When you’re setting up a business, the intangibles (the look, the feel, the “vibe”) count just as much as the tangibles.
I am reading Martin Lindstrom’s Brandwashed on my Kindle right now (love the kindle). This article which is excerpted from the book prompted me to buy it: How Whole Foods “Primes” You To Shop. I’m not finding the rest of the book as interesting, frankly, but this article does strike a chord for us as consultants.
The article essentially says that Whole Foods set up an important feeling they wanted customers to have – that their food is fresh. And they then set up all of the things around the food to make that seem true – so for example they have signs which look hand made (like a market would have) even if they’re made at head office, they have ice everywhere (even for goods that don’t need refrigerating), they spray mist on things (even if it doesn’t help them to stay fresh, it smells fresh).
As Consultants and Service Businesses we need to be aware that “we are your own shop window”. Most of the branding which surrounds us is in the way we dress and the few things we have to show who we are.
If you want clients to think you’re cutting edge, how does the way you dress show that?
If you’re practical and smart, how does that come through in your business cards?
If you’re dependable how does that show in the font you choose for your proposals or in your logo?
If you want to be seen as generous what are you giving away, and not just to clients but to others as well?
Branding isn’t just about having a logo, it’s about how you act. But having the right vibe, as Martin Lindstrom’s analysis points out, influences people at an unconscious level. It’s not logical, it’s psychological and neurological too!