Only one chance for a first impression
In meetings and presentations I often talk about how a brand is only as strong as its weakest impression. As this comment is usually meet with knowing smiles, I am continually astounded when a company allows itself to make a poor first impressions.
Recently, I was driving through an industrial area west of Toronto when I noticed sign hanging off the front of a building. As I slowed to take a closer look, I saw that it was for a firm named Techniweld. According to their website, the company provides the “best quality and value in welding equipment and safety supplies”. So I thought that it was ironic that the letter “N” in their sign was dangling in a way that communicated a message of poor quality and a potentially unsafe working environment to anyone who saw it.
I imagined myself as a potential customer or maybe an employment candidate having just driven up to the building and seeing the broken sign. The dangling letter would most likely create a distinct impression of the company before I had even walked through the front door.
So if a brand is defined as a promise delivered through experiences and expressions, those first impressions make a large impact on our long term perceptions. It influences a range of thing – such as our trust in it or the value we assign it.
We only ever get one chance to make a first impression.