Companies who make use of shared office space and related services often do so partially for image-related reasons. For instance, companies often use virtual addresses to appear more professional. Why is that? Well, if you’re asking clients to send things to you, and/or you want to show a company address on your website, certain addresses look better than others: more prestigious, more business-like.
In this way, even a startup that is someone running out of their home office or their garage can have the veneer of a more established company. But why are businesses still so obsessed with image? Does it really matter anymore? Doesn’t everyone already know what’s really going on. Actually, image matters more than ever, and below are some of the reasons why.
1. Because Impressions Still Matter
Research has shown that on a personal level, it takes less than 8 seconds for one person to form their initial opinion about a stranger based entirely on their face. You might think this doesn’t carry with how people look at a business or a brand, but it does.
In the digital age, it’s even easier for people to start forming those opinions since their first encounter with your brand will most likely be with your online presence. It could be your social media, your website, or even just via your contact information where the presence of a personal mobile number instead of a proper office number can put people off.
2. Image Equates to Credibility
Based on those first impressions, the strength of your brand image builds towards (or doesn’t) your business’ overall credibility. Unfortunately, your potential customers are almost always driven at least in part by brand image, whether they care to admit it or not. A business that doesn’t concern itself with image is doomed to appear less credible and thus receive less of those critical inquiries to eventually convert into real dollars-and-cents business.
3. Image Builds Customer Loyalty
You only have to look at some of the world’s most successful brands to realise the power of brand loyalty. Remember when Apple switched to the Lightning charging point, rendering a whole lot of spare chargers and peripherals like music docks obsolete? People were incensed about that at the time, but they stuck with Apple because their loyalty to the brand was stronger.
Your overall brand strength and company image are intertwined. The brand is the manifestation of that image. If it’s not nurtured and developed, then customers have no reason to be as loyal to it.
4. A Company’s Image Has Never Been More Visible
In 2021, a company’s online presence stretches far beyond a simple website. Most company websites are now quite static information pages designed to catch the eye and prompt contact with the business. So, what lies beyond? For example, the world of social media stretches a company’s image across potentially a dozen or more added platforms: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat and more.
On top of that, content for these pages is more engaging and more open than ever. Gone is the age of text and a couple of photos, and here is a new age of video with professional intros, background music and moving graphics. In short, we are actively pushing the image of our companies further and more loudly than ever before.
5. Image Boosts the Bottom Line
Finally, company image is a big part of what boosts the bottom line of a business. By creating that all-important first impression, and by communicating the values of your business to win people over, money starts to flow in and over the course of a year the bottom line looks much healthier when image is tended to than when it is not, even when the quality of the end product is the same.