Is the physical manifestation of your brand still your office?

First impressions count.  Not so long ago, that meant making sure your physical brand presence – your head office, branches, outlets, etc – were consistent and attractive, and conveyed the brand meaning you wanted them to.  Any visiting potential client or customer would be left with a clear impression of what you stand for.

But these days it’s more than likely the first impressions people get are being generated from your website or digital presence.  Visitors look at the layout, colours, sophistication and language of your sites, and draw their own conclusions about what you mean to them.

In doing business with you, they may not ever venture into your office or branch.  Even shopping has become an experience that is sometimes detatched from the actual physical location of the store.  How does Coles, for example, convey brand meaning on www.colesonline.com.au compared to the supermarket shopping experience?

It has implications for marketing investment.  Is it a choice between an expensive new fit out of stores, or, a similar investment in an amazing website experience?  It may be decision that needs to take into account the source of new customers – is it from footfall, or is it from online, and where is the growth channel?

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