1We all know the importance of making a great first impression. It’s the reason we spend as much time as we do getting ready in the morning. Let’s be real, dressing up can be fun for some, but don’t the majority of us wish it were acceptable to show up to everything in our pajamas?

The sometimes-daily routine of ensuring our appearance is professional and approachable is all about presenting a great first impression. In the professional world, good first impressions turn into conversations, which ideally turn into conversions.

The power of putting your best face forward is more than just a belief; science has demonstrated the importance of a good first impression. According to a study done by researchers at Princeton, it only takes one-tenth of a second for a stranger to form an opinion about you based upon appearance.

It’s standard practice to look put-together in order to demonstrate a good image for your business, but what if that’s not enough to illustrate your brand?

“Here Have One of My Cards”

You may already have a business card that you hand out at networking events or that you leave out on a desk for current and potential customers to grab, but how do you view its function? For many, a business card is merely a way to pass on pre-typed contact information, but they can be so much more.

2Maybe it’s due to the prominence of social media in daily life, or simply just an evolution in societal thinking, but standing out in the crowd is more popular than ever. People are looking for businesses that have a unique edge to them. Not only does it help them remember who you are in a sea of options, but it also makes customers feel like you have a conscious understanding of who you are and what your business is all about.

When it comes to business cards, there are more customizations available than one person can even fathom, and because of this, the opportunity to display your unique brand is greater than ever. So, even when you ARE in your pajamas, relaxing at home, your business card is working for you.

Considering Collateral

Having a well-designed business card is only one piece of the pie that is branded collateral. Everything under the sun can be personalized for your business, from brochures and letterheads to banners and rugs.

Just like with your business cards, consumers are looking for brands that are self-aware and the best first impressions are made when you have the total package. Think about the brands that you trust the most; they’re catching your eye from every angle, taking advantage of impressing their potential customers from as many points of entry as possible. Yes, they have branded business cards, but they also have stickers, pens, binders, calendars, you name it, all with a customized touch.

Your Business Is Defined in Only Seconds

Your business cards and other printed collateral are important branding elements that serve as representation for your brand, even when you’re not there to do it yourself, but even these printed elements have some limitations. For instance, business cards aren’t a resource that can be obtained 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Luckily, there is something that can be accessed 24/7…a website.

3According to a study done by Missouri University of Science and Technology:

  • An online visitor determines their first opinion of your brand based upon your website in less than two-tenths of a second.
  • It only takes another 6 seconds for them to concentrate enough to reinforce that opinion.

This means that simply being on the web isn’t enough to demonstrate to potential customers that you are the right choice amongst the plethora of others. If your website doesn’t have visual appeal, then visitors to your site are going to move on to your eager competitors.

The same branding opportunity offered by your branding collateral is available even more so with a website. The ultimate place to define your brand, a website is a primary resource for representing your business. A well designed and branded website demonstrates to potential customers that you are the authority in your industry or service.

Dressing up Your Business

When you think about it, doesn’t this all make sense? You dress up nicely to ensure others have a good impression of yourself, so why not do the same with all of your business collateral and website?

People are looking for the total package from businesses that they plan on frequenting and recommending to others. Just as it’s important to put on a nice suit or dress, it’s equally as important to “dress-up” your business collateral, and website to match.



Zoe Wentzel is an IM Strategist at OCG Creative. She likes to make sure clients have strategically produced content that highlights certain aspects of their business for their blogs and pages. She uses SEO, backlinking, social media, and more to ensure this content is gaining traction and converting readers into customers.