Humans experience the world with their eyes before they engage any other sense. Before your tagline or testimonials have been read, your logo, website, and marketing materials have all been evaluated. It is for this reason alone that first impressions can often make or break the acquisition of a new customer or client and why you must remove design and branding from the back burner.
Consumers tend to associate a solid aesthetic with a credible, trustworthy business. If your website looks like it was made in 5 minutes with your host’s Build-A-Site tool, and your logo came from Fiverr you could be missing out on a lot of business. The subconscious thinking is such that if a business has taken the time to put forth a solid design and brand, then certainly they’ve done the same with their products or services. Take Apple, for example. Before any aspect of their business model, the mere mention of the company brings to mind their iconic design and aesthetic. This works to their benefit in a few ways, one of which being the credibility it lends. If their product and branding look top notch, then there is a pretty good chance that it must be top notch. It is because of this that Apple grew from a net worth of $0 to $508 billion.
When it comes to the design of your branding materials, there are a few key elements to focus on.
How Closely Does the Design Fit Your Services or Products?
Think of this as your business’ package or wrapper. When you receive something in a package, the way that package looks and feels sets expectations of its contents. Your goal here is to make sure that the design of your branding materials sets appropriate expectations for your business. This ensures that the consumer knows exactly what they are receiving and your business maintains their trust (and your credibility) by meeting or exceeding those expectations.
Does The Design of Your Brand Present A Coherent, Consistent Image?
Sort of in the same vein as the previous package idea, it’s important that the design of your branding elements present a coherent, consistent image. By maintaining this visual consistency, you implant the idea that your business as a whole is coherent and consistent. This stretches across everything from quality of services and products to customer service.
As a business, you’re asking consumers to give you two of their most valuable resources: their time and their money. The most successful businesses understand and respect this. While that Fiverr logo may look like a good deal to a bootstrapping startup, keep in mind the weight that consumers give their first impressions. The money initially saved could be costing you much more in the end. This is why dollar for dollar, the branding and design of your business is one of the best investments you could make.
Alex Chennault is the owner and creative mastermind behind FRSH Studio. At FRSH Studio, I am a creative branding and business strategist for women solopreneurs, entrepreneurs and business owners. I specialize in Brand reFRSH, which entails everything from custom logo and web design, to social media branding, to hands-on guidance on how to maximize your new brand. Connect with me on my blog, Facebook, or Twitter.
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