and typefaces. When you visit the website displayed on the business card you expect to find a relatively similar visual appearance. Instead, you are presented with an entirely different logo that uses contrasting colors and another type face. The business name is the same but the presentation is a significant contrast. Aside from the glaring difference in visual appearance, there is also a security concern. Does this website belong to the same company or does it represent a business that simply shares a common name? The reality is that inconsistency in business image causes confusion which is detrimental toward building a relationship of comfort and trust.
Is it time to sharpen up?
Your image does matter and the decision to update your image is yours to make. The first step in the process is personal evaluation. If you are ready to refresh or entirely redesign your business image, the best way to begin is by speaking with a professional. Contact a design specialist to discuss your current image, business goals, and target audience. Learning more about your business is critical. Uncovering information about it’s current needs and future direction provides a firm foundation on which to build a new image that is both fresh and effective.