On the last evening of this month, lots of people will ring your doorbell and each time you answer it you’ll be greeted by ghosts, witches, pirates, fairies, superheroes, and pretty much any other character you can imagine. On Halloween it’s fun to try to figure out which neighborhood kid is behind each mask, and the kids find it especially hilarious when the adults’ guesses are way off target. After all, the whole point of wearing a costume on Halloween is to present to the world an image that hides who you really are, right?
Businesses, on the other hand, must present their truest faces to the world at all times. What your customers see on the surface is what they expect to find deeper down. That’s why good brand management and marketing are critical to the success of any company. You need to show clients who you are, and what you show them had better meet up with their expectations. If they don’t, those clients will walk away—and straight into the arms of your competitors.
For businesses, presenting an image is a lot more difficult than putting on a wig, face paint, and a costume. It’s critical that companies not disguise what they are and what they do; rather, they need to highlight their genuine identities to prospective clients, investors, and employees. Honesty is a perfectly reasonable expectation on their part. Why shouldn’t it be? After all, no doubt you expect everyone else to be honest with your organization in your business dealings, right?
Businesses have many options for communicating their identities and messages to the rest of the world. Print marketing, for example, has been around for a while in such forms as postcards, magazine advertisements, posters, and books, to name just a few. In recent years it’s been joined by digital marketing, and now you’d be hard-pressed to find a company that doesn’t use a website, Internet ads, e-mail, or social media for its outreach. Each format has its pros and cons, of course (and we at Mamu Media happen to think that branded publishing is a particularly effective marketing and communication medium).
Whatever method you choose to employ, though, it won’t be effective if it conveys a false representation. Trust is a key component of all positive relationships. That goes for those that involve companies, too. If you try to deceive your employees, clients, and investors, they will find out eventually. You’ll surely drive them away and damage your professional reputation—perhaps even to the point that no one new comes knocking at your door.
So approach them with the same integrity that you want to see in them. If you avoid playing tricks, you may end up with a very nice treat: a long-term, mutually beneficial business relationship.