There was a time when you would see a shop owner sweeping the sidewalk in front of the store before opening for the day. The reason was simple: Image.
Customers care about the image of the businesses they patronize. Why would they purchase the same jeans from a discount store when there’s a certain prestige in saying you got them at a higher end store? Image. The owners of a business should also care about their image for that same reason – because it’s important to their customers and prospective customers. Think about it.
Would you patronize a fast food restaurant if wrappers, napkins, and straws littered the floor whenever you stopped in? Would you be a regular at a grocery store where the produce section displayed rotten tomatoes or moldy fruit? How about a machine shop where it looked like the floor hadn’t been swept in a month?
The inside appearance of a business is important for building brand loyalty.
The image your business conveys to the public on the outside, including in your brand identity, logo, and your advertising, is even more critical to the long-term success of your business and your brand.
If you have a delivery or service vehicle with signage that advertises your business, how does it look? Is the paint or decal faded? Is the vehicle showing some rust or have a few dents? What does that tell your customers? Any lights out in your neon sign? Are you flying a faded, tattered American flag? Are veterans one of your market segments?
Do you showcase your location in your ads? Are you proud of what your building looks like? Take an objective look at your website. Does it convey the kind of image you want people to have of your products and/or services? Think about the last time it was updated.
Your website, like your place of business, should convey an image that gives your customers the confidence to send their family, friends, and referrals to you so they can become customers as well.
It’s often the little things that make a huge difference when it comes to the image your business conveys to the public and your customers. What message does it convey to shoppers coming to your grocery store if there are no carts available because they’re scattered around the parking lot? Yes, rounding up the carts and returning them to the corral is a menial task for some employee, especially if it’s raining, but those carts are usually the first contact those consumers have with your business.
If you’re not sure what the first impression is that people have of your business, try first to visit it impartially – as though you were a client yourself. What’s the feeling you get? Think about engaging a consulting firm such as Brand Irons to find that out. First blush is one measure, but that impression may go much deeper and require talking to your customers about why they patronize your business.
Something as simple as sweeping the floors could enhance business. Think about it.