The saying “don’t judge a book by its cover” is a metaphorical phrase which means “you shouldn’t prejudge the worth or value of something by its outward appearance alone.” But guess what? We do. Good design makes a powerful first impression and ensures your company is noticed and remembered.
No small thing, visuality.
Words, actions and visuals are the tools that are used to demonstrate the authenticity of the purpose of your company. Consider “trading places” with your customers or competition. The experience gives you the chance to learn and find new insights. It allows you to view your business from a different pair of eyes so that you can gain new perspective.
A lot of people ask my identical twin and I if we’ve ever traded places. The answer is yes. In junior high school, we decided that the best time for us to try switching places was on Halloween. It was the first time that we thought we would actually be able to get away with it. We went to school that day in costumes handmade by our grandmother, dressed as Raggedy Ann dolls. We thought it would take the matching costumes and makeup to be able to switch places. Sure enough, we exchanged classes that day and no one ever knew the difference. We realize now that we didn’t need the costumes and makeup to actually pull it off, but that was the only time we intentionally traded places. However, we’re still trading places today without actually doing anything. People often just assume we’re the other twin!
In these situations, we don’t say anything. We learn. It gives us great perspective about the life and relationships of the other twin; we get the chance to learn more and gain insight.
This has also taught us how to “trade places” with others in our lives. While we can’t do it as easily as we can swap identities with each other, we take the time to imagine what it might be like to be our clients or our competitors.
Here is a simple exercise that all businesses should regularly attempt. An easy way to do this is to look at your own online presence. In fact your whole team can do this exercise and learn something. Imagine that you are one of your own customers and search for your business online. What comes up? What doesn’t come up?
Consider these perspectives:
- What does your website look like to someone who knows nothing about your business?
- What does your LinkedIn or Facebook page look like?
- Would you respond to your own tweets and read the links that you post?
- Are you interested in your own blog’s content?
- Compare your pages to others and see the differences that consumers or competitors might notice right away. Try to view everything objectively.
Now imagine that you are one of your competitors. Look at your website and social networks from their point of view. Be as neutral as possible. Do you see any flaws or weaknesses? What are your competitors doing more efficiently?
You will find that when you are able to see yourself outside of yourself, you see the world through an entirely different lens.
Does the outward appearance of your brand truly reflect who your organization is and the value it delivers? Take the Brand Traffic Control Assessment and find out.