One of the most critical but overlooked parts of business success is using your identity. If you want to build a successful business you have to strike the word image from your vocabulary right from the start. Webster's Dictionary defines image as an imitation or representation of a person or thing. On the other hand, identity is defined as, the condition or fact of being the same in all qualities.
Identity is based on truth and honesty. Image is often false and misleading. It something you are not. Prospects and customers are very good at knowing the difference between an identity and an image. Companies that portray their true identity also have integrity and that is always at the top of the list for the reasons why customers buy.
Companies will spend hours, days, and even weeks trying to decide what image to portray. They come up with all sorts of things to portray to the public as part of their image with no regard to who they really are and they types of people that make up their organization. Unfortunately, at some point during their marketing campaign, the whole thing usually backfires.
Prospects will come into a business, order by phone, or order through a Web site and learn that the company is not who they held themselves out to be in the first place. They find that the company is different, not bad, but different. This makes the prospect unconsciously feel ripped off. The prospect will feel that he or she has been victimized by your misrepresentation. They will feel this way because you communicated an image that had little basis in reality, only in hope.
An identity is automatically honest. If you communicate your real identity, people feel a sense of relaxation when they contact you because they see, again on an unconscious level, that you are exactly who you portrayed yourself to be. They know that you did not misrepresent your personality, so they are more likely to believe other things you say. People will feel connected with your business because they trusted you and you did not betray that trust.
Whether you're just starting a business or you have an existing business, you must begin changing and evolving your entire business to fit your identity. Whatever type of business you are in, always remember the business is an extension of you and all the employees that work in the business. So always make sure you have the employees in place to portray who your company really is. If you are a strong outgoing person, and you want to position your business as a strong and innovative leader in the field, you wouldn't want a staff of shy introverted people.
Your identity must be clear. Make sure there is never any confusion as to who your business is. You should always be consistent and portray the same identity everywhere, over and over. If your identity is confusing or inconsistent in any way, then your customers will also be confused and they won't do business with you for very long.
Always reinforce your identity with your actions. For example, if you preach personalized service, you need to qualify your identity by actually spending a certain amount of one-on-one time with your customers. If you talk about your large, helpful staff, then make sure you have one. If you promise a unique specialty, then back it up by offering a focused blend of products and services based on that specialty.
The consistent use of your identity will make a long-lasting impression on your target market and help your prospects instantly recognize your business. Just like your personal identity, you want those who have seen your business before to be able instantly recognize it. Your business identity must make a lasting and positive first impression, so always keep it professional, consistent, and up-to-date.
Because your identity is the basis for a truthful, strategic marketing campaign it will help build your brand identity. Branding creates both a business and an emotional bond to your product and service. Branding is what makes prospects aware of your business and the benefits your products and services offer to them. Branding is how your business is known in the marketplace.
Steer clear of anything the even resembles an image, and instead build your company around your identity. Make sure you ads, brochures, Web site, letters, e-mails, graphics, office, sales people, telephone demeanor, and all your employees reflect your identity. It will make your customers feel good about doing business with you.
Remove the whole concept of image from your marketing. People who patronize your business will enjoy an honest personality. By conveying yours, you will be giving your prospects and customers what they want and what they unconsciously need. When you do this you'll find that the entire business process gets easier once you've embraced the idea of communicating your identity.
Whether you are a one person consultant or a ten person service organization, every business needs a strong identity to be successful. Always remember, people do business with ethical people they can trust. Always be as honest as you can be with your customers. And by communicating and then living up to your identity you'll be building rapport and trust.
Copyright(c)2004 by Joe Love and JLM & Associates, Inc. All rights reserved worldwide.
Joe Love draws on his 25 years of experience helping both individuals and companies build their businesses, increase profits, and achieve total success. A former ad agency executive and marketing consultant, Joe's work in personal development focuses on helping his clients identify hidden marketable assets that create windfall opportunities and profits, as well as sound personal happiness and peace.
Reach Joe at: email@example.com
Read more articles and newsletters at: http://www.jlmandassociates.com
Have you started thinking about your Valentines Day Promotion yet?It... Read More
Times are a changin'! More women today work outside the... Read More
There aren't many things in life that you would get... Read More
In Part 1 -- http://www.websitemarketingplan.com/online/profit.htm -- I discussed how to... Read More
Business marketing is one of the most important parts that... Read More
New Year's is a good time for strategic planning or... Read More
There are a number of difficulties a beginning entrepreneur may... Read More
As an entrepreneur involved in selling and/or promotion... Read More
Many artists create art but when it comes to marketing... Read More
As Claude Hopkins presented in his Scientific Advertising many decades... Read More
Are you still waiting for business to turn around before... Read More
Developing the questionnaire is undoubtedly the most important part of... Read More
I opened the registered letter and was shocked. My best... Read More
Have you created a marketing plan for your Website? If... Read More
One very powerful and cost-effective marketing strategy is to study... Read More
Your nametag can be your best friend. It can be... Read More
Altruism. Corporate responsibility. Philanthropy. These are often used to describe... Read More
I went to a networking event the other day where... Read More
What's your USP? Don't know, or worse still, you've never... Read More
Direct mail marketing is essential for a business to survive.Choosing... Read More
"My clients can't afford higher rates."When more than 330 business... Read More
What is a Joint Venture?A joint venture is an agreement... Read More
As a small business how do you compete with the... Read More
Trade show rentals allow you more flexibility and the opportunity... Read More
We wait with baited breath for the anticipated launch of... Read More
Many businesses want to market to all carbon-based life forms.... Read More
There are several color formats and systems available for mixing... Read More
Your business success depends on your ability to promote your... Read More
Certainly the newest earth quaking event in Internet Marketing insider... Read More
THE GREAT BRITISH TRADITION OF STREET MARKETS IS UPHELD AT... Read More
Now that you have had a chance to create a... Read More
The greatest asset to your business is your Customer, specifically,... Read More
For most of the small business owners I work with,... Read More
In direct mail lore, there's a rule stating that you... Read More
Forget what you know about your business Your goal is... Read More
Coupons have proven themselves to be highly effective sales tools... Read More
Strategy #1: Change Your Mindset That's right, change your mindset!... Read More
Most business owners get so involved in the work of... Read More
Pre-note: In this article, teleclass is an example used to... Read More
Brochures are one of the oldest marketing weapons in the... Read More
Donald Trump's hit reality show, The Apprentice is a godsend... Read More
Are your direct mail response rates lower than you expect?... Read More
This is a pretty tough global economy and it is... Read More
Yesterday I received a phone call from an acquaintance that... Read More
When your envelopes aren't opened, you can't make money! Beforeyou... Read More
First I want to welcome you to part two of... Read More
Of all the web sites belonging to coaches, consultants and... Read More
It was the fall of 1998 when I had just... Read More
During the holidays, folks everywhere shop many long hours to... Read More
How do you personally define success? High income? Substantial net... Read More