It doesn’t matter what kind of business you have – first impressions are so important.
The first time anyone experiences something new there’s nothing to back up that experience. That first encounter is either good, or it isn’t. It hits your senses, and it hits your emotions-so there’s nothing rational there. And changing that first impression is hard to do. And the same thing applies to experiencing your business for the first time.
In February I went on a family vacation to the Dominican Republic. It was our first time staying at the Now Larimar resort. None of us knew what to expect. All we knew is that it was a newer, more modern resort.
Right off the bat we arrived at a very impressive front lobby. We were greeted by friendly staff, then taken to our rooms…which were located in its own mini-paradise. Everyone made sure we were welcome and comfortable. And the rooms were fabulous and beautiful. Everything was branded with the resort name–everything, from uniforms to sugar packets.
It’s hard to explain, but that “branded” experience created a feeling of comfort, of trust. Seeing the pride they took in their resort and how hard everyone worked to maintain that feeling was pretty special. Everything about the resort whispered “luxury, comfort, credibility. Have a good time…relax!!! We’re here to take care of you.”
I’m not telling you this to make you jealous (but I understand if you feel that way!) I hope what comes through is the positive feelings that we all experienced from the very start.
And that leads me to the very important question:
Why does anyone (businesses, charities and special interest groups alike) bother creating a brand image?
Do we really need to worry about first impressions?
I think we do. Simply for the reason that it’s highly unlikely that someone meeting us for the first time will be ready to blindly forge ahead and say “here, take my money. Let’s do business.”
Before that happens people have to become aware of us, our offerings, and then create some form of impression. That impression will either lead to trust, or it won’t. And as superficial as it sounds, we still all judge others on that first impression we form of them.
That’s why as a business owner, it’s important to create a brand image that will create a favourable first impression. I’ve yet to meet an entrepreneur, or fundraising manager of a charity say, “Oh, I’m not concerned with how people think of us.”
Now, I’m absolutely certain you might be thinking
“we’re in the middle of a pandemic. Don’t we have more important things to worry about than first impressions?”
Yes, we do. We have a lot of things to worry about right now, to fear, to stress over. But without trivializing our current world health crisis, if your business is affected, then that’s something you need to take care of as well.
And the reality is that eventually–eventually–this crisis will be over. There will be a rebound. And what you need to consider NOW is:
Will my business be ready? or will my competitors stand above and be seen instead of me?
That’s something worth considering as you experience this forced downtime in your business. And I will be glad to help you be ready, and make the most of this “social distancing” time. Next week I will be sharing a special offer to help you bring consistency to your visual brand-so that YOUR business can be found, no matter where people are searching.