Put Your Clothes On: Brand, Brand, Brand!
What is a BRAND? It's a fancy name that explains the emotional reaction someone has when they come in contact with any part of your business: a business card, a website, an ad, a salesperson, your company car. Whatever they experience is your brand. That interaction can leave them excited and impressed or make you completely forgettable.
Look at restaurants as an example of branding: The building, the signage, the menu design, the fabric & materials, the lighting, the audio, the place settings, the uniforms/staff and of course, the food. It's a package. Your business is no different.
Branding your new business with professional quality graphics, stationery and website is the equivalent of being dressed up for your public. Too many small businesses skimp in this area and meet their best prospects dressed up in their bathrobe and slippers.
When a new business starts out, the first swell of business is referrals from friends and family who know you and care about your business succeeding. It's the worst possible moment to put your worst foot forward. These items are not luxuries, they are essentials.
The Pew Charitable Trusts cited that 50% or more of all new visitors will make their decision based on the church's website. With our church clients, some have found this number to be even higher. Growing a congregation and attracting new members requires a modern, accessible and friendly website. Often churches have graphics and icons that are inherited from the turn of the century. While institutions can honor their past, they must also grow into the future. Beautiful relics are often not enough to fill today's pews.
You compete with every other business on the planet, including the Fortune 500. Skimping is not recommended.