“We don’t know where our first impressions come from or precisely what they mean, so we don’t always appreciate their fragility.”
I often use quotes to start off the blogs here to give you a good first impression of what it is I’m trying to say. I believe in first impressions; I know they have shaped my life for better and at times even worse. The stakes are high when it comes to first impressions, and your brand could be at risk. We all use first impressions to help us take all the clutter we are exposed to and organize them into buckets. Not neat buckets or even necessarily properly organized, but in general, it helps us cope and make it a little easier to understand all these things shouting at us all the time.
So, what is the first impression of your brand?
This impression will shape your brand, present valuable information, and change the perception of the viewer’s world.
An example I sometimes use, when I was five years old I saw the movie The Wizard. Jenny Lewis and Ben Savage take his little brother to a Nintendo tournament and through a first rate hero’s journey plot, they find the immense character they possess along the way. The Wizard is a great movie, but all I took out of the film or what impressed me was that I love Nintendo games, and Jenny Lewis is perfect, a feeling that has continued for 26 years now.
This quick and often generalized view is how your brand is exposed to the world. One search, one click, in a flash of invisible code, and in a myriad of commands, your company’s website, appears in front of a new set of eyes. Everything moves so fast, life moves fast, and business moves even faster in 2016, and the first impression of your brand could be what makes or breaks you. Even the subtle, nuanced and well-intentioned choices that may seem somewhat arbitrary, for example, brand color, can have a true and profound effect on how your audience feels about your brand.
Your brand by definition is a type of product or service manufactured by your company under a particular name. Sounds pretty straightforward, but it takes just a quick glance at your website or product for someone to evaluate you and decide how they feel. Again, that snap judgment can be hard to overcome unless you truly understand the basis for it and how to in-turn use it to your advantage.
Recognizing this and aiming to tell that bold story, hell, to tell that outrageously bold story when everybody else is already telling bold stories is the goal. Making that first impression one that clearly defines who you are as a company and positions yourself to be successful.
This ability to change somebody’s perception of your brand within a second is a challenge we don’t take lightly. Here are some of the things we think about when it comes to making a great first impression for your brand.
We know that first impressions and branding are an integral part of your business strategy, but how do we get there? For us, it always starts with the customer and their vision. You will hear us talk a lot about a company’s essence and values, and these must align to your vision. Often the reason we stay loyal to specific brands is their set of values. Your vision for what your company stands for, the messaging and visuals that accompany that idea weigh heavily in how we think about your branding. More simply put, customer loyalty is tied to aligning the messaging to your company’s essence and values, which is informed by your vision. This helps give your brand not only a message consistent with the values but even more importantly an authentic voice.
For some, this is your logo, or what visually gives you your identity. We know there is always more, but upon first impressions this visual image is important. It becomes engrained into people’s minds and becomes part of their experience of you. Having a strong identity that stands out can make a huge difference in consumer’s first impression of your brand.
Forming that identity that differentiates you is influenced by the competitor research we perform. We want to know what the best and worst in your field is doing in regards to their branding. Making sure that the identity and vision of your company doesn’t get lost in a crowded marketplace will help guide the decisions we make in helping you stand out.
Messaging is an integral part of the brand process. Your messaging supports that positive first impression that we have worked so hard to gain. Clear and concise messaging that allows viewers to understand what you are about within a few seconds, along with making them want to find out more about you and your company.
One quick glance, one second, two seconds, and just like that someone has evaluated who and what your brand is in their mind. Forming this opinion about your brand based on its appearance, on your vision, identity and messaging. How you interact and build a relationship with this person is forever changed.
With every new encounter, another person is making a first impression. These first impressions can be nearly impossible to reverse or undo. Making these meetings positive can be vital to your success online. You don’t want people’s first impression to be their last.
If you are looking for advice or help to make the best first impression possible, contact us HERE.