As brand engagements specialists and proud sponsors of the ‘The Brand Management Award’ at the British Insurance Awards 2016, we know a thing or two about company image. But is image everything? Our Account Director, Sarah Bean, digs a little deeper into a thought provoking TEDTalk by model Cameron Russell...
Is image everything?
We all know you don’t get a second chance to make a first impression but how important is image? Cameron Russell explored the importance of image in her TEDTalk ‘Looks aren’t everything. Believe me I’m a model’ by changing, on stage, from her supermodel attire into a girl-next-door look, demonstrating that image is powerful but also superficial. So what relevance does that have to financial services brands? A study, conducted by CEB in partnership with Google, suggests that although B2B buying is considered an activity influenced solely by logical factors, in reality the process is determined by the same complex mix of gut instinct, emotion, image, reason and post-rationalisation that drives all human decisions. As a result, the perception of a financial services brand and its image, will influence a clients’ purchasing decision. Brand perception, as stated by brandwatch is a mental creation, which helps us to understand one company over another in order to make sense of the options available in a competitive market.
So how is your business perceived? What image do you portray?
A clunky PowerPoint presentation or a visually uninteresting 'Request For Tender' document may have excellent content but if not visually appealing or professionally produced will not engage the audience as much as a competitor’s. Similarly, if complex solutions are being explained, an infographic will communicate far more effectively than a paragraph (or two or three) of text.
Use of creativity to convey a professional image is an under-utilised tool and a simple one to employ. Creativity, professionally applied, can improve image, differentiate businesses and effectively communicate the complex messages of the financial services sector.
So while image isn’t everything… it does have an influence and, as Cameron Russell demonstrated, it is possible, very simply, to change your image.
Many congratulations to those who have been shortlisted at the British Insurance Awards 2016 – we look forward to celebrating with you all on 6th July!
Sarah Bean, Account Director
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