You know how many people say your first impression is the important impression. With branding, I don’t feel that that’s the case. What’s fascinating about branding is, even if you have a rough start (awkward hand shake or one sided arm hug), people are often willing to give you a second chance.
How people perceive the brand is not based on first impressions, it’s based on the consistency of your tone, your visuals and your overall aesthetic. And using a brand guide will definitely help maintain that consistency. Most importantly, it’s the dialogue that you’re having with your customers – how fast you respond to their emails, Facebook PM’s or even tweets, plays a large role in how people react to your brand.
For example, I live at City Place, Toronto and we’ve been having rolling 4 hour black outs for about 2 weeks now. Toronto Hydro has been doing an AMAZING job in responding to all the tweets in regards to that. Whoever is charge of their Twitter account is doing a fantastic job. They are fast, responsive and provide consistent updates. Their tone and language is friendly, appreciative and funny. It sounds like a human at the other end and not just a robot. This is one very effective method of creating a positive perception.
How you want to be perceived is based on how well you communicate. Effective communication can be achieved through tone, language, graphics and of course, the aesthetic of the brand. Especially in our culture, we can never discount the importance of social media, because my dears, speed does matter.