I must admit, the title is slightly deceiving. Customers do and always will care how professional your business is. The truth is, the idea of professionalism has changed. It used to be good enough if your business had a nice corporate image. Professional logos, matching uniforms and some nice consistent branding on your shopfront/website was all you needed. This is now just a starter as consumers are more informed and more connected then ever before. The size of your business is no longer a major consideration , they want to know that you are an expert in your field and that you are there to help them achieve their goals.
Let’s say I am looking for a new car. If my local dealership doesn’t meet my requirements I am no longer limited to dealing with them. Within minutes I can have pages of dealers across the country in which I can deal with via phone and email as well as view videos and pictures of the car. Sight unseen online sales of cars have increased dramatically in recent years and there is no signs of slowing. More broadly across the automotive industry however there is a shift back to the local business. The increase in online sales does not mean the end of customer service and branding, in fact it is more important then ever. A consumer will travel longer distances and go to more effort just to deal with a business that they have a connection with.
What does this have to do with how professional your business is?
With so much choice on offer and the ability to shop around, your business needs to stand out. Consumers are sold on personality. Your personality (for sole traders) or your team/business personality (larger companies) needs to show through in everything you do. Every day when I drive into our office I drive past a mechanic that has now stepped into second hand car sales. They spent a small fortune building an extension, updating their showroom and installing new signage. This is great for building long term trust in the business however I wouldn’t have even noticed them if it wasn’t for one clever move. They have an old sign board out the front. Every week or so it is updated with a new saying, quote, or joke. It is always done in a tasteful way and is more often than not cleverly linked back to a product or service they have for sale. This is obviously not for everyone, you need to have the inspiration to continue updating and entertaining the passing traffic. What this simple sign board does is command attention. I would pass 50 mechanics each day, however it is this one that every day I look at as I drive past. It drives me to know more about the business but more importantly instantly gives me the confidence that I am going to be greeted by happy creative people when I enter. It sounds like a lot to draw from a simple sign board out the front of a shop but this is what clever affective marketing does.
Personality is the key! You still need to have the quality branding, the uniforms and all the typical items associated with a professional business. The trick is, you can’t be afraid to stand out. Learn more about your target demographic, add the personality of you and your employees and you are on the right track. There is no point running a Bentley style commercial if you are selling $20 000 cars and vice versa.
If you want to discuss how your business can stand out and build its own personality contact us today.