In life, it’s important not to rely on first impressions to make your judgements about that which is in front of you, or at least, it’s important not to do so as a final step. Many of us have had situations in our lives or have met people where first impressions were less than impressive, only to review those later and to see we were wrong.
Businesses, however, rarely get this same luxury afforded to them. They usually have one shot to appeal to a customer, and even when we’ve built that trust, the relationship can sour if we inconvenience them. Of course, even with your best intentions and your most intensive planning, it’s hard to deliver and provide worth 100% of the time, and with 100% of encounters.
However, there are measures your business can take to make sure you hit with the forceful impact of a great impression each and every time, particularly if you hope to grow. But how are these first impressions curated, and what do they mean in the final analysis? Let’s ask those questions, below:
First Impressions May Need To Break Prior Impressions
We often think of ourselves as the conduit to giving that first impression, but that’s not always the case. There exists something known as a ‘prior first impression,’ which, put simply, is an impression someone has even if they’ve never met or interfaced with your firm. This includes word-of-mouth marketing that may be for or against you, or perhaps hearing your brand name but never really knowing what it is. For instance, research has suggested that the name ‘Balenciaga’ has been proven to sound luxurious, interesting and as if contributing to high fashion. Without confirming or denying that, those prior impressions were given and helped elevate that brand. It’s the reason why ‘Lexus’ was chosen and invented to demonstrate a luxurious car brand in Japan, because it helps with the prior first impression that does its own work before anything else.
So, your first impressions may need to break prior impressions, for better or for worse. What this insight does is help you consider exactly what it is your brand stands for, and how to better counter that. If your small vegan restaurant offering world cuisine has gained a reputation for being somewhat impenetrable, it might be that clearly and loudly demonstrating your recipes and menu online could be a good use of your time. Little branding influences, in this way, help prior impressions become positive, and in line with that you hope to show when said individuals comes to see you for themselves.
Good Impressions Build Momentum That Needs To Be Used
When you build a good impression, that impression has an expiry date before it becomes solidified. The only thing worse than giving a client or consumer a bad impression is to give them a good impression that is subsequently disappointed and proven to be wrong.
So – this is why it’s so important to onboard new customers to your service well, or to make sure that you can create conversions from initial interest without overselling so hard. This is why, for instance, many online companies that offer subscription services will allow you to take a free month’s trial before you move forward. This way, you can get a taste of everything that’s on offer before you feel bound, which is a totally non-hostile manner of building that relationship. It’s a good example of momentum being used in the right way, and curating a worthwhile end result.
First Impressions Help You Judge Your Effectiveness
It’s important to learn from the first impressions you give, too. This is because when you spend time listening to responses to your surveys, looking online at reviews, and considering the discourse on social media, you learn how the extent of those impressions impact your firm. As such, they’re a strong way to review your approach and if it’s working well.
This can help you gauge if a product name is working well with certain demographics or not. It can help you see just how appealing a promotion might have been. Something as simple as watching unboxing videos on YouTube, for instance, can help you see how your well-designed product packaging is thought of, and if you need to reduce it down or redesign it.
First impressions help you understand how your firm is being seen in a quickly moving and totally competitive market. For instance, by managing your online traffic metrics, you can see just how long people spend on each page, which page they find first, and if you need to use the best professional web design company to help generate a new approach. With that in mind, you’ll be much more able to continue a competent and confident marketing and branding strategy.
First Impressions Humble & Discipline Branding
Branding is developed for an effect. First, we hope that newcomers will see our marketing material and become intrigued, but first, they have to notice it. This can lead many firms to opt for loud images, catchy jingles, and sometimes, extremely overwrought and even despised marketing campaigns.
However, keeping first impressions in mind is important when developing your marketing approach. With the use of focus groups and surveys, you can see if advertisements entice a member of the public to find out more, which includes who you may be speaking to, what their own goals are, and how you might fit within their lifestyle.
This confidence of approach and knowledge of the nuances of the general public can help us avoid becoming too brash, or too wordy, or too cryptic in our branding strategies. As such, they keep us disciplined, as the first impression is the only chance you get to curate and gather that engagement.
First Impressions Keep Every Department Focused
We often think first impressions are a function of marketing and marketing only, but that’s not always the case. It might simply be that someone interfacing with your firm wants to try your product, but isn’t quite sure if it can be delivered to them in time. As such, they visit your website and try to contact your support line. Thankfully, the carefully written and content-rich FAQ panel you have curated allows their question to be answered without them having to call you or open a live chat with an agent.
In this respect, your efforts have mitigated a potential problem while also answering the possible query of a new customer. However, you haven’t had to offload the time of your staff into fixing this issue thanks to your foresight, which is perhaps the biggest benefit here.
Keeping every department focused in this light, considering how they interface with the public at large and what that means for your firm is very important. It might seem like certain departments are insulated from this, but that’s not necessarily the chance.
Your HR department, for instance, has a strong impact on how your recruiting focus takes place, and for that reason, their onboarding process, including their process for accepting and reviewing applications, is assed on merit and carefully analyzed. Making it easy to upload resumes, clearly demonstrating the values of your team (perhaps through inclusion efforts), and making people feel welcome to apply can warmly invite the best candidates to apply for your business. When you focus on this approach, you can more readily understand how to benefit from first impressions more widely, and what that means.
With this advice, we hope understanding how first impressions define the consumer/service relationship will aid you.