An English friend of mine is a young creative successful employer, who always comes up with new interesting business ideas. However he does not believe in portraying a polished and refined image, that is, no professional brand design; no business cards; no decent stationery to represent his company. He believes it is a waste of money at least in the early years of a business and that it does not help a company establish itself.
Is the right time to start thinking about branding after you failed to impress and wasted your shot at it? Definitely it is not sheer luck that this guy’s small business survives; it is fuelled by a creative mind, passion and hard work…and he’s a good salesman. But what if he invested in his image? An element for a strong brand is to portray a trustworthy and professional image differentiating and making yourself memorable so that people will either look for your business, product or idea or else choose you above your competitors. With strong branding leading the company forward, he would probably be making triple the amount of money he is doing now. What about the good ideas he threw away with poor looks and crappy presentations after seeing uninterested clients turning their backs on him?
So a bad cover can prove to be fatal after all; whether it is a company’s dreadful brand or advert in a chaotic directory; or a good bottle of wine with an awful label gathering dust on the supermarket shelf.
It’s a fast moving unforgiving world out there. One thing is for sure. You never get a second chance to make a first impression.