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Leaving a Lasting Impression
In this visually motivated market, leaving a positive, lasting impression is key to generating consumer interest in your company. Here's why it pays to properly invest in the promotion of your business.
A successful business doesn't just rely on location, location, location anymore. Visual promotions like business cards, a web site, logo and advertisements represent your company in your absence, long after your face to face meeting with a potential client has faded into memory. They can virtually speak volumes on the quality of service and product you are promoting to provide.
Take business cards as an example. They are the most popular and widely used promotional collateral in the business world—nearly everyone has one. Often to cut a few corners in the budget, entrepreneurs repeatedly make an even more costly decision to forego hiring an experienced professional who understands how to tailor an attractive and effective look for their company. By utilizing inexpensive, pre-fabricated cards or by leaving design execution in inexperienced hands who create pretty pictures instead of potent brands, a valuable, highly visible promotional resource meant to perpetuate business (outside of referrals) fails to do the job well. What started out as an opportunity to save a few bucks may have unwittingly ended in missing out on potential profits that they never even knew existed.
Here's a fun little exercise. Pull out your business card and take an objective, impersonal look at it. Picture yourself as a customer who knows little to nothing about your company. There isn't a shopper alive that doesn't want to be sure that they're investing their hard earned cash in a quality service or product. Your card should not only contain the required contact information, it should also aesthetically emote this commitment through your brand and it's design layout as a reaffirmation of this guarantee—potential clients should psychologically feel confident that you can deliver. So, does your card exude this quality assurance of service you hope to provide, or will they pass yours up in favor of a competitor?
Feel free to take the same little exercise with the rest of your promotional collateral, or even your business' logo identity. Take the extra step and compare it to cards, ads or other collateral that you like. Whether it will ultimately end up being "fun" or not, depends on how effective you feel the current state of your brand marketing is.
Projecting professionalism through one's web site should be equally important. It leaves as indelible an imprint on unique visitors as a business card would. As with any marketing promotion, it's there to provide the viewer with pertinent information—range of services, product line, contact information and an image gallery. However, the site's interface should also pique a visitor's curiosity enough to make them want to learn more about what you might have to offer, or to ideally bookmark it as a resource or reference.
A poorly composed web design layout, even one that has all of the necessary information, might inadvertently send the wrong message to a potential client. That could lead to wondering "what could have been"—even with all the right information it may very well receive a decent amount of traffic, but if it's creative and functional potential were achieved it could have generated so much more.
Effective design isn't just about making something attractive looking, it's about making it attractive to the right people and through optimum channels. It's one earmark in leaving a lasting impression which in turn strengthens brand recognition. Accomplishing that end isn't simply a matter of picking any random professional to do the job, either. One's creative style should harmonize with the company's brand mission and it's target audience. A Creative or firm should also be able to visually understand how to better forge an indelible connection between brand and consumer.
Ideally it would be ultimately be worth every penny to handsomely invest in all the marketing promotion for your business. In reality however, budget constraints require you to be more understandibly discriminating. The question is, which can get by with less and which can't? When making the decision, my suggestion is to think about this. Promotional me like a web site, business card or logo identity—media that are almost always in the public's awareness for the longest amount of time would not be a prudent area to curtail spending. You've invested a great deal into the success of your business, it only makes sense to ensure that the most vital facets of your company are working towards leaving the best, lasting impression to make that ultimate goal a reality.
Learn more about the author, Dagmar Jeffrey.
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