Five Tips on Preparing Your Brand to Make a Good First Impression

“How you come across to others is too important to be left to chance.” – Phil Geldart

Everyone has a certain way they prepare to tackle the day. Being prepared can help you make good first impressions. For me, it’s making sure I’m always dressed appropriately for my activities.

Ever since my teenage years, I would never leave the house less than done. You name it, the grocery store, the health club, playing with the kids, I’m dressed for it and everything matches. You’ll never find me in jeans with sneakers, or lacking an accessory.

Even my mom loves to tease me about my need to always look my best. She still laughs when she remembers that I wore high heels to and from the hospital for the delivery of my first son. How could I take him home looking less than fabulous?

Nonetheless, this is my personal style, how I choose to be in public (and even in private). Developing a personal style can be a lot like developing a brand. Branding is all about style and how you present your company (i.e. your name, imagery, reputation) to the world through logos, ads, marketing materials, websites, and social media.

Here are five tips on how you can make sure your brand is always prepared to make a good first impression at your next client meeting, sales call or networking event.

  1. Evolve. If you have a sneaking suspicion you’ve outgrown your style, you probably have. I’m pretty sure I’ll never wear a miniskirt again. Take stock of what is in your marketing closet, clear out the old, keep the classics and bring in some new on a regular basis. Sometimes it’s just an accessory, other times it’s an episode of “What Not To Wear.”
  2. Get feedback. If you are unsure of how your style looks, ask someone you trust. My oldest son is my go to source for making sure my shoes match my shirt (the same one I carried home in high heels). I trust him implicitly as my style check. Ask someone you trust if your brand image is looking its best.
  3. Try things on. Just like new clothes, you need to try on different looks to see what really works for you. You and your friends might have enjoyed bright purple pants and sweatshirts with unicorns on them when you were ten, but tastes change as you grow. As your company grows you may need to try things out and update your brand to better connect with your expanding audience.
  4. Don’t wait until you get it just right. As much as I like my style, I have never been as put together as a supermodel, and never will. Style is an evolution. Do what you can and get out there. Be confident.
  5. Be unique. When my mother recently came to visit she commented on how almost all the women in town wore black yoga pants everywhere. Not that there is anything wrong with yoga pants, but if everyone is dressing the same it’s hard to stand out in the crowd. When it comes to your company brand, you want to set yourself apart from competitors. Branding should help show how you are different from your competitors, not show how you’re similar.

Once you find and/or update your brand style, be consistent. You may have slightly different looks for daytime, party time, and downtime, but something should tie them together. Same goes for your brand marketing. Your print and online materials should all work together. And, don’t forget about your social media!

Because luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.