This is a word that may inspire a different idea in each person’s mind, but one thing we can all agree on is that image has to do with public perception.
For the purposes of this article, we can define image as the overall impression that your business projects to the public, whether subconscious or sensory, from which they will decide what they think of your business.
If you find that the image your business projects is negative, inaccurate, or just nonexistent, the following points are 4 things that you can do to begin to change it for the better.
1. What image do you want to project?
Crafting your company image is a deliberate process. Some businesses get lucky and just naturally exude the perfect vibe, like those people who are just charismatic and cool without even trying.
The rest of us have to work at it, and deciding how you want to be viewed by the public is the first step. Do you want to come across as friendly and fun-loving? Sophisticated? Dependable? This is what you have to ask yourself, first, then build your image around this goal.
2. Get customers and other businesses to say good things about you.
We’re not talking about paying people to go tell all their friends that you’re awesome (though of course that may be useful in its own right). The idea is to do great work and provide such a fantastic product or service that they can’t help but to talk about how great you are, which in turn, improves your image.
Image translates in many ways to reputation, and the more the good word spreads about your business, the better reputation it will have.
3. All aspects of your business must agree.
An effective image gives the public a clear picture of what you stand for and who you are. The best way to do this is to make sure that all of your marketing, advertising, and even the way your team interfaces with the public contributes to the unified image that you want to project.
It will be more difficult for people to get a handle on what your business is all about when you are sending out mixed messages.
4. Treat customers according to your desired image, consistently.
Again, consistency is key, and the customer experience should reflect the overall image that you’re shooting for.
For example, if you are a tech company that produces software, and you’re going for a sophisticated and intelligent vibe, then your customers should feel like they’re being taken care of by sophisticated and intelligent people.
An image is almost like a fantasy or ideal package in the minds of the public. Start with figuring out how you want to be known and perceived by people, and try and match that with the idea in people’s minds of what that should look like.
When you fulfill their fantasy of the perfect version of your business, then you’ve achieved an excellent image.
Stephanie is the Marketing Director at Talkroute and has been featured in Forbes, Inc, and Entrepreneur as a leading authority on business and telecommunications.
Stephanie is also the chief editor and contributing author for the Talkroute blog helping more than 100k entrepreneurs to start, run, and grow their businesses.