A few years ago, I was cleaning out my mother’s tool shed, which had few…
On a recent road trip to West Virginia we took along AAA guide books that rated everything inside according to a ‘Diamond System.’ You know, a lone diamond for budget, no frills up to 5 diamonds for sophisticated, upscale.
We mention this because creating your business identity relies on communicating daily how your business measures up on a similar scale. Prospects viewing your logo subconsciously assess it to categorize your business. Our brains naturally group things via queries like: What is this? Have I seen it before? Is it comparable to something familiar? Along the way, they judge and classify your business, often harshly.
I noticed myself doing so firsthand on this trip. Take those blue highway signs announcing the businesses found off each exit. McDonalds. Shell. Bojangles. Though I’d never even heard of ‘Bojangles,’ its logo screamed fast food fried chicken. My belly ached. My brain scored ‘1 diamond.’ I kept driving.
Stopping in a typically small WV town for lunch, we walked the main strip weighing our options. The place bearing a hand-scrawled dry erase board instilled little confidence. Next we paused at the Mexican joint, wondering just what kind of ‘authentic Mexican’ food one encounters in central WV. Then we came upon a reputable looking restaurant sporting a neat, bright sign out front and giant coffee cups overflowing with flowers. It looked so welcoming, positive, and current that we ventured inside. Ahh, this was where we’d eat. A comfortable vibe and great menu reinforced our initial impression: This place looks good, let’s see what they have.
Which brings us to your logo, stationery and marketing materials. What do they say about your business? Do you look established and professional…or do you come across as the low-cost option? Are people rating you as 1 dull diamond…or 5 flashy ones? Assuming your product lives up to your promise, does your business give them that gut feeling to see what you have? When people primed to buy compare options, you can not afford them dismissing a ‘1 Diamond’ look and walking in your competitors door.
Have you ever known someone who you know is an expert at what they do, but they don’t look the part?
Truth is, that dry erase place may have had excellent food, but given my options, sorry, there’s just no way I’d risk choosing it. Appearance forms our perceptions and perceptions form our opinions, but most importantly they influence our purchase decisions.
Thoughts? We’d love to hear your comments.
-Gary Epis & Amy Bond