When people spend money, it’s because they feel a connection with your business. The basic rule of professionalism and polish is that your business has to look like the person your customers want to hang out with. This is called your business’ brand, and it consists of image, style and other related elements. When you represent your business, you should always be conscious of the brand you are representing, because ultimately, people are giving you money because they are attracted to your brand.
Recently, I was asked to speak at an event hosted by Jacqueline Vasquez, owner of Lifetime Events by Jacqueline and the topic for the evening was How to Achieve a Professional Image Through Wardrobe and Communication. The audience consisted of members and non-non members of the Association of Bridal Consultants and many of them run their own businesses whether it’s wedding events, corporate events, audio visual and alike. Each business owner is their own personal brand and it’s important they project the right image. I spoke about image and personal branding and reminded everyone that every little detail matters. Everything from the cut of my suit to the topics I spoke about. I am a NYC image expert, and those words are a sort of brand in and of themselves. New York City, the heart of global commerce. Image, I have to look good. Expert, I have to know what I’m talking about. Each of these things are elements of my brand, and when I show that I embody any of these things, my stock goes up. If I were to slip up and show the opposite, my credibility would be damaged, and I might not get invited back to another speaking engagement.
It is similar with brands for small businesses. Whenever your business takes a public stance in the world, it differentiates itself from the competition. When it takes a repeated public stance, it develops a brand around the images, words and media it uses to express itself. The trick is to make sure that your business has the best brand. Image and style are everything where marketing is concerned.
Of course, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and style depends on who’s buying. If you’re trying to be “hot,” the styles and images surrounding your business would look much different if you’re selling to, say, a sixteen-year-old girl than if you’re trying to sell to a thirty-year-old man. When you differentiate yourself in the marketplace, be sure you take your market into account.
There are so many details when it comes to creating a successful, professional, polished brand. Do you know if your business is projecting a polished brand? Take my poll (upper right hand corner) and let me know!