Is your business image interview ready?When it comes to your brand image, strive for being interview ready. Wondering exactly what that entails? Follow these 6 steps to keep your business looking fresh and prepared.

1. Do Your Homework

Just as any smart individual would research a company before going to an interview, you should research your target audience and competition before presenting your brand to the world. Doing your homework is about knowing the story you want your brand to tell before you begin promoting it.

Learn About Your Target Market

Focus on getting to know your target market by answering questions like the ones below:

  • What is the age range of your target audience?
  • Where do they live?
  • What is their education level?
  • What are their expectations?

The information gathered here will help you communicate with your audience in appropriate ways.

Review Your Competition

Aside from knowing your audience, take the time to get to know your competition. Who is your business competing against for customers on a local, regional and national level? Knowing this can give you the upper hand in business or help your brand establish a unique selling point for your products or services. You may even consider finding other companies that you wish to emulate to help steer your long term business goals.

Determine Must Have Information for all Materials

During the beginning stages of establishing your brand image, it’s important to make a decision regarding what information about your brand needs to be included in every aspect of your marketing materials. I strongly suggest creating a identity guide to help with figuring out what information is optional and what is the most important.

2. Iron or Dry Clean Your Suit and Shirts

After you’ve done your homework, make sure your brand looks presentable at a first glance. You can’t literally put a suit on your business, but you can dress up your brand’s look with font types, colors and imagery. There are many font styles to choose from and everyone should put a little effort into choosing the perfect font for their brand. Picking the perfect colors for your brand is also an important step; colors often carry physiological, cultural, personal, emotional and expressive implications. Carefully choose your brand colors to ensure your sending the right vibes to your audience.

3. Don’t Go Overboard on Accessories, Keep it Simple

Remember that less is more. Simple, minimalistic designs are better than busy and cluttered ones. You don’t want to confuse your audience by including elements in your design that truly aren’t necessary, so actively think about what’s most important in the imagery.

BeforeCedar Creek Before
AfterCedar Creeek After

Take a look at this logo redesign for Cedar Creek Lodge. The extra textures and coloring makes the first logo appear quite busy. After a simple redesign, the logo is much more aesthetically pleasing and interview ready so to speak.

4. Forego the Cologne or Perfume

Tons of Extras Don’t Make a Good Design

This step of preparing your business image is all about one rule: don’t over- design. Just as your senses would be overwhelmed if you were trapped in a room with someone who gave the perfume bottle a spritz too many, over designing can over stimulate in a negative way.

Tricks of a Young Designer

It’s pretty easy to spot the work of a young designer, especially if any of these effects are included in the design:

  • Shadows
  • Starbursts
  • Glowing everything!
  • Beveling and embossing
  • Non-existent white space

To avoid over designing, go through each element of the design and ask yourself if it absolutely needs to be there and if it achieves your purpose. If not, trash it. Basically, design practically, not emotionally. Just because you love fireworks doesn’t mean they should be included in your design, especially if they have nothing to do with your brand or message.

5. Make Sure You Match

You’re not going to show up to an interview with black slacks and a brown belt; you’re going to match and look sleek. Making sure every element of your brand matches is part of giving your brand a solid identity. Set ground rules for your identity and follow them as outlined in your identity guide.

Flat Branch Home Loans

Flat Branch Homes Loans is a great example of a company that establishes a consistent identity across all platforms. Their business cards and website use the same graphics, colors and fonts. With any and every interaction your company has with another business or customer, consistent imagery should be used. Even your newsletters should match!  Everything is part of one package so it should all flow together seamlessly.

6. Gentlemen, Wear a Conservative Tie

If you never want to change your brand image, you’ll want to plan conservatively. However, just as fashion trends change, often times so will your image.

Tranquility Before

While the old Tranquility Internet Services website was hip at the time, styles change.

Tranquility After

The newer Tranquility site is clean and modern, following newer website trends, yet their branding is still consistent in terms of color, font and the logo.

 

 

When should we change our brand image?

Brands redesign or update their image all the time. Just look at the evolution of the Pepsi Logo.

Pepsi Logo Evolution

Below are a few reasons why you might change your brand image.

  • Necessity – Perhaps the name of your company changes and therefore your identity materials need updating.
  • Growth – As your company grows and expands, you may need a new image to reflect the new business that has evolved over time.
  • Web Trends – Website trends tend to change every 3 to 5 years, so if it’s been a while since your website was designed it may be a good time to update with a new look.
  • Competition – Keep an eye on the competition. Be a trend setter or a follower.

Before                                               After

Facebook and Wendy's Logo Redesigns

The logo redesigns for Facebook and Wendy’s were gradual, not a complete overhaul.

If your company has a well-know image consider making gradual changes to your identity to avoid confusing customers into thinking you’re a brand new company. On the other hand, if you don’t have a well know image, make your redesign a big deal!

Rock the Interview!

By now you should have a better understanding of if your business image is interview ready. If you’re still looking for some guidance with establishing your brand identity, download our free Logo Planning Kit to help you discover your unique, professional look.

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