#FlashTopic10: How Important Is Your Image? with Emily Page

OTS 139 | Your Image

 

What makes up an image? We’re talking about your image, your company’s image, or your product’s image. What is it and does it even matter? How does it all come about and how do you protect it, grow it, and make it better? Emily Page from Pearl Resourcing is here to give her thoughts on how important your image is.

Listen to the podcast here:

#FlashTopic10: How Important Is Your Image? with Emily Page

I’m glad that you’re joining us because it’s time for Flash Topic Ten. I don’t know if you can believe that, but we’ve done ten Flash Topics and they’re all among the favorites. They have some of the most listened of any of the other podcasts. It’s because you get to listen to a bunch of different perspectives. That’s the design behind Flash Topic other than getting raw intel and not letting the topic be known ahead of time so that people can Google it, check it out, wonder about it and think about it. This is just off the top of everyone’s head.

On this Flash Topic, the panel’s a little leaner. We even had to bring in a pinch hitter because we have a lot of panelists doing their thing and making it happen. Who’s our pinch hitter? You know her because she did a podcast. Emily Page from Pearl Resourcing is here to give her thoughts on this Flash Topic. What is now’s Flash Topic? What are we talking about? We’re talking about image, your image, your company’s image, your product’s image. What is it? Does it even matter? What makes up image? How does it all come about and how do you protect it? How do you grow it? How do you make it better? That’s what we’re talking about. Joe Tarnowski is back and so I round out a trio. It’s me, Emily, and Joe, and we’re getting into it. Guys, welcome to Flash Topic Ten.

Thank you. I’m glad to be here again.

Thank you so much.

We have a very intimate Flash Topic group for you. We have Joe Tarnowski. As always, it’s great to have you on the podcast.

I’m glad to be here again.

As a special treat, Emily, I’m so glad that you’re here because otherwise, it would just be me and Joe. Emily Page from Pearl Resourcing is joining us. If you have listened to the last few podcasts, you would have heard Emily’s podcast on Heart and Soul of Packaging. Emily, welcome to Flash Topic.

Thank you so much. It’s going to be fun being here. We’ve had some fun, all three of us at different trade shows and working with different clients so this is going to be fun. This is going to be a special podcast.

It is going to be a special podcast and I’m going to have to talk a little bit more than normal. Normally, I do a lot of listening and then talk. This is Flash Topic number ten. Big boxers, if you’re listening to Flash Topic for the very first time, I do recommend you go back and you listen to Flash Topic one through nine so you’ll get an idea of what’s happening, what we’re doing and why we’re doing it. If you don’t want to do that, then I’ll give you a quick synopsis. I pick a topic each month and we get a panel on. Normally, the panel consists of anywhere from three to the highest we’ve had, which was seven people on the panel and we throw this topic out. The reason it’s called Flash Topic is that nobody knows what the topic is ahead of time, so nobody can do any research or gather their thoughts or Google it and present it that way. I always wanted raw opinions on the topic that we were talking about.

I’ll throw the topic out, we’ll go around, we’ll discuss it and we’ll get our points out. We’ll hash things through and then we’ll have some final thoughts and then we’ll wrap it up. Now’s Flash Topic will probably be a little shorter because we don’t have as many people, but the quality of people is here so you never know. Our topic is how much does image play into a company’s success? What does image mean and what things are affected by image?

To qualify that, do you mean image as in visual or do you mean image like their overall image as far as reputation or things like that?

I’m going to leave it to you to decide because one of the questions in there is what does image mean and what things are affected by image? I’m interested to know what you guys think image means, is it important, what things affect it and so on. It’s open to interpretation however you see it.

The way I was viewing it is an overall image. Your image in the industry or your image to other people. That encompasses your strengths, your character, your reputation and all that. It’s extremely important because a lot of times that’s the only thing that the outside world or someone who doesn’t know about you is going to be exposed to at first. Here’s an example that I used on our video. I was more focused on reputation and those aspects of an image, of a brands image. In this case, it was my jury duty experience where I was called on and I got myself dismissed from the jury in fifteen minutes. It was purely on the image that this law firm that was involved has given out to the industry. I can’t go into details on what the case was but basically, it was a car accident. Once they called us inside, we all swore the oath. The two lawyers got in front of us and they were discussing the case. One lawyer introduced himself and his law firm. As soon as he said that, I’m like, “There’s no way that I’m going to be able to be impartial on this.”

It was a car crash and the woman, the plaintiff was suing not only the company that owned the truck that hit her car but she was suing the driver of the car she was in. This law firm has a very bad reputation with law enforcement. I have a lot of friends in law enforcement. They’re known as glory hounds and they sue everybody. I had taken them on the sidelines and I explained to them. I’m like, “I have a lot of friends in law enforcement.” I wasn’t saying that’s BS, I do have a lot of law enforcement friends. As soon as I said that, I saw the plaintiff’s lawyer smile like, “I know what he’s going to say next.” The point was because this law firm has such a bad reputation among law enforcement and their reputation for being money hungry glory hounds, that’s going to hurt their jury pool. Anybody that’s been exposed to their ads, their commercials, the write-ups about them, is not going to be able to judge fairly because of that. I don’t even know if maybe this lawyer was a good guy or not like that but just because the firm itself has that reputation, that image so to speak, it tainted the whole thing. As soon as I talked to them, I was dismissed. That was it.

That’s the same thing with business. If you have a particular reputation, it goes for business, it goes for the brand, it goes for people. There are some people out there that might have an image or a reputation for being sleazy or not that much integrity and that travel fast. Before you would even get in front of somebody, just them knowing about that image can taint any interaction they have before they even get to know you.

Your image in the industry or to other people encompasses your strengths, your character, your reputation, and all that. Click To Tweet

In the question how much does image play into company success, you’re going to say?

Very heavily.

I like to throw my hat into the ring and also agree that image matters a lot. That’s not a controversial perception. We all realize that that matters but where there are a lot of controversies is about what it is that communicates those things. I’m in the packaging world and I have seen products that have been private labeled or been put into different boxes sold for a very broad range of costs. The question of whether or not that chocolate should be sold in Dollar General for $1, you get 100 of them for $1, or whether it deserves to be sold at Neiman Marcus for $100 per piece. Are the ingredients that much more valuable? Is the product that much more valuable? Packaging, for example, will 1000% change the perceived value of a thing.

Image is not the same thing as true value. I wish the world was all perfect and that things were priced or perceived as their real value, but the matter of the fact is that there are a lot of things that affect our perception of something. It’s our job when we’re in the Big Box world to constantly be communicating and educating people about our brand. We’re pushing out information whether it’s on social media or whether it’s on TV press releases, in trade show boots, on retail stores with our packaging. We’re communicating all the time our value, our brand and our image. Creating an image is a full-time job. It’s as much our responsibility to create an authentic and real image in the world as it is to create awesome products that line up with what that image and perceptions are. It’s very important but the question isn’t like, “Is image important?” It’s not a controversial concept but the controversy is how authentic, how honest you are when you’re communicating to the world what that image, brand and perception are.

There’s got to be some consistency with the image that you’re projecting and what is behind it. Whether it’s a product with packaging, the packaging should give off a consistent feel or message that the product has. If it’s a company, their image should be consistent with their practices and the way it was doing things.

That’s if you’re a moralist. If you’re an atheist, if you’re atheistic about whether or not it’s right or wrong, you technically don’t. That’s where the controversy in the world is, is that a lot of companies can use and spend a ton of money on marketing and change your perception of what this company’s commitment to providing their products or what their political beliefs are. Perception is not the same thing as the truth. I personally believe you should be authentic. Create an image in the world and invest in creating an image in the world and a message that is consistent with what you’re practicing.

That’s the key. The term you mentioned, authenticity. That’s such a big thing now among consumers, especially younger consumers. They were looking for that authenticity. The image has got to be an important thing because aren’t there a lot of PR firms that are dedicated to rebuilding people’s image and reputation after it’s tarnished a little bit?

OTS 139 | Your Image
Your Image: It’s as much our responsibility to create an authentic and real image in the world as it is to create awesome products that line up with what that image and perceptions are.

 

Remember the question too. We can all agree that image is important. The question is how much does it play into a company’s success? Can a company be successful without a great image? Is it 20% of their success, 30%, 50%, 80% of their success? If a company’s image is poor, do they need to bring everything to a screeching halt and fix their image before they can be successful? This is all going to come out and maybe I’ll just tell you. I was at an ECRM session and I got a chance to see everybody’s display. Some displays I felt did not put out anywhere near where that company was. These companies are selling worldwide. They have huge catalogs. They do millions of dollars in business and yet they had this tattered display randomly. In some cases, some of them look like a garage sale. It’s very difficult for a buyer coming in to sit down for ten minutes or twenty minutes and to get an understanding of what’s important to this company.

What they’re selling, as they look over on what they’re looking at, how do that presentation and image affect the very second that they sit down? That’s what drove me to start thinking about it and wondering about it. What I was wondering is these are successful companies, but their image that they’re putting out at that moment was poor. It begs the question to me is can you be successful with a poor image? How much does it affect it? Did they hurt themselves at that particular session? That’s what I’m wanting to know. I don’t think we’re in dispute on whether having a good image is better than having a bad one. What I’m wondering is how important is it to put that out every single moment of every single day? If you don’t do that, how damaging is that?

I believe it’s everything. I probably wasn’t very clear about that in the beginning but that’s what I mean to say is that the actual value of your product has nothing to do with whether people buy it or not. People buy perception. Your branding, your image and every little tiny thing are 100% important for your success. If you’re selling a physical product or a soft service, your perception is everything. That story and description of them doing a poor job presenting themselves, things like their banners, it shows that they are not professionals. That’s what the perception is. Let’s be harsh and real in a world where a buyer comes up to a booth, they don’t have an emotional connection to you as a person. You’re probably wonderful if you’re an entrepreneur and trying to create something amazing. This is your dream, your beloved project. When a buyer is considering buying a product, you’re asking them to take on a lot of risks. They have to replace other SKUs on their shelf that they could be selling well.

You could have some recall if you’re not a professional and you could not deliver on time because you clearly can’t figure out how to prepare with an adequate enough amount of time to get ready for a trade show. If you haven’t thought through different sizing, different costing, it shows that you’re not ready to play in the Big Leagues. If you put yourself in the shoes of a buyer who’s an employee, who’s measured themselves by the success of the sales of the products that they choose to allow on their shelf and you’re competing with a lot of other products that you’re sure will sell, why in the world would I ever take a risk with some company that can’t show that they’re professional? It’s like this is the dog-eat-dog part of the world where you may have a great product but unless you’re putting all of your efforts into looking amazing at every little tiny turn, no one will ever know that your product is great. You need to look great. You need to be perceived. Your image needs to be on point professional, all put together at every turn.

I’ve got a question for both of you. Do you think the importance of that image may be a little less when it’s an existing relationship versus when you’re in front of new people? Take the ECRM session as an example that Tim used. Let’s say you’re a buyer and you already know the supplier that you’re walking into. It may not be as important to have that image as it would be for a buyer that’s never met with that supplier, where that first impression is going to make a difference. Do you think it’s important to maintain that image even if you’re meeting with people who already know you?

We can all take that into context ourselves. Let’s say we’ve known people for a long time, whether they are clients or whatever and everything’s going well. The next thing you know, that client’s credit card is declined. You can’t get them on the phone. You have a good perception of them, you’ve been doing business for a while, but all these little red flags come up. Even if maybe this person is out of the country and this is all legitimate, all of a sudden, your perception of that person starts to take a hit. You start wondering are they in trouble? Is their business in trouble? Those are all little red flags.

I think that even if you have an existing relationship, if you approach somebody that you’ve done business with before and things seem in disarray, if the image is not up to what you would normally consider their standard, you’re in a worse position than you were before. You know that things normally are ship shape and now they’re not. That begs the question is this company in trouble? It was this last minute. Are they prepared to meet with me? All those things are going through that buyer’s head and they’re not even listening to you anymore because they’re too busy wondering what’s going on. What do you think, Emily?

It’s a good point. I agree. I was originally going to say no. If you know them, you don’t have to perform as much because you get a little bit more margin of error. In the very beginning, everything looks perfect and over time you are a little bit more lax. As long as you’ve delivered time and time again, you’re able to show a few more moments where you’re not completely pulled together. This will be my thought. I don’t know if I’m more right than you, Tim, but that’s my instinct. I’ve had situations for example with the supplier where because I delivered on time every single time, the one time that I didn’t, they gave me grace. Had I done that at the very beginning, they would have cut me loose.

Creating an image is a full-time job. Click To Tweet

That grace is totally something different. I’ve needed grace myself many times, but I don’t think grace comes without a question. Even though those people give you the grace because you have performed, still in the back of their head there’s a small red flag. We all need grace and if we’re performing well all the time, then you’re making deposits into the emotional work bank. When you need to make a withdrawal, it’s no big problem because you have enough equity in there. However, it still affects you. It still affects the relationship even in the smallest way. If that does happen and you need grace, get back on your game and make sure that that doesn’t become a systematic situation because then it will start to affect the image.

That reminds me of something and that’s a good point. I like to use Tracy from Millie’s as an example. She’s someone who’s been coming to our sessions for a while. I’ve had the opportunity to sit and do observations of her meetings year after year. I’ve been able to see how she does her meetings and I’ve been in meetings one year to the next with the same buyers and her, just to do an observation. You’re right, Tim. In her situation, even if she knows them, everything is still buttoned up. She has custom napkins. She’s got all the plastic ware for that if someone would need to sample her products. She’s got everything in place. She’s got the whole room set up and designed in a way and a flow that’s cool. It shows because her customers love her. She gets a lot of sales year-over-year. She always has that image that she puts out, that complete ownership of the room, of what she’s doing and the meaning. That consistency and not taking them for granted even though she may already be doing business with them, where she’s seen them a few times.

I’ve walked through her presentation before and it’s definitely buttoned up. Emily, you said it best. You said it’s a dog-eat-dog world. You’re only as good as the last time you saw somebody. You’re only as good as the last interaction you had. Unfortunately, a lot of things go that way. To wrap it up from my perspective, image plays a role in the company’s success. Can you be successful with a poor image? I see UFC fighters do it all the time. What we’re talking about with the Big Boxers out there and getting products on the shelf and so on, you’ve got to take a look at what other people are seeing, not what you think you see about yourself but what other people are viewing you as. You have to step back and you’ve got to detach and take a look at it from a customer’s perspective or a buyer’s perspective. These companies that had their display out, if they will look at it from that, “What am I selling? What am I trying to present? What am I trying to say here?” They might have chosen differently. That’s my final take on that part of the question.

That’s a great piece of advice, to get that outside perspective. At least if you can’t get an outside perspective, try as much as possible to look at it as an outsider. Look at it hard and think what does this image convey to a buyer or to a category manager.

Sometimes all you have to do is take a picture. You might look at it and it might look at it but then you take a picture and it looks totally different. Emily, final thoughts on that.

I agree, it’s a holistic approach and you’ve got to think about it from what is it going to cost you? The real reason why most people don’t invest more money or time into thinking about that type of step is that of the cost. They’re busy entrepreneurs, they don’t have the time to invest money or pay a graphic designer or outsource it to someone else if they don’t have time to make their trade show booth or make those sell sheets look on point. They need to stop and look at it from a cost perspective. There’s a cost of doing business. It costs you $5,000 to $10,000 to get to that trade show. Are you going to lose that buying opportunity because you did not spend the next few thousand dollars putting money into your booth? That’s a wasted opportunity. You lost more money than you could have spent spitting an extra $1,000 towards finishing up and polishing up what needs to be done. The payout can be so huge. Think about getting one purchase order just one from a very large retailer and you’re going to end up paying that entire show and whatever money spent on that graphic designer. Was it penny-wise and pound foolish if you don’t think about your image on every step of the product life cycle when it comes to the big box sales?

Big Boxers, that’s a virtual wake-up call from Emily right there. She reached out and virtually slapped you to make sure that you’re awake and thinking about it. You’re going to spend $15,000, $13,000 on a trade show. Are you going to cheap this part out and potentially lose a customer? One other thing I want to say about the image is to remember that one person on your team can tank your whole image if they’re not upholding what your vision is, what your thoughts are. You could be all buttoned up and then you have a team member that’s not. All of a sudden, that person starts to ooze poison into the system.

You want to make sure that everybody on your team has the same vision and is onboard in exactly the same way that you are. Otherwise, you go to grab some lunch and Costco comes by your booth and then this poisonous person tanks it. That’s millions of dollars. Make sure everybody on your team is making sure that they present themselves the way you want them to. That’s just a freebie, a little bonus. The second part of the question was what things are affected by image? I think I wrote this wrong because in my mind I was thinking, what are the different touch points that you can push your great image out there? What are the different ways that you can have an awesome image?

OTS 139 | Your Image
Your Image: Be consistent and don’t take your buyers for granted even though you’ve been doing business with them a few times.

 

Are you talking about the ways of charging your customer?

You’re an example, Joe, because all of a sudden you decided that you wanted to start putting all these videos out. Then down the road, you decided to update your image and you bought a screen and you put it behind yourself. That changed your overall look and feel and image as the person who puts content out far easier. The trade show booth was one area. What are some other areas that affect your image or people view your image that the Big Boxers might not be paying attention to?

Lots of areas. One, I’ll leave the design of branding to the expert, but your content. It’s how you put your content out there. This is my own domain but the content that you put out there and how the care that you put into it. Whether that content is a video or a blog or speaking or podcasts or anything, but how you present yourself to your potential customer base via content makes a big difference and can have an impact on your business. Let’s say for example you have a brand. There are different ways of approaching the industry but for us, we’re talking B2B so it’s brand to the retailer. You have a brand and all they are posting on LinkedIn are promotions, just things about their product that might not do it for them. If you are putting out content related to the consumer of that product, let’s say it’s a healthy beverage. You’re talking about wellness and health and the value of that and how hydration is an important factor and things like that. It’s got to be relevant but overall taking care to put out content that is relevant, on point, educational and not throwing anything out there to be overly promotional.

Emily, what do you think?

You’re saying the question is, “What can you do to help promote your image?”

No, it wasn’t what you can do to promote it. Let’s say you’re the CEO of a company and all of a sudden, things start happening and you’re getting wind that you have a poor image. You start reeling in things and trying to figure out what are all the different areas where you touch your customer that you’re showing the image. If you’re going to check off and say, “I checked that. My image is good there, my image is good over here,” where are all those places, do you think?

The first place is in the stores where you’re on the shelves. There are multiple places all over a store where a person can perceive your product or where you’d get a promotional opportunity to fix your image. It’s packaging on the shelf where you normally traditionally sell but there’s also point to purchase where you’re actually leaving the store, where you can pay extra money to have your product placement in different locations like a deli or at checkout. There are even ads where you’re reaching store customers inside of stores and you have chances to fix your image or adjust your image or promote your image.

Perception is not the same thing as the truth. You should be authentic and create an image that is consistent with what you're practicing. Click To Tweet

There’s also the opportunity to get samples, they have brand ambassadors inside of a store or walking around in events is an interesting and expensive but powerful way of spreading a brand’s image. I know that certain companies have built their entire business model. Monster Energy and Red Bull are great examples of this where it’s all about handing out free product and letting people try it. They’re the ones who built this huge behemoth energy drink industry through sampling and having very fun lively people wearing shirts, going to events and handing out parts of their products impact their image.

Red Bull, that is a perfect example also on the content side. If you go to Red Bull’s website, all of the content in the videos that Red Bull puts out, you don’t see anything about their products. It’s all about guys skydiving or jumping off the mountains or doing these extreme activities, but they’re not talking about the product. They are talking about the lifestyle. That’s a great example both of what they’re doing on the brand ambassador front but also a great example of leveraging content to support that image.

You’re saying that there are no videos on Red Bull’s website of tired people trying to stay up and study or tired people sitting up.

That one is spread by word of mouth.

Emily, you’re talking about ways that you can bolster your image, which was going to be our final topic. I’m wondering also about the key areas that any one company touches a consumer and needs to make sure that those areas all are continuous and portraying the same image. We talked about this exact thing on our podcast, which is making sure that your website and your packaging and your social tell the same story. I’m wondering if there are any other places that the Big Boxers should be looking at to make sure that they’re not letting slip an image problem in areas that they’re not knowing about.

Besides those pieces are secondary cursory packaging where if you’re doing a pallet display, there are opportunities around the pallet to have packaging. Like a secondary packaging that your initial product goes into is something that somewhat people sometimes skimp out on or forget as a huge billboard of real estate to market their product. Are you asking more even about like the social media visual website?

What you were saying is right on. Weren’t we talking about sometimes packaging is the last thing and there is no money for it and so it sometimes gets slapped together? Packaging is important but also your packaging is your image, just like your palate displays your image, just like forgetting to change the banner on your Twitter feed that is your image. I’m looking at all the things that people have to police up to make sure that they’re providing a consistent image and that images are good. It’s damaging when even one part of your business doesn’t look the same or you forgot about it or you skimped on it. Like you said, “I don’t have money for my palette design so that’s one thing that’s going to go by the wayside.” It can’t, there is no going by the wayside.

It’s the same thing like when you’re talking about social media doing non-platform specific things. In other words, posting something on late in and then having it flow onto Twitter, rather than building something specifically for Twitter, building something specifically for LinkedIn, building something specifically for Instagram and so on and so forth. It shows laziness. Each platform got those particular way that people use it. Everywhere where you’re touching them, if you’re not going to devote it, do something directly for that platform then don’t use it.

It’s fine to be just on Instagram or just to be on Facebook. If you’re going to do Facebook, you can have more copies. Instagram, it’s not so much dependent on the copy but it’s the hashtags and the images got to be on point. Each one has their own particular set of things and it takes time to develop stuff for them in a customized way. That’s different points to your point, Tim, of showing that what’s on point on one platform and then lackluster on another. If you’re going to do it, do it well.

Even consistency can be an image problem. You’re putting out content and all of a sudden, you’re down for three weeks and no content goes out. Even that can damage your overall image in how people view you or your company. Let’s wrap it up with one question that is more positive because we’ve been hammering on, “This is bad, don’t do these things.” We’ve got virtual slaps going on. Emily, I’m interested, what do you think is one or two things that somebody could do quickly to make a change to their image? We’re talking to suppliers like you, the supplier of Jocko White Tea. Most of our audience are people that are aspiring to have their products in a big box retail store. A lot of them probably don’t spend a ton of time wondering or thinking or looking or reviewing their overall image. Based on this episode, they could be going, “I have all kinds of issues.” What do you think are a couple of things that they could do quickly to make a positive change in their image?

OTS 139 | Your Image
Your Image: Each social media platform got particular ways that people use it. Everywhere where you’re touching them, if you’re not going to devote and do something directly for that platform, then don’t use it. It shows laziness.

 

My number one belief that the main way that you do that is with your branding and your packaging artwork. It takes a lot of time to change a product and to change where you are in the store and all that. There’s a lot of lead time, the fastest thing that you can do is spruce up your artwork that it looks professional and make sure that your branding is polished and looked over by a professional. A lot of people don’t want to spend the money on it. I own a small business and I know what it costs me, in the beginning, to invest in great designers. The problem is if you do it piecemeal, it looks like it’s been done piecemeal and the consequences are real for you, as a manufacturer.

When you spend money on it and you get a great designer who’s going to make sure that your brand is polished whether you have an existing brand that is well-known and loved. You can professionalize it and spruce it up, it’s still recognizable but looks cleaner and ready to play hard. Then you apply that to the artwork of your existing products that are on the line, making sure they’re uniform. You slap that same design onto the banners the flyer, and the sell sheet that you’re going to be doing for your trade shows. That is so easy to do to focus. It’s the cheapest way that you can move the ball when it comes to sales. If you’re doing your own sales and your own manufacturing, this is something you should outsource, its design. It has a very clear ROI. It builds respect and unifies your message and improves your image and will lead to real sales.

We have a client, we still have them. The name of their product is called Spray Easy and it’s an all-natural essential oil odor eliminator. This company came to us to evaluate their product to come off of Amazon, not come off but diversify into regular retail. One of the key things that we came back to them was their packaging. It was very childlike and once the consumer has bought the product on Amazon, the way it looks when they get it is an experience and I’m not going to say it doesn’t matter. The investments are already there, they’ve already bought it. What they’re really interested at that point is does it work? That doesn’t translate into Big Box Retail or any On the Shelf Retail. Your product has to say something on the shelf. They have gone through a tremendous metamorphosis with their product and the way it’s packaged. It’s a whole different ballgame now. To your point, Emily, for them it’s going to make all the difference. Joe, what do you think? A couple of things that Big Boxers can do right now to enhance their image.

This is consistent with Emily’s or plays off of that and this is something that requires no money, is put out regular content about that. In the voice of what that image should be. Like your example with the spray, to get rid of the odor. Content about situations in which that would be effective. Maybe get some content, especially in that case get some user content, some testimonials from customers talking about the brand. Anything that is going to put you in the light of that image you’re trying to attain. Put it out consistently, regularly. Put it out on your site, on social media and get your customers involved. Get your customers involved validating your company in that light through content, to reinforce that. It’s got to be consistent with all those things Emily talked about, the packaging, the branding, any of the visuals that are involved. The one quick, cheap and easy way to do it for everybody out there, all the content I do is with my iPhone, whether it’s videos.

My longer writing is with my laptop but everything else that I do when I’m out of session, every video, every photo, every post, my whole investment was an iPhone and a $25 tripod that I got from Amazon. That is my entire content investment and it lets you put out a whole bunch of stuff. There’s no excuse to get started on the content. You don’t need any money for packaging or design or anything. All you need is an iPhone and a cheap tripod.

People buy perception. Your image is 100% important for your success. Click To Tweet

On my end, Big Boxers, I would want you to take a quick look at all your touch points, your Twitter, your Instagram, your Facebook, your website. I want you to take a look at all those feeds and see how they’re presenting to the consumer. Pull them up and put them next to each other. Do they look similar? If they’re all fragmented, meaning you have a different background on each one, color schemes are different because you were in a different mood each time you set up one of those social feeds, bring them all together. Pick a certain theme and bring them all together.

Lastly, I want you to pull up your website on your phone and I want you to see how it looks. If it doesn’t look good, then you need to make sure that you switch over to a platform that’s good for mobile. There are not a lot of people that are sitting down looking at your website on their computer anymore. It’s all being done on mobile and if it doesn’t look good on mobile, then they’re going to click off of it faster than you can say image buster. Take a look at that. Shopify, there are platforms out there that have it all integrated. It’s not a big investment to move over to a site that looks good on a mobile. Emily, don’t you think that the mobile device got to look good?

Yes, 100% and ability to buy or ability to find where you’re going to buy is important. It builds credibility even for retail buyers who are considering your product, they want to believe and know that you’re selling somewhere else that they have the least money risk. If you’re successful in other stores, they aren’t afraid of picking you up too. The average regular consumer needs to know where to find your product.

Big Boxers, there you have it. You might not be taking a look at your overall image. You might not have been thinking about it. It might not even be on your radar because it’s not tangible. It’s not something that you can reach out and change. It’s not something you can reach out and take action like you could, to make a sale or to make a new product. I think it’s important and the panel thinks it’s important for you to take a look at your image in a lot of different ways. Hopefully, you’ve got some information from Joe. Thanks so much, Joe. From Emily, thanks for pitch-hitting. We hope that you’re going to be back because your insights are amazing. We’ll look forward to our next Flash Topic panel. Thanks, everybody, I appreciate it.

Flash Topic Ten is in the books. I hope you got a lot out of it and I hope it made you think a little bit about your image, your company’s image and your product’s image. Is it where you want it to be? Are you portraying the type of image that you think that you should? If not, how are you going to turn that around? If so, how are you going to improve on that and make it even better? Those are the big questions that you need to post to yourself. I hope you enjoyed it. Please comment and let us know how you liked that particular podcast and that topic. If you have another topic that you think would be great for the Flash Topic panel, please drop us a line. You can reach us now on Twitter. You can drop into our new Facebook page, On The Shelf Now. You can join our close group, On The Shelf “Now”. Hit join and you’ll be in on that conversation. We want to hear from you. This is your podcast. This is a podcast helping you get your products into retail. We need to hear from you and understand what you need in order to make that happen.

I did want to let you know that TLB Consulting has opened up more slots for product evaluation. If you have a product on Amazon and you’re looking at possibly bringing it to retail, but you don’t know how well it’s going to do or even if you can make it work with pricing, you definitely are going to want to give us a call. We can run it through our product evaluation program and give you some real insight into how your product will probably do. If you have a product concept or if you have a product that’s just being produced and you want to know where you stand as far as retail goes, give us a call, reach out to us. We can help you by putting it through our proprietary evaluation, give you some real insight into what you can expect.

I’m super excited to speak to all of you. I hope you’re enjoying the podcast. Please reach out to us. You have so many different places that you can do that. Definitely comment on the podcast. Let us know how we’re doing. Subscribe on iTunes and on Stitcher. You can listen to us on Spotify. We’re everywhere. I’m looking forward to talking to you guys again. In the meantime, I look forward to seeing your products on the shelf.

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About Emily Page

OTS 139 | Your ImageProduct Developer and Retail Sales Growth Strategist with 20 years of experience in cross-functional leadership, lifecycle management, sourcing and procurement, sales lead generation and manufacturing optimizations that carry CPG products from conception to profit. Astute and creative sales strategist with a proven record of leveraging sale pipeline development, innovative brand packaging, and pricing techniques to drive substantial sales growth and capture category market share. Dedicated leader adept at overhauling operations and creating meaningful team environments that develop quality products and retail revenue generation.

 

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