Small Business: Big Branding Name
Updated: Apr 13
Corporate Image Services and Why It Will Always Matter
Local hair salons, auto shops, bakeries, realtors, pet stores, cafes, tax accountants – even doctor and dentist offices – all have unique public images - whether they want them or not! Every business, large or small, sends out signals about themselves.
When a company name comes up in conversation, an image pops into people’s minds. Everything associated with that company morphs into a mental picture. What do you see in your mind’s eye, for example, when you hear the words McDonald's, Fifth-Third or Steelcase? Welcoming Golden Arches? A leading lender or a beautiful ballpark? A chic, modern style of desk or chair? These corporations work hard to create a positive portrait for you.
People perceive an entire enterprise through various messages a company sends out to the community. Whether it’s your storefront appearance, your website, your ads, brochures or business cards, each part of your company paints a picture of your business. The better the picture, the more likely customers are to come into your store, visit your office, or use your services. A good image sells!
Cutting-Edge? or Cut-Throat?
Up-to-Date? or Behind-the-Times?
What ‘image’ does your company project?
Many small businesses cripple themselves, keep themselves in a rut and fail to build their customer base by failing to focus on their images.
“We’re too small for corporate image. That’s for huge enterprises,” sole proprietors claim. Many entrepreneurs go about their daily business never asking themselves: “What kind of image does my company portray to people – especially those who aren’t customers yet?”
Some small or family-operated businesses believe that the image doesn’t matter. “It’s our products and services that count,” they say. They claim they’re too busy serving customers to care about an image . . . until sales start to slump. Things change when the competition gets ahead. Clients or customers with more than one choice, go with their gut instinct – which comes from the pictures they’ve formed in their heads.
Call it the image, corporate identity, reputation, or any name, it means that you provide mental pictures that determine how your company is perceived by people. Good public perception is vital for business. Your reputation is built on what people hear and see about your enterprise. A company is never too small to create and maintain a positive image with the public.
What goes into your company image?
Your mission, vision, and goals, along with your marketing and advertising strategies, all figure into your public image. Your image is projected in the way your place of business looks from the outside, along with the messages you send from the inside. Before anyone steps into your shop or your store, they already have judged the quality of your operation. They have sized up your business through your:
Email, phone or letter responses
Sales pitches, advertising, and promotions
Mailings, fliers, postcards, posters, and pictures
Business cards, brochures, signs or billboards
Every platform you use – whether print material, TV, radio, internet or public appearance – projects your image to the public. Each item you print, post, or pass out positions your business positively or negatively. Large or small, you need to portray your business in the best possible way. Just a few image mistakes that interfere with a small company’s success include:
Poorly designed websites
Unprofessional-looking stationery and envelopes
Spelling or grammar errors in advertising content
Blurry, old-fashioned or amateurish photos or graphics
No logo, or logo with strange or hard-to-decipher design
Inconsistent use of logos, color, type fonts, style or messages
Inconsistent business information in directories and promotional pieces
If you’re one of those small business owners who haven’t put much thought into your image, we can help. We will professionally assess your public image and make recommendations to improve it. Contact CIS Agency | firstname.lastname@example.org
For permission to reprint this article: Contact Blog Writer | Business Consultant Susan K. Maciak at email@example.com