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Image: what your brand says about you

Tweet The image you portray can help you win, or loose customers. Recently everything and anything to do with property has caught my attention. Why because I know that in years past a great number of people have made wise choices around property that have netted them great wealth. On a more personal note I’m [...]

The image you portray can help you win, or loose customers.

LettersRecently everything and anything to do with property has caught my attention. Why because I know that in years past a great number of people have made wise choices around property that have netted them great wealth. On a more personal note I’m facing a potential 3% increase in my mortgage rate this year – 3% I can’t afford. So I’m looking at options.

I left work today and jumped in my truck (flickr pics) to drive home. As I pulled out of the side road I park on, I noticed a vehicle with some form of advertising at the top of the windscreen. I noticed because it was backward – I guess so you could read it in your rear vision mirror should this vehicle be behind you. So I drive on a little more (traffic = bad) and realise the advertising was a URL.

I forget the url (it was way long), I remember it was orange and I remember 2 words out of it. Passionate and Property. Now let me paint you a picture.

You see a gorgeous, sexy even, car sitting on the road. The sun is dipping in the west, the glint on the windscreen looks like a photographers sparkle. The paint is spotless, it looks a million dollars sitting amongst other every day cars. It screams passion, it screams success, it screams wealth. On the side are a few words – “I’m passionate about property, talk to me today”.

I tell you what, I would be on the phone straight away – why, because this guy (or girl) knows and practices what they preach.

Notice I said “I would be” … I wasn’t! See the thing is this car I noticed with this long url, was old, it was dirty, it looked tired and I’m sure it has some knocks and scratches. The writing on the door saying something like “Passionate about Property” looked faded and was not easy to see. Ick!

Image:
The world is a shallow place, people will sum up you and your business within the first 10 seconds of meeting you or interacting with your image. If you are going to promote to me the “dream” of being a property investor and living rich, then start painting that picture the minute you pull into my driveway, the minute I see your car, or the first time I lay eyes on your brand.

Brand:
Many people think that “brand” stops at the company logo. This is rubbish, the brand is the image your project in the market place. The location of your building, the fit out, the type of computer you bring to a presentation, the packaging of your product the cars your sales teams drive, the phones you use, the customer service polices and yes even the way your team answer the phone – it all carries your brand. If your overall brand is not conveyed to your customers in every single transaction – even that of a potential future customer walking past your car – then your marketing team are failing.

I like to think of “brand” as the energy (or life blood) of a company. It’s the thing that makes people want to work there. Google’s brand includes all the great things we hear about working there. Apple’s brand is reflected in everything from an icon design to the product, the packaging and their website. Think Apple – think Clean, refined, elegant, beautiful and simple.

The American Dream
If you want to have an image that works for you, you have to let the brand become an artist, a story teller, a salesperson – all on it’s own. Let your brand tell the customer why they need to connect with you, how their life will be just a little less fulfilled if they don’t own your widget. Every bit of Apple advertising says “You’ll be better off if you have an iPhone/iMac”. Coca-cola transports you to another place “The Coke side of life”. These offer the promise of something bigger, something better, something more.

I know it’s shallow – welcome to the world of marketing.

Promise – Deliver – Sleep well:
One warning however, don’t paint a picture you can’t provide. Sure paint the picture, tell the client you have the answer they need, and then deliver that and more. I have always recommended the idea of “Under promise, Over deliver”, it’s easy to do – but today it seems to be the trend to “Over promise, Under deliver”. Let your brand paint a picture, let your product/service reflect your brand … sleep well knowing you are building a loyal customer base with every interaction with your brand.

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3 Responses

02.19.08

I found your site on technorati and read a few of your other posts. Keep up the good work. I just added your RSS feed to my Google News Reader. Looking forward to reading more from you.

Tom Humes

[...] k over at studiowhiz has a fantastic post about image and branding. This post really made me think about “image” and “branding” in an online [...]

02.19.08

Man i love reading your blog, interesting posts !…