Jim Connolly

I have a marketing tip to share with you today, which is directly connected to the day I started to look middle-aged.

I know. It sounds weird, but I promise you it isn’t.

Well, it’s not TOO weird.

It’s all about the marketing importance of your branding. Specifically today, I’m thinking about the visual impact your current branding has on your sales results.

But I need to start with my face. (That’s a sentence I never, ever thought I would write).

From fresh-faced to middle-aged

I honestly have no idea what day it was, when I went from looking like a fresh-faced young man, to middle-aged. If you’re old enough to have become middle-aged, I bet you’d answer exactly the same. That’s because the way we look changes very gradually, over time.

Hold that thought.

I believe this same gradual process also explains why so many great small businesses have out-dated / ineffective branding. And as a direct result, create a bad first impression and lose out on the clients (or customers) their business needs.

Take a look at almost any small business that’s been trading for more than 5 or 10 years and their branding is usually extremely poor. In many cases, it didn’t start that way. Here’s what happened.

When their current branding was launched, it looked fresh and compelling. It had the type of design that would impress any prospective client. Then, a bit like my face, their branding slowly started to age; along with their website, social media profile, newsletters and everywhere else their branding is seen. It happened so slowly, that they haven’t even noticed.

That’s my theory. And I think it’s a pretty darn nifty theory too. After all, no business owner knowingly turns clients away every day.

Does branding REALLY matter, Jim?

Yep. It does.

Seriously, it’s actually really important no matter what size your business is.

And here’s why.

I’m going to use a common example of the power of branding, which you’ll be able to identify with. I want you to think about the visual branding you see when you visit a website for the first time. Experts say (depending on which ones you listen to) that when you visit at a website, it takes less than a second for you to form your first impressions.

You get the almost instant impact of the overall look; the logo, colours / colors, fonts, tones, graphics, photography, typography – – and all the visual branding components on the site.

And you very quickly build your first impression.

They look competent.

They look clueless.

They look relevant.

They look out-of-date.

They look interesting.

They look dull.

They look dynamic.

They look lethargic.

They look professional.

They look amateurish.

They look sizeable.

They look small.

They look successful.

They look strapped.

They look expensive.

They look cheap.

And all this happens before you really know anything about them. Yet it powerfully changes the way you feel about them in all the ways I just mentioned, and a hundred other ways. Remember: People buy based on feelings, NOT logic. That’s how important good branding is.

Of course, first impressions are not always accurate. But first impressions always count.

Here’s why: Many lousy businesses have great looking branding that inspires confidence and attracts clients. Conversely, many great businesses have ineffective branding that creates doubt and turns clients away.

An excellent business that creates a bad first impression will 100% definitely be losing sales and clients. Especially from those who are looking for a good, quality service. Prospective clients looking for something ‘cheap’ will think they’ve found it, when they see what looks like a struggling small business.

If you’re not attracting enough sales or leads. If you’re attracting enquiries from people with small budgets. If your social marketing efforts are not getting the results you want. It could be time to invest in your branding.