Business Image – Appearances Matter

By Emily Downs – CWCC member

It’s the new year and I find myself, once again, signing up for a gym membership. I want to be toned, healthy. Maybe you’ve heard: appearances matter. People form a first impression within 7 to 17 seconds.  No wonder we place so much emphasis on personal appearance, “Am I smelly?” “I should have flossed.”

On the treadmill (watching Let’s Make a Deal in closed captions), I began to ponder: If appearances make such an impact, why do some ignore the health of their brand? A 24 Hour Fitness center looks like a 24 Hour Fitness gym inside and out. I know from driving by, or walking in the door that I am in—not just any gym—a 24 Hour Fitness gym. Lance Armstrong could walk in the door, slap me on the back and say, “Live Strong, Emilie. Live Strong.” We’d probably high-five, then hit the stationary bikes (he’s partial to them). I digress—that happens when I watch Let’s Make a Deal.

What first impressions are formed while handing out your business card? Is the message consistent with the rest of your business appearance? A colleague told me about two completely different companies; each using the same online business card template. Other than business names, the cards were completely identical. That’s like showing up at the party wearing the same dress.

Is your trade show display looking top-notch or tired? Aside from free pens, what’s drawing a crowd? Your prospects first impression is what they SEE. It happens before your rock-star sales team can even say a word. It’s design & branding that stops the passerby, instead of passing you by.

Make a new resolution grounded in your business image. Imagine the impact of your robust, meaningful brand. Your business will be on its mark and ready for action.

Emilie Downs is the owner of Imago Visual: Graphic Design • Branding • Marketing • Web Design • Photography


With strategic emphasis on the core brand, Emilie helps her clients:

  • Build brand reputation
  • Expand into new markets
  • Rebuild client trust after suffering a setback
  • Compete with industry giants
  • Reinvent or reposition their business
  • Convey the right product or service message
  • Revitalize slumping sales

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