Branding should never be an optional extra, almost like a fancy piece of jewellery – only to be “indulged” in whenever there is a bit of room in the budget. Instead, branding is to your business what a uniform is to a pilot – he cannot go to work without it, at least not if he wants to be taken seriously. The success of his job depends on it.
Likewise, taking one glance at your business’ “uniform” will tell people something about you. Will that “something” attract or deter them? Your success also depends on it.
Here are two crucial Cs involved in the link between branding and bottom line. The one engages the mind and the other the emotions.
To fly along with the metaphor of a pilot’s uniform: By no means does this piece of clothing contains the captain’s skills, but it effectively communicates them to outsiders, who will entrust their lives to him when he enters the cockpit wearing it. Conversely, they would most probably not fly with a guy who rocked up in his gardening overalls! In the same way, would you trust a business that looks unkempt and amateurish? You might be very skilled in whatever it is that you do, but clients would seldom trust you if you do not look the part. Judging a book by its cover is the name of the game when people search for products or services.
If the elements of your corporate identity spell out “professional”, potential clients will be much more likely to believe in your brand. On the other hand, if your branding looks as cheap as it probably cost to obtain it from the amateur who had created it… well, that conveys that you are substandard. Qualified designers are thus a crucial part of your team.
According to the Stanford Persuasive Technology Lab’s research, the most important factor in the credibility of a website is professional design – almost half of their participants stated this. Moreover, they determined that credibility had the power to change attitudes (e.g. to give people a positive or negative conception of your brand) and actions (e.g. to buy products or sign up for a newsletter).
It simply translates to this: If your website (and other components of your branding) looks professional, people will be more likely to choose your business and this will, in turn, bring home the cash.
When people look at your business’ appearance, they do not simply form an opinion about its credibility (i.e. Is this trustworthy and of good quality?), but they also – mostly subconsciously – determine whether they like it or not. The former is a rational check and the second one is emotional. The two are of equal importance, as humans are emotional and thinking beings. If you can win over clients’ minds and hearts, you are set for success.
Thus, you want to evoke positive feelings in people when they see or think about your brand. If people are met by something cheap, ugly, confusing and not fully functional when they land on your website, they are likely to have a poor experience, which will induce a negative emotional reaction and thereby cement your business in the “No, thank you!” category in their minds. This will inevitably cost you many business opportunities. On the other hand: If your website functions well and your branding is beautiful, speaks of quality and offers something agreeable, like entertainment, comfort or delight – people are bound to remember your business in a positive light. This will entail an increase in new clientele and an improved rate of client retention.
Branding that does not establish a sense of credibility and a positive emotional connection with your business is a silent killer. You will never even be aware of how many potential clients were put off because what they saw was unprofessional, unpleasant or unclear.
Professional business branding should therefore be one of your first priorities when it comes to spending. It is an investment in the image – and consequently the proceeds – of your business.
The bottom line? Bad branding is bad for your bottom line!
Pathfind Media is here to help you overcome bad branding
We love to see businesses flourish! Therefore, we are passionate about beautiful and professional design that will help you to effectively communicate how awesome you are.